Голосование - Ferrari And Ray-Ban Deemed A Safer Bet Than Italian Government Bonds

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By Alasdair Pal and Abhinav Ramnarayan

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - Italy's luxury carmaker Ferrari and Exor, the owners of Juventus football club, are among a host of companies that can now borrow money more cheaply than the country's crisis-hit government.

Italian sovereign bond yields rose this week to some of their highest levels in years on fears that the country's eurosceptic politicians could win a stronger hand in potential elections, reviving the possibility of a eurozone break-up - or at least a repeat of the European Union's 2011-2012 crisis.

Even though Italy's government bonds recovered some of their losses on Thursday, the bonds of nearly two-thirds of non-financial companies in Italy's FTSE MIB equity index have lower yields than that of the sovereign, suggesting that investors find them more creditworthy than the government.

Italian corporate bond yields have also risen over the past week but not as dramatically as the government or sovereign bonds.

The yield on a bond maturing in May 2024 from utility Enel , rose 18 basis points on Tuesday to 1.21 percent but the equivalent Italian six-year benchmark bond saw yields rise 91 bps to 2.91 percent.

Sovereign bonds are usually considered safer than bonds issued by companies, given the latter have a higher chance of defaulting on creditors or going bankrupt. But a select group of powerful global multinationals carry higher credit ratings than the country where they are based.

In Italy, Enel as well as energy giant ENI boast credit ratings above Italy's BBB/Baa2.

"The list of Italian firms includes a large number of global companies, many of them are global corporates with an Italian heritage," said Andrew Jackson, head of fixed income at Hermes, an investor with _33.6 billion of assets under management.

"Of course they will be faced with major challenges if there is the worst-case scenario of redenomination, but perhaps not as much as the more Italy-focused borrowers," he said, referring to the risk of euro break-up.

Hermes did not hold any Italian government bonds and maintained its Italian corporate bond holdings through this latest political crisis, Jackson added.

Shares in such companies have also generally outperformed the rest of the Italian stock market - while the Milan index has fallen 2.7 percent so far this week, Ferrari for instance is down 0.7 percent and ENEL has slipped 0.9 percent.


Ferrari's 2023 bond, not currently rated by any of the major ratings agencies, carries a yield of 1.29 percent, lower than the 1.98 percent yield paid by an Italian sovereign bond that matures two weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, Exor's 2022 bond yield, rated BBB+ by S Additional reporting by Sujata Rao. Editing by Jane Merriman)


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