Nationale Suisse Shares Soar as Takeover Race Seen: Zurich Mover

Nationale Suisse (NATN) climbed the most in more than three years after Mobiliar boosted its stake in the Swiss insurer, increasing the probability of a takeover.

The stock increased as much as 6.5 percent, the biggest intraday gain since April 2010, and was up 6.2 percent at 47.50 francs at 12:48 p.m. in Zurich. About 93,000 shares traded hands, more than seven times the average daily volume of the past three months.

Swiss insurer Mobiliar became Nationale Suisse’s biggest shareholder last week after it bought a 7.8 percent stake in the Basel-based insurer from Germany’s VHV Allgemeine Versicherung AG. It now holds 19.2 percent, Nationale Suisse said on Nov. 1 after markets closed.

“Mobiliar has achieved the pole position in the long-term race for Nationale Suisse,” Stefan Schuermann, an analyst at Vontobel in Zurich, said in a note to investors today. “We do not expect Nationale Suisse to be taken over in the short run, but see an increased probability from a two to three year perspective.”

Baloise Holding AG (BALN) holds 9.9 percent of Nationale Suisse and Helvetia Holding AG (HELN) owns 12.05 percent. Shareholder Nuernberg Versicherung may in the “long run” sell its 6.5 percent stake, Schuermann said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Zurich at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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