MILAN - Shares in Italian mid-sized banks BPER and Banco BPM, widely tipped to take part in the sector's ongoing consolidation, rose on Friday after a strong reporting season for the country's lenders.
All major Italian banks beat market expectations for second quarter profit this week, helped like other European lenders by shrinking loan losses and rebounding revenues as the coronavirus crisis eases.
A Milan-based trader said shares in both BPER and Banco BPM responded to the earnings with fresh speculation about potential mergers and acquisitions fuelling gains.
Shares of BPER opened up 10.7% at a one-month high, the biggest increase in Milan's blue chip index.
Banco BPM, Italy's third largest bank, also rose 7.3%, to the highest level since early July.
Both stocks were highly traded with volumes more than three times the average of the past 30 days.