Following the furor around bad loans, the head of one of Italy's biggest banks said now could be the time to buy Italian real estate and Europe's bank stocks.
Shares in Italian banks have tumbled this year since the European Central Bank requested further information on their still-large portfolios of non-performing loans. However, the chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo told CNBC that fears were overstated and the slump represented a "unique buying opportunity."
"There is too much confusion, too much panic within in the market. I think the situation is probably absolutely better than two months ago, because the real estate market is recovering. So I think this is a unique buying opportunity, if you look at the Italian banking sector, but also, the European banking sector," Carlo Messina told CNBC in London on Monday.
Shares of Intesa Sanpaolo, which is one of the euro zone's largest banks by market capitalization, have fallen by more than 23 percent since the start of the year.