April 4, 2014 / 2:26 PM / in 4 years

Carige says doesn't know reason for savings share gains

MILAN, April 4 (Reuters) - Italian bank Carige does not know the reason behind sharp gains in its savings shares, it said in a statement on Friday issued following a request by the country’s market regulator.

Savings shares in Carige gained 12.9 percent by 1404 GMT to 2.01 euros, adding to a 13 percent rise on Thursday.

Carige’s savings shares are convertible into equity and are mostly in the hand of the bank’s top shareholder, the Carige foundation.

“The savings shares have caught up and surpassed the ordinary ones but I don’t see a fundamental reason behind the move, it’s more speculative as far as I‘m concerned,” a Milan-based trader said, adding he was unconvinced by market talk that the shares may be converted at some point.

Traded volume, in line with the past five days, is more than twice the 30-day average.

The Carige foundation is looking to sell part of its 45 percent holding ahead of an 800 million euro ($1.10 billion) capital increase at the Genoa-based bank.

Shares in Carige rose 1 percent at 0.659 euros broadly in line with Italy’s banking stock index. ($1 = 0.7291 Euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za and Andrea Mandala; editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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