European banks higher on bids rumors
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.7 percent higher on Tuesday to close at 1,402.38, its highest finish since early May.
The MAN/Scania story continued to unfold. Volkswagen added 1.3 percent to €68.85 after it announced that it had purchased 15.06 percent of MAN. VW said that it was a “strategic” acquisition but that it has no intention to take over the truck manufacturer, which made a bid for Swedish truck maker Scania last month. Scania, meanwhile, said that VW’s purchase put the proposed deal in a new light, but did not elaborate, while Investor, which also owns part of Scania, said it knew that VW had planned to purchase shares in MAN. The news sent Investor B shares 2 percent higher to SKr155 and Scania B shares were up 5.2 percent to SKr462. MAN, however, dropped 7.5 percent to €68.44.
Banks were higher as there were rumors of consolidation within the sector, spurred by French reports that Citigroup was looking at several European banks for possible takeover bids. BNP Paribas, which added 2.3 percent to €86, was mentioned as one of the potential targets. Other possible targets named were Societe Generale and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, which each added 2.4 percent to €125.90 and €18.50 respectively. Citibank had no comment on the rumors.
In the aerospace sector, EADS ended the session 4.2 percent lower to €21.71, and was down as much as 13 percent earlier in the day, after it announced yet another delay before it will be able to deliver its new A380 superjumbo jet. The airplane manufacturer also issued a profit warning. The news triggered a downgrade from Credit Suisse from “neutral” to “under perform”, while UBS lowered its recommendation from “buy” to “neutral”. Both brokers also lowered their target share prices on EADS.