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September 13, 2006    

Eurofirst adds 0.2 percent on bids news

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by Elaine Frei

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 0.2 percent on Wednesday to 1,369.99 as the vehicle manufacturing sector saw advances on the session.

Driving the sector was news that German truck manufacturer MAN is thinking of offering for Swedish rival Scania. MAN will have to convince Volkswagen, which owns a 34 percent voting share in Scania, and holding company Investor, which votes 19 percent of the Swedish company, that the merger is a good idea. Dresdner Kleinwort has said it thinks the deal makes sense.

While MAN dropped 0.9 percent to €60.12, Scania B shares added 8.3 percent to SKr422. Volkswagen gained 2 percent to €64.28 and Investor B shares were 2.7 percent higher to SKr150.5. Volvo, the second-largest truck manufacturer in the world, added 1.1 percent on the news, to SKr443.50.

In the telecommunications sector, Telecom Italia dropped 0.9 percent to €2.27 as the Italian government and unions reacted negatively to the radical restructuring plan announced by TI on Monday. Unions have reportedly begun making plans to strike.

Elsewhere in Italy, broadcaster Mediaset was 4.7 percent lower to €8.67 after it said it will likely miss its target for growth in advertising sales by 2 to 3 percent.

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