Unicredit on Tuesday reported a surprise fourth-quarter net profit in a tough three months which saw the Italian lender cut 1,300 jobs and close 121 branches.
Net profit came in at 153 million euros ($171 million), against a 140 million euro loss forecast in an analyst consensus distributed by the company.
Shares in Unicredit were suspended ahead of the results after a 3.8 percent fall. They initially pared some of the losses when trade resumed but swiftly accelerated their decline to trade down 6 percent before they were once again suspended.
Shares in Italian banks have tumbled this year since the European Central Bank requested further information on their large portfolios of non-performing loans. However, Carlo Messina, the chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo told CNBC on Monday that fears were overstated and the slump represented a "unique buying opportunity."