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Pervasive Cross-Asset Liquidations Force Halt Of Italian Stock Exchange

Tyler Durden's picture


Yesterday we pointed out that UniCredit, the bank which had fallen by 5% in day trading, was 7% owned by Libyan interests (we also noted  some other odd Libyan holdings). Today, this stigmata is far more of a curse than a blessing, as not only the bank, but the entire Italian stock exchange, the Borsa Italia, is in major unwind mode, and has been halted all day. FT reports: "Borsa Italiana, the Italian exchange, failed to open as usual on Tuesday amid concerns in the Italian broking community about possible fallout from turmoil in Libya. The outage, which left brokers unable to process orders, came a day after the main Italian stock market index closed down 3.6 per cent, making it the worst performing European market on Monday. Traders in London said the failure to open meant that the crucial opening auction, which sets initial prices at the Borsa, had also not taken place. Yet there was growing demand from investors to trade certain blue chip Italian stocks." Following up with a European market participant we got the following: "stock exchange suspension has been ordered to handle massive unwind of positions in some of the largest index components. Significant dislocation occurring on swap and option market on the FTSE MIB as well.... So you see, it's not just in the US that it is forbidden to sell." In other words, when faced with a huge deluge of selling, best to implement the biggest known circuit breaker of all and just shut it down. In the meantime, UniCredit CDS trading away from Italy was 3% wider this morning as concerns about that "7%" spook risk holders.

And Bloomberg's take:

Trading on the Italian exchange remained halted because of “technical issues” after the benchmark FTSE MIB Index fell the most in eight months yesterday on concern Libya’s unrest may affect Italian companies.

Borsa Italiana SpA, owned by London Stock Exchange Group Plc, said in a statement on its website that “restoring operations” are underway after stocks failed to open and the futures market was halted at 12:10 p.m. All markets are suspended, the Milan bourse said in a separate statement.

The trading suspension “is something unacceptable,” said Francesco Vercesi, a money manager at Fiduciaria Orefici Sim SpA in Milan. Investors were permitted to cancel orders submitted before the scheduled opening, the exchange said. Futures trading on the FTSE MIB was temporarily halted Jan. 3 because of technical “issues.”

The FTSE MIB yesterday lost 3.6 percent to 22,230.2, the biggest decline since June 29. Impregilo SpA, the country’s largest construction company, plummeted 6.2 percent to 2.31 euros, the biggest loss since April 2009. The company has 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) of projects in Libya, according to Milan broker Equita Sim SpA. UniCredit SpA, the nation’s biggest bank, sank 5.8 percent to 1.87 euros, the largest loss since May.

UniCredit was down 2.1 percent to 1.83 euros at 12:44 p.m. local time on Chi-X Europe Ltd., Europe’s largest alternative trading system. Eni, Europe’s fourth-biggest oil company, was down 2 percent to 17.09 euros. Impregilo was down 6.3 percent to 2.16 euros.

We will keep an eye on this rather odd development.


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Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:17 | 984622 max2205
max2205's picture

Bad = no bid market

Worse= elites are unwinding hedged positions before any open

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:26 | 984633 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

Unwinding to whom?

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:28 | 984639 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Whatever you've got for sale, there's always a idiot who'll buy it.


Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:22 | 984713 nonclaim
nonclaim's picture

Unwinding to whom?

It works best if you have an old friend in a TBTF institution...

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:19 | 984623 sudzee
sudzee's picture

Sell, sell, sell to who you dickhead. You own frikin paper. SHTF and now you want out. Fuck you, we own you.

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:55 | 984669 Bob
Bob's picture

It gives one pause.  If you're on the MOMO, it might be time to get out while you still can.

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:20 | 984710 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

sell to ttax payers some where, as long as TBTF dont take the hit

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:21 | 984626 youngman
youngman's picture

We all think we can read the tea leaves and invest when and how we want...but of course if the game gets to big...the powers that be can and will shut it down..until they are positioned to be the first ones in and with positions that can make money.  I am sure right now they are educating themsleves on which Libyan stocks will survive so to buy or sell accordingly...when they get that figured out...then they will reopen..

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:21 | 984627 holsfhf
holsfhf's picture

apparently the espresso machine fell over making it impossible to process orders ....

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:27 | 984635 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I've heard something just like it! It was actually the cappuccino steamer that clogged the screens!



Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:22 | 984628 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

wow! What a week and a bit already. And this is just Tuesday.

What will Friday bring? And Italy.....follow the money, they tell us.

Now this is Libya. What about all the other over-invested SWF's of the other tottering ME states?

The egg has cracked. Earthquake in Christ-Church. Very telling. Because the Vatican just might be in trouble again. Soon.


Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:23 | 984630 Miramanee
Miramanee's picture

What many folks fail to recognize is that the world financial markets ARE a casino...but that only a tiny percentage of the citizens of the world are gamblers AT the casino. A few more are spectators, hoping that the gamblers play well. But the overwhelming majority of us are the chips on the table...tossed about, and swept into the gutter when bets go wrong. The patrons never suffer: their coffers are restocked by the unwitting taxpayer. But billions of US live and die at the whim of the dice-rollers. It's a bullshit system in a bullshit world.

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:28 | 984638 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

The system will shutdown and reboot, its up to (U)s to make something out of it!

Why do you think all this is happening? "Because they can", since they face no

resistance WHATSOEVER!

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:25 | 984631 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture




Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:29 | 984642 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture


The Mafia can't possibly pay ITSELF a visit, eh:))?!

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:06 | 984688 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

point there...

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:42 | 984772 snowball777
snowball777's picture

They do that all the time. Ask Tessio, Moe Greene,...

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:26 | 984636 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

They are the mafia

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:45 | 984657 youngman
youngman's picture

I am sure the SEC will be all over it....can´t afford an Amtrack ticket...but a trip to Italy...oh yeah...its on..

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 08:53 | 984665 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

So halt the markets when people want to sell....yeah free markets my arse.  It is such a farse that they halt trading if it falls past 3.5%, but if it goes up 3.5% all is well....rigged..of course not.

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 09:08 | 984693 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

All your crash belong to us.

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 14:56 | 986041 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

smells like contagion to me...

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