Financial markets have punished Fiat shares since the tie-up between Fiat Auto and General Motors was announced on March 13. Fiat Group's combined shares have fallen 22 percent since the deal was made public.
On the last trading day before the agreement - Friday, March 10 - Fiat shares reached A35.41. That was the highest value this year, and 17 percent above the share price at the end of 1999. But on Tuesday March 14, one day after Fiat stock trading was suspended for the GM announcement, they lost over 10 percent.
More than 19 million Fiat shares were traded on that day, compared to an average of between 2 million and 5 million a day during the previous three months.
Another 6 percent was lost the following Wednesday, when over 8 million shares were traded. Losses continued in the following weeks. Shares closed on April 6 at A28.22, or 20.3 percent down on the pre-announcement level.
Paolo Fresco, Fiat Group chairman, blamed the losses on speculators who had inflated the value of Fiat shares beforehand by betting on a complete sale of Fiat Auto and the chance of immediate cash gains.
'Instead we opted for a long-term growth strategy, Fresco said, and I'm sure this agreement will create value for all our shareholders.'