Plus more European stocks making headlines in Friday's market
HSBC Up GBP1.24 to GBP9.20... Mulling move on Washington Mutual - Co. is one of five banks that have come forward to evaluate Washington Mutual's financial records as part of an auction process, the FT says. Notes the banks are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Banco Santander and Co. Co. confirms it has terminated its agreement to buy a 51% stake in KEB although remains committed to the Korean market and to growing its business in Korea.
BANK OF IRELAND Up EUR 1.57 to EUR 5.28... Santander interested - press - Spain's Santander may bid for Co., Bloomberg writes quoting Dublin's Newstalk radio.
INFORMA Up GBP0.04 to GBP3.46... Consortium withdraws proposal The private equity consortium led by Providence Equity, Carlyle and Blackstone, has withdrawn its proposal for Co. The FT says the consortium's decision was due to lending banks being unable to finance an increased bid amid the global financial crisis.
ITV Down GBP0.01 to GBP0.45... Strikes football deal with Setanta - Setanta says has reached an agreement with Co. that will allow Co. to show highlights of the away legs of England's remaining World Cup qualifying games.
BNP-PARIBAS Up EUR 10.13 to EUR 68.00... Rumour of potential merger with Fortis - press - Belgian newspaper De Standaard reports that speculation over renewed consolidation in the financial sector sees Co. joining forces with Fortis.
TOTAL Up EUR 4.00 to EUR 45.00... To develop gas fields with Gazprom in Bolivia - Co. agreed to explore for natural gas in Bolivia together with Gazprom, according to Russian state television. Says the two European companies may spend as much as US$4.5bn developing deposits with Bolivia's state energy company YPF Bolivianos.
ARCELOR-MITTAL Up EUR 4.09 to EUR 41.36... May build US$3bn steel mill in India - press - Co. is discussing building a 6m metric tonne capacity steel mill in India's Chhattisgarh with the state government, the Economic Times reported. Said the plant may cost as much as
US$3bn to build. Japanese steelmakers are not considering reducing output for now, despite Co.'s plan to cut production to support prices, as they note that demand for steel is tight, Reuters reports.
BAYER Up EUR 2.85 to EUR 57.53... Declares force majeure in Texas - Bayer MaterialScience has declared force majeure for a large part of its production in Baytown, Texas. This step was taken in the wake of hurricane Ike, which damaged or destroyed vast swathes of the infrastructure in the Houston, Texas, region.
ALITALIA To be grounded in max 10 days - Italy's aviation body will ground Co. in ten days starting from Monday if no proposal is announced in the following days. All members of the CAI consortium have abandoned the offer to buy Co.
MEDIOBANCA Up EUR 0.66 to EUR 9.92... Unveils 7% rise in FY net profit - Co. posted 7% rise in FY net profit to EUR 1.015bn, topping analysts' and its own forecasts. Co. has said it would pay out an unchanged dividend of EUR 0.65/sh.
KAS BANK Down EUR 0.68 to EUR 19.30... Brokers cut target - ING cuts target to EUR 18 from EUR 19. Keeps sell recommendation. Rabobank cuts target to EUR 23 from EUR 27. Keeps hold recommendation. This reflects Co. announcing higher-than-expected Lehman exposure. Co. says the expected net effect on profits from the Lehman collapse will be c. EUR8m - EUR10m.
AEGON Up EUR 1.12 to EUR 7.34... Details AIG exposure - Deutsche cuts - Co. reveals total general account gross exposure of EUR 189m to the AIG holding company and EUR 311m to AIG operating companies, including American General Finance, SunAmerica Life and International Lease Finance Corp. Deutsche Bank cuts target to EUR9.60 from EUR10.20. Keeps hold recommendation. Co. says it has lowered prices for its unit linked insurance products by EUR 380m over the past years and will lower them by another EUR 140m in the coming years.
BOSKALIS Up EUR 2.00 to EUR 38.31... Holds 10.54% stake in Smit - Co. now holds a 10.54% stake in Smit Intl, according to AMF records.
S-E BANKEN Up SEK17.75 to SEK120.00... CEO comments on financial crisis/DB cuts TP - CEO Falkgren tells DI Swedish banks are well prepared for the financial crisis, adding that Co. has a high level of liquidity and can continue lending. Deutsche cuts target to SEK119 from SEK137.
KCI KONECRANES Up EUR 3.41 to EUR 20.26... Goldman adds to conviction buy list from neutral and cuts target price to EUR 28.50 vs EUR 31. Upgrades following recent underperformance relative to the market, the sector and key peers. However reduces 2009 revenue and margin estimates (for Standard & Heavy Lifting) to reflect a more cautious view of the global economy moving into 2009.
TELEFONICA Up EUR 1.00 to EUR 17.95... Deutsche ups target / To cut 700 jobs - Deutsche Bank ups target to EUR 21.80 from EUR 21.50, buy. Thinks Co. is set to defy expectations with a group OIBDA upgrade at its 3Q results. To cut up to 700 jobs in Spain as a result of merging fixed and mobile operations, Expansion reports.
SANTANDER Up EUR 1.29 to EUR 11.24... Mulling acquisitions - press - Co. may bid for Bank of Ireland, Bloomberg reports citing Newstalk radio in Dublin. Five banks have come forward to evaluate Washington Mutual's financial records as part of an auction process run by WaMu's adviser, the FT reports citing people familiar with the matter. Adds the five are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC and Co., but it was unclear whether any of them intended to make an offer for WaMu.
UBS Up CHF5.05 to CHF21.00... Shares jump on hopes of system-wide action - Shares in financials rally across the board on hopes that the creation of a Resolution Trust Corporation style entity will help turn around the turmoil in financial markets. This would be seen as a system-wide solution.