Finance Markets

November 6, 2006

Insurers gain in Europe

Permalink: Insurers gain in Europe

Filed under: Equities, Economy, Europe

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 1.1 percent higher on Monday, closing at 1,463.96, 14 percent higher than where it began the year. The day’s gains had much to do with rumors of bids and earnings reports that pleased investors.

The insurance sector did well on the day. Allianz added 2.8 percent to €147.90 on positive comments from several brokers in the wake of its quarterly report, issued last Thursday with results that were better than had been anticipated. Citigroup and Credit Suisse both raised their target share prices for the German insurer, to €170 and €171 respectively, while Deutsche Bank also upped its target to €171. Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and UBS also had good things to say.

Reinsurers were up after a quieter than expected hurricane season in the Caribbean. While Munich Re was expected to announce that its third quarter net profit had risen by nearly 50 percent, Hannover Re added 2.57 percent to €33.94 and Swiss Re was 2.71 percent higher to SFr106.

In the banking sector, Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena added 3.5 percent to €4.95 on rumors of a possible bid from ABN Amro even though the chairman of ABN’s Italian arm denied that he had called it a takeover target. ABN was 1.1 percent higher to €23.02.

Ferrovial was 2 percent higher to €75.55 after the Spanish construction company said that while it’s property division isn’t officially for sale, it is still looking at offers.

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