May 29, 2018 / 8:12 AM / 2 years ago

Insurer Generali exits Kepler's top Italian picks list on political risk

FILE PHOTO: An Assicurazioni Generali SpA's logo is seen on a building of their offices in Saint-Denis, near Paris, France, February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Kepler Cheuvreux replaced insurer Generali (GASI.MI) with caterer Autogrill (AGL.MI) in its list of top Italian stock picks on Tuesday, citing worries over political risk in the euro zone’s third largest economy.

“With the risk that forthcoming elections turn out to be a referendum on the euro, investors are likely to continue to avoid any domestic Italian exposure, while Italian debt spread widening could persist,” Kepler analyst Arnaud Girod said in a note.

“In a best-case scenario, the clearest implication for the eurozone is that ECB policy normalisation could be delayed further, which limits the incentive of owning any banks,” he added.

He said he was upbeat on the growth outlook for Autogrill, which has a heavy exposure to North America.

Shares in Generali, Italy’s biggest insurer with a significant exposure to Italian sovereign debt, fell 3.3. percent to a one-year low, while Autogrill was down 1.7 percent.

Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Helen Reid

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