STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Nearly half of ESTOXX stocks below book value

Despite a 22 percent recovery rally since early June, nearly half of euro zone blue chips making up the Euro STOXX 50 index still trade at less than their book value, with banks featuring among Europe's cheapest stocks.

Nineteen out of 50 stocks listed in the index trade at a price-to-book ratio (P/B) of less than 1.00, with Societe Generale at 0.39, UniCredit

at 0.40 and Nokia at 0.66.

That is in sharp contrast with Wall Street's Dow Jones industrial average , on which only four out of 30 stocks have a price-to-book below 1.00.

The P/B is a ratio widely used by investors to compare a stock's market value to the company's book value, or its net asset value calculated by total assets minus intangible assets and liabilities.

The Euro STOXX 50 trades at an average P/B ratio of 1.56, below a 10-year average of 1.91.

Reuters Messaging: