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01 August 2013 | 22:03
Mediaset shares brace for volatility after Berlusconi ruling
Shares in Italian broadcaster Mediaset are braced for a volatile trading session on Friday after Italy's supreme court upheld a tax fraud conviction against its owner Silvio Berlusconi, Reuters reports.
The ruling, confirming a sentence for tax fraud involving inflated invoices at Berlusconi's Mediaset broadcasting empire 20 years ago, was the first definitive sentence the former premier and centre-right leader has received.

But the impact is still unclear, say investors.

Shares are likely to fall on the uncertainty, a trader said.

"There'll be a lot of speculation today. My feeling is the shares will fall at the start, though some investors will be looking at whether the decision could prompt him to sell the group," a Milan trader said.

Thursday's ruling came after the Italian market closed, though shares in the broadcaster fell in after-hours trading.

"The truth is this signals another step towards the end of Berlusconi's political life," said Bernstein analyst Claudio Aspesi. "It will be increasingly difficult for him to govern and this in turn basically means the political protection he has been able to give Mediaset in recent years is destined to wane."
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