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Fiat can't explain stock surge, denies sale of significant asset

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Italian automaker Fiat SpA says it has no plans to sell assets and can't explain why its stock surged Wednesday.

Shares in the company rose by up to 10 per cent at one point, triggering the automatic suspension by the Milan stock exchange, amid market speculation that the company might be preparing to announce the sale of its truck unit Iveco.

``In particular, with regard to rumours on possible divestitures, no significant assets are being sold nor are expected to be sold, except for those activities that have already been disclosed to the market,'' Fiat said in a stock exchange statement.

Fiat shares were up 5.9 per cent at 13.55 euros (US$16.95) in late trading in Milan. The car maker's U.S. traded shares rose 91 cents or nearly six per cent to $17.04 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company said its board would meet Oct. 26 as planned to look at third-quarter earnings and would present an update of its industrial plan to the financial community Nov. 8-9.

Chief executive Sergio Marchionne said last month that the carmaker's net profit for 2006 could top one billion euros ($1.25 billion) if it closes a deal to sell part of its financial services business Fidis by the end of December.

The company had previously said it expects its auto and
industrial operations to generate a net profit of about 800 million
euros ($1 billion) this year.

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Fiat can't explain stock surge, denies sale of significant asset
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