French Stocks Advance as Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, Dexia Increase

France’s CAC 40 Index climbed 41.33 or 1.1 percent, to 3,767.15 at the close in Paris, extending last week’s 1.5 percent rally. The broader SBF 120 Index increased 1.1 percent.

The following is a list of companies whose stocks either rose or fell in the French capital. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

AXA SA (CS FP) rose 18 cents, or 1.4 percent, to 13.30 euros. National Australia Bank Ltd. will respond within days to the rejection by the country’s regulator of its planned A$13.3 billion ($12.4 billion) takeover of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. Group executive of NAB Wealth, Steve Tucker, said “all the options are being considered at this stage.”

CGGVeritas (GA FP) jumped 1.07 euros, or 6.7 percent, to 16.96 euros after CA Cheuvreux raised its recommendation for the provider of seismic imaging to “outperform” from “underperform.”

Credit Agricole SA (ACA FP), France’s second-largest lender by assets, jumped 63 cents, or 5.8 percent, to 11.59 euros after the French Banking Federation said the nation’s banks were among the “best” able to adapt to new capital rules from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Dexia (DEXB BB) advanced 19.8 cents, or 6.2 percent, to 3.41 euros.

The regulations require lenders to hold common equity equal to at least 7 percent of assets and gave them as long as eight years to comply in full. The U.S., U.K. and Switzerland had sought to give firms a maximum of five years to make the transition to the new rules.

Societe Generale SA (GLE FP) increased 1.89 euros, or 4.3 percent, to 45.80 euros. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea said the bank was in a “good position” to comply with the new requirements and the timeframe allowed the firm to comply with minimum ratios. He was speaking today at a Barclays Capital Conference in New York.

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD FP) gained 21.5 cents, or 1.1 percent, to 19.21 euros. French daily La Tribune reported that Airbus SAS, an EADS subsidiary, has held talks with Chinese authorities and companies planning to buy 150 planes valued at $16 billion at catalog prices. The newspaper cited unidentified people.

Lafarge SA (LG FP) increased 1.36 euros, or 3.4 percent, to 41.20 after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its recommendation for the world’s largest cement market to “outperform” from “neutral.”

Separately, the company today denied a report in La Lettre de L’Expansion that it has increased its French cement market forecast for 2010. The predictions made in July remain unchanged, Christel des Royeries said by telephone.

Meetic SA (MEET FP) surged 2.07 euros, or 9.7 percent, to 23.41 euros. Le Journal du Dimanche reported Chief Executive Officer Marc Simoncini may sell his 23 percent stake in the Internet dating service he founded. The newspaper did not say where it got the information. Meetic has hired Messier Partners to assess the shareholders’ options.

Michelin & Cie. (ML FP) gained 61 cents, or 1 percent, to 64.07 euros after spokeswoman Fabienne de Brebisson said the company has no plans to alter its forecasts for 2010. She confirmed press reports that Michelin is hiring temporary workers at some plants to meet demand.

La Lettre de L’Expansion reported Michelin will revise its sales and earnings forecasts after demand rebounded forcing it to hire temporary workers. The newspaper did not say where it got the information. (SLG FP) surged 7.95 euros, or 27 percent, to 37.95. The shares have increased beyond the 34-euro apiece offer from Axel Springer AG, indicating that some purchasers think a higher bid is possible. Groupe Arnault, which holds 9 percent of, has rejected the offer, saying it undervalues the company.

Scor SE (SCR FP) increased 32 cents, or 1.9 percent, to 17.57 euros after France’s largest reinsurer signed a three-year natural-catastrophe financial coverage facility for 150 million euros with UBS AG. The company said the facility will allow it “to further diversify its means of protection.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Jones in London at

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