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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
November 22, 2006

European utilities decline


by Elaine Frei

In Europe on Wednesday the FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 0.2 percent to 1,465.95.

Utilities fell to profit-taking and a court ruling that delayed the Suez/Gaz de France merger. Suez was 1.1 percent lower to €36.09, while Gaz de France dropped 2.5 percent to €32.36. Meanwhile Iberdrola, which is expected to bid for Scottish Power soon, fell 1.6 percent to €33.27.

The banking sector was mixed. Credit Agricole dropped 4 percent to €32.90 and earned it a broker downgrade after its third-quarter earnings report disappointed. Elsewhere in the sector, BNP Paribas added 0.2 percent to €84.20 but Societe Generale dropped 0.2 percent to €130.

Gainers on the session included the airlines sector. Lufthansa was 1.9 percent higher to €19.31, while Air France-KLM gained 3.2 percent to €32.25. The gains came after Australia’s Qantas Airways was the recipient of a takeover offer.

Stock exchanges were also higher. Euronext added 5.3 percent to €95.85 after it agreed with NYSE Group on the structure of the board of directors once the two complete their merger. Meanwhile Deutsche Borse was 6.5 percent higher to €138.13 on rumors that it will take a stake in Bulgaria’s stock exchange.

In the construction sector, French group Vinci gained 2.7 percent to €95.55 on speculation that it might be the target of a bid from private equity.

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