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French Stocks: Axa, Credit Agricole, Hermes, Ingenico, Rhodia

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- France’s benchmark CAC 40 Index rose 17.73, or 0.5 percent, to 3,885.08 at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Paris.

The following shares rose or fell in the French equity market today.

Axa SA (CS FP) climbed 1.1 percent to 12.78 euros, the steepest increase in a week. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research added the insurer to its “Europe 1 List.”

Credit Agricole SA (ACA FP) dropped 2.1 percent to 9.88 euros, a fourth consecutive loss. France’s third-largest bank by market value plans to book a fourth-quarter writedown of about 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion) on its stake in Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and end its representation on the lender’s supervisory board.

Hermes International SCA (RMS FP) ended a two-day gain, falling 1.8 percent to 154.50 euros. Hermes’s family shareholders will not bid to delist the luxury-goods company, Il Sole 24 Ore reported, citing an interview with Guillaume de Seynes, a descendant of the company’s founder Thierry Hermes.

The listing of Hermes was aimed at providing family shareholders with liquid shares and not to get funding they didn’t need, de Seynes told the newspaper. A delisting would be tempting although expensive, he said.

Ingenico SA (ING FP) sank 5.6 percent to 26.05 euros, the biggest loss since May last year. The world’s largest maker of card payment terminals said that a bidder for the company has not been in a position to submit a binding offer that is acceptable to its board.

Rhodia SA (RHA FP) surged 7.2 percent to 24.39 euros, the highest since January 2008. The specialty chemical company is confident it will be able to defend its profit margins in 2011 as raw-material prices, while at a high level, remain stable, Investir reported from an interview with Chief Executive Officer Jean-Pierre Clamadieu.

Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “equal weight.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Francesca Cinelli in Milan at fcinelli@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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