From the Wall Street Journal Europe's The Source blog:
Italian banks, which late Friday passed Europe’s stress tests and were pronounced solid by the Bank of Italy, resumed their sharp downward slide Monday, falling more than lenders elsewhere and making Milan the worst-performing stock market.*We posted "Is The Big Money Looking for a Credit Anstalt in Italy? (GS; JPM)" on June 27:
Adding to the sense of doom was that the slide was led by Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, the country’s largest lender, which recently raised €5 billion in fresh equity and boasted a core Tier 1 ratio of 8.9% in the stress test’s adverse scenario, one of the highest numbers in Europe.
Intesa Sanpaolo’s shares were down 4.2% in midday trading and had fallen even more in the morning.
Unicredit, Banco Popolare and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena were all in hot pursuit.
“If the country’s best bank is hit that bad, it means the problem is the country,” said Daniele Tolusso, who manages private accounts at a Milan bank....MORE
...Here Are The Most Actively Traded Names In Goldman's Dark Pool (Or Why Is The Big Money Fascinated With Italy?)...Followed by "Credit Anstalt All Over Again "UniCredit Stock Halted After Plunge As Fresh Wave Of Italian Fears Emerges"' on July 8 and "Why has it taken so long for the markets to wake up to Italian risks?" on July 11.
...Not surprisingly, today's most active names are Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo. Translation: someone is actively positioning for serious action in Italy shortly....
Here's the one-month chart for Unicredit (current owner of Credit Anstalt) via BigCharts:
This stuff is not rocket surgery.
When I Find Myself in Times of Trouble, Brother Ambrose Comes to Me: "Italy and Spain must pray for a miracle"