Shares in the companies owned by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi have fallen on the news his four-year prison sentence for tax evasion was upheld, but still remain elevated from gains made since his final appeal with the supreme court began on Tuesday.
While the court ruling arguably has no direct impact on the companies themselves, it could be an indication of political instability, which could hit the Italian economy. However, the initial share price rises could be seen as indicative of what investors thought the verdict would be.
The review of the lower court's five-year ban on holding public office means Berlusconi can remain as a senator and as leader of his People of Freedom Party (PDL). Prime minister Enrico Letta and president Giorgio Napolitano have called for calm following the guilty verdict.
Shares in Italian broadcaster Mediaset, which is owned by Berlusconi and captures around 60 per cent of television advertising spend in the country, fell over four per cent before a sharp recovery and subsequent slow decline back into negative territory. It is nonetheless up 0.5 per cent from it’s open on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, publisher Mondadori, which Berlusconi has a 53 per cent stake in, opened down two per cent before making a slight recovery. It is up 5.8 per cent since Tuesday’s open.
And Mediolanum, 36 per cent owned by Berlusconi’s financial holding company Fininvest, is down nearly one per cent, but up 2.25 per cent since Tuesday’s open.
Here's the five day share prices for each of the companies.