Finance Markets

December 15, 2006

Eurofirst up 16.7 percent on year so far

Permalink: Eurofirst up 16.7 percent on year so far

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Europe

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 closed Friday at its highest level in five and a half years, adding 0.6 percent on the session and 2.8 percent higher on the week at 1,489.09. The Eurofirst has gone up 16.7 percent since the beginning of the year.

Banks were big gainers during the week. Nordea added 6.3 percent to SKr106.2 when Sampo of Finalnd was reported to have added to its stake in Swedish bank. Sampo gained 4.2 percent during the week to €20.38. ING was 6.8 percent higher to €33.68 and ABN Amro was up 7 percent to €24.30 on rumors that the two are in talks over a bid from ING.

Meanwhile, Raiffeisen International added 9.1 percent over the week on investor enthusiasm about its presence in central and eastern European markets. Citigroup began coverage of the Austrian bank with a “buy” recommendation, citing the potential value of Raiffeisen’s holdings in Russia and the Ukraine.

The retail sector saw gains, as well. Inditex, owner of the Zara fashion chain, gained 8 percent to €41.70 on the week on better than expected results in the third quarter. Ahold was 9.7 percent higher to €8.25 on rumors of a coming bid from private equity group KKR and on positive comments from UBS.

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