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Parmalat stock gains after Pop. Italiana settlement

Shares of Parmalat SpA, the Italian dairy operator that collapsed in 2003, climbed on optimism that more banks will settle lawsuits over their role in the company's bankruptcy after Banca Popolare Italiana agreed to pay the dairy. The shares gained 6.3 cents, or 2.5%, to € 2.6, the highest in almost three months, giving Collecchio, Italy-based Parmalat a market value of € 4.27 billion ($5.49 billion). Popolare Italiana on Aug. 4 said it will pay Parmalat € 59.5 million in cash and € 10 million in receivables to settle lawsuits. The settlement is the first by an Italian bank in a series of so-called clawback suits brought by Parmalat in Italy that total € 7.6 billion. Under Italian bankruptcy law, the company was able to ask courts to force banks to reimburse it for some financial transactions carried out in the year before the dairy company went bankrupt. „The agreement is a prelude to other accords with international institutions,” said Massimiliano Romano, an analyst at Concentric Italia in Milan. „That will bring liquidity into the stock.” Parmalat was seeking about € 200 million from Popolare Italiana. (Bloomberg)