Mediobanca's Research Department is a highly specialized centre for financial analysis and research. Since its inception, Mediobanca has considered economic and financial research to be of great importance and a prerequisite for its operations, and its first publication, with the deliberately unassuming title of Indici e dati relativi ad investimenti in azioni (Indices and Data on Equity Investments) was distributed on 29 October 1947, the date of the Bank's first Annual General Meeting.
In later years, research developed in two main areas: listed bonds and equities, and corporate accounts. In both these fields, the Department's annual publications have gained an unrivalled reputation for their comprehensive nature, accuracy, complete objectivity and original methodology, and have become essential working tools for financiers, economists, researchers and institutional leaders in general.
The main surveys cover procedures for calculating average bond yields on a daily basis, a system of indicators for the equity market, annual compilations of indices showing returns on securities and data on the capital market, including mutual funds and pension funds, and an international comparison of stock markets. The Calepino dell'Azionista, a publication restricted in paper form to the Bank's shareholders and customers (although now also available online), provides key information on all listed Italian companies.
In terms of corporate accounts, Mediobanca's Research Department publishes balance sheet aggregates and sector-by-sector summaries of major Italian companies with historic sets of statistics going back to the 1960s. Recently, in conjunction with Unioncamere (the Italian Federation of Chambers of Commerce) the Department has embarked on a survey of medium-size businesses in Italy. The annual editions of Le principali società italiane constitute the most authoritative and complete classification of all leading Italian corporates (with breakdowns available online), while Dati cumulativi is an invaluable guide for many business leaders.
The special methodologies used by Mediobanca's Research Department have all been developed inhouse, and include new techniques for weighting basic indices, new yardsticks for measuring investment risk, original formats for reclassifying data from financial statements, and methods of monitoring new developments on the economic scene.