Monday, June 14, 2010

European close: Big gains for bourses

Date: Monday 14 Jun 2010

British Pound symbol with flag on white illustrationEurope’s main markets closed higher on Monday after adding to gains in afternoon trading on the back of a good start on Wall Street.

French insurer 
AXA rallied after the UK’s Resolution confirmed it is in discussions to buy AXA's UK life assurance businesses for £2.75bn. The businesses to be acquired are AXA's UK protection and annuities arms and also its group pensions business.

UK utility company 
United Utilities is to offload its principal non-regulated water interests in the United Kingdom and Europe to Veolia Water UK. Veolia is paying £174.2m for the assets, of which £108.6m is cash with the remainder accounted for by £65.6m in net debt assumed by the purchaser.
Societe Generale advanced on news that its Credit du Nord unit is in exclusive talks to buy a French retail bank from BPCE for €872m. Societe Marseillaise de Credit, or SMC, operates in south-east France through 144 branches and serves around 200,000 customers.

Elsewhere in the banking sector, Spain’s
 Santander could be the only bidder for 318 high street branches being sold by the Royal Bank of Scotland when the auction ends today. The Spanish bank is reported to be have tabled a £2bn offer in April.

Santander has been snapping up UK assets in recent years, having bought Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and the savings arm of Bradford & Bingley. A deal for RBS's old Williams & Glynn businesses would make it a major player in the UK bank market with 14% of the mortgage market and 10% of retail savings.

Across the markets, the Dax in Frankfurt added 77 points to 6,125, while the Cac in Paris gained 71 points to 3,626. The Swiss market closed 45 points higher at 6,472.

british pound coinsThe oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has now cost 
BP £1.1bn ($1.6bn) and the pressure on the oil giant is likely to intensify over the next few days as Barack Obama prepares to address the American people tomorrow.

Over 51,000 claims have been submitted since the MC252 oil well blew up in the Gulf of Mexico in April, and more than 26,500 payments have been made totalling over $62m (£42m).

On the economic front, euro zone industrial production rose by 0.8% month-on-month and a record 9.5% year-on-year in April. 

No comments: