BHP Billiton, BP, Afren, Chloride, Prudential: U.K., Irish Equity Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual price changes in U.K. and Irish markets today. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are from the last market close.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index fell 85.18, or 1.6 percent, to 5,126. The FTSE All-Share Index declined 1.7 percent and Ireland’s ISEQ Index fell 1.7 percent.

Afren Plc (AFR LN): The U.K. oil and gas explorer focused on West Africa is due to hold its annual general meeting. The shares fell 1.1 percent to 89.55 pence.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BLT LN): Australia’s Queensland government started preliminary talks with a group of 11 coal companies that have made a A$4.85 billion ($3.95 billion) bid for some Queensland Rail network assets, the Australian Financial Review said. The state government has been in contact with the Queensland Coal Industry Rail Group, which includes BHP, Rio Tinto Group and Xstrata Plc, the report said.

BHP fell 3.7 percent to 1,771 pence.

BP Plc (BP/ LN): The U.K.-based oil company said it is capturing more of the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from its damaged well as U.S. officials said they expect the battle against pollution from the disaster to continue for months. The stock rose 0.3 percent to 433.35 pence.

Chloride Group Plc (CHLD LN): Emerson Electric Co., the U.S. electrical products maker seeking to acquire Chloride Group, plans to raise its 275 pence a share offer after Emerson Chairman David Farr met with the U.K. company’s shareholders, the Sunday Times reported. The shares advanced 1.4 percent to 286 pence.

Prudential Plc (PRU LN): Prudential Plc, the U.K. insurer that abandoned a $35.5 billion bid for American International Group Inc.’s main Asian unit last week, said sales in the first five months of the year rose 27 percent to 1.36 billion pounds ($1.96 billion) on higher demand in Asia.

Chief Executive Officer, Tidjane Thiam, will face pressure at the insurer’s annual general meeting today to step down after a series of disagreements with shareholders, AIG and the U.K. regulator forced him to abandon the bid. The shares declined 1.7 percent to 556 pence.

Xstrata Plc (XTA LN): The company which has shelved spending on A$6.6 billion of Australian projects because of a planned mining tax said it’s “optimistic” the levy will be changed after future talks with the government. The shares declined 3.5 percent to 951.2 pence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Martin in London bmartin38@bloomberg.net. Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net.

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