(Alliance News) - Europe's major stock exchanges open near parity on Monday, with Piazza Affari rising sharply and doing best of all, driven by the strong performance of banking stocks after news about the capital gains tax leaked on Sunday.

"Banks will be able to avoid paying the tax if they set aside 2.5 times the amount due to strengthen their Common Equity Tier 1 ratio as unavailable reserves. If those reserves are later distributed as dividends, the banks will have to pay the full tax plus accrued interest," reports Bloomberg News, which has seen a government amendment to be approved by Parliament.

In Europe, however, concerns prevail over the continued fragility of the Chinese economy and the prospect that high interest rates will persist longer in the U.S.

"The deep problems in China's real estate sector have resurfaced causing new fears about the structural flaws running through the world's second-largest economy," commented Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown. "Real estate giant Evergrande has hit a snag in its attempts to restructure its debt, with expectations of issuing new restructured debt now thwarted by an ongoing official investigation into its largest subsidiary, Hengda. It was hoped that intricate financial engineering could prevent the real estate sector's problems from spilling over into other sectors, but doubts have returned about the long-term effectiveness of these interventions."

Thus, the FTSE Mib opens up 0.2 percent to 28,622.89, the Mid-Cap rises 0.1 percent to 40,154.79 as does the Small-Cap to 26,062.46, and Italy Growth gives up 0.1 percent to 8,506.20.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 gives up 0.2 percent, Paris' CAC 40 is in the fractional red and Frankfurt's DAX 40 is just above par.

On the main list in Piazza Affari, Banco BPM, BPER Banca and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena vie for the podium with rises between 3.3 percent and 2.6 percent.

FinecoBank follows - advancing 1.6 percent - but UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo are also in the high quarters, with rises of 0.9 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

Telecom Italia - flat at EUR0.32 - on Friday reported that as part of its ongoing negotiations with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP, it has received a request from KKR for an extension to October 15 of the exclusivity period to conclude preparatory activities and submit the binding offer on Netco.

TIM's board of directors will consider the request received at its meeting on September 27.

Snam -- down 0.2 percent -- announced Friday morning the successful placement of senior unsecured EU taxonomy-aligned transition bonds totaling EUR500 million maturing in 2028 and convertible into existing ordinary shares of Italgas. The bonds will be issued at a par value of EUR100,000 and will pay an annual fixed-rate coupon of 3.25 percent, payable on a semi-annual basis in arrears on March 29 and September 29 of each year, with the first coupon payment scheduled for March 29, 2024.

On the Mid-Cap, Credito Emiliano -- in the green by 0.4 percent -- announced Thursday evening that it had finalized the establishment of its first promissory note program with the aim of further diversifying its sources of funding to support the growth of loans to retail and corporate customers. Bills issued under the program, with a maximum amount of up to EUR1 billion and a maturity of up to 12 months, will be intended exclusively for qualified investors.

Digital Value advances 0.7 percent. On Thursday it reported consolidated net income in the first half of the year of EUR17.2 million, up 2.4 percent from EUR16.8 million in the same period last year. As of June 30, consolidated revenues stood at EUR415.5 million, up 23 percent from EUR337.2 million in the first half of 2022.

OVS finishes among the worst, down 1.7 percent after closing down 3.2 percent at EUR2.02 for the sixth session in a row among the bearish. Wednesday reported a half-year result of EUR33.7 million up from EUR31.9 million in the same period a year earlier.

Net sales amounted to EUR734.9 million up 4.1 percent from EUR705.8 million in the same period a year earlier.

Two BofA recommendations on the list's fashion stocks are noted: on Tod's, which gives up 0.8 percent, it cut its target price to EUR35.00 from EUR42.00 while on Brunello Cucinelli, down 0.6 percent, BofA cut its target price to EUR90.00 from EUR95.00 with a 'buy' recommendation.

On Small-Cap, CSP International is still not pricing. The company reported Friday evening that its board of directors approved its half-year financial report as of June 30, reporting a loss down to EUR1.9 million from the negative EUR2.3 in the first half of 2022. Revenues amounted to EUR39.5 million, in line with EUR39.3 million in the same period last year.

Itway is up 2.7 percent, after closing up 4.7 percent, while PLC is flat at EUR1.50 per share, after announcing Friday that one of the group's companies, PLC System Srl, has signed a contract with wpd costruzioni Srl regarding the construction of the utility substation serving a wind farm with a capacity of more than 30.1 MWp, located in Licata, in the province of Agrigento. The total consideration for the contract amounts to more than EUR3.8 million.

Seri Industrial opens up 1.5 percent after closing down 9.7 percent. The board of directors reviewed and approved the consolidated half-year financial report as of June 30, in which it reported a consolidated adjusted loss of EUR6.3 million compared with a loss of EUR7.0 million in the same period last year.

Among SMEs, Valtecne climbs 6.9 percent after reporting that it ended the half-year with a profit of EUR2.4 million, up 46 percent from the first half of 2022, when the result was EUR1.6 million.

Gismondi 1754 is still not pricing, after closing up 9.3 percent. The company reviewed and approved the consolidated half-yearly report as of June 30, which closed with a consolidated net profit of EUR674,000, almost double the EUR375,000 in the first half of 2022.

Askoll EVA gives up 1.2 percent. It reported Friday that it closed the first half of the year with a loss of EUR1.4 million, still an improvement from a loss of EUR1.9 million as of June 30, 2022.

Net revenues in the first half stood at EUR5.8 million from EUR7.7 million in the same period last year.

Maps is flat at EUR2.93 per share. On Friday it reported first-half earnings of EUR400,000 down from EUR1.5 million in the same period last year.

As of June 30, total revenues stood at EUR13.1 million from EUR11.8 million in 2022.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed up 1.0 percent, the Hang Seng gave up 1.9 percent, and the Shanghai Composite closed 0.5 percent in the red.

In New York, the Dow closed Friday down 0.3 percent to 33,963.84, the Nasdaq in the fractional red to 13,211.81 and the S&P 500 in the red 0.2 percent to 4,320.06.

Among currencies, the euro changed hands at USD1.0641 against USD1.0666 on Friday in closing European equities while the pound was instead worth USD1.2245 from USD1.2279 on Friday evening.

Among commodities, Brent crude is worth USD93.73 per barrel versus USD94.40 per barrel at Friday's close. Gold, on the other hand, trades at USD1,924.26 an ounce from USD1,928.01 an ounce Friday night.

Monday's macroeconomic calendar includes the Ifo index on German business confidence at 1000 CEST and French three-, six- and 12-month bond auctions at 1455 CEST.

Among companies listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, Pierrel, Somec, Take Off and Zucchi are scheduled to report results.

By Chiara Bruschi, Alliance News reporter

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