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Benelux Stocks: ArcelorMittal, ASML, KBC Groep, Unilever Move

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Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Netherlands’ AEX-Index rose 4.91, or 1.4 percent, to 361.05 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Amsterdam, limiting the weekly decline to 0.1 percent. Belgium’s Bel20 Index increased 1.1 percent to 2,653.98.

The following were among the most active stocks in Benelux markets today. Symbols are in parentheses.

Dutch stocks:

ArcelorMittal (MT NA) surged 2.9 percent to 27.25 euros, its second day of gains. UniCredit SpA raised its recommendation on the world’s biggest steelmaker to “buy” from “hold.”

ASML Holding NV (ASML NA) gained 3.3 percent to 28.90 euros after Morgan Stanley raised its recommendation for Europe’s biggest semiconductor equipment maker to “overweight” from “underweight.”

Beter Bed Holding NV (BBED NA) added 4.3 percent to 21.10 euros, the biggest increase in almost two months. Europe’s largest mattress retailer said 2010 profit climbed at least 16 percent to 27.7 million euros ($37.6 million euros).

Fornix BioSciences NV (FORBI NA) surged 9.6 percent to 2.74 euros, rising for a fifth day as Value8 NV (VALUE NA) raised its stake in the Dutch maker of medical aids to 26.59 percent. Value8’s shares dropped 1.2 percent to 28.65 euros.

Unilever (UNA NA) advanced 1.7 percent to 22.87 euros, erasing yesterday’s drop. The world’s second-biggest consumer-goods maker was raised to “overweight” from “neutral” at HSBC Holdings Plc.

Belgian stocks:

Delhaize Group SA (DELB BB) climbed 2.6 percent to 57.53 euros, paring yesterday’s decline. The owner of the U.S. Food Lion supermarkets said fourth-quarter sales rose 7.6 percent to 5.24 billion euros as growth in Belgium accelerated.

KBC Groep NV (KBC BB) increased 3.7 percent to 29.77 euros, the highest price in more than a month. Belgium’s biggest bank and insurer by market value said its board nominated Thomas Leysen to succeed Jan Huyghebaert as chairman from Oct. 1.

Omega Pharma NV (OME BB) rose 2.6 percent to 38.37 euros. Belgium’s biggest supplier of pharmacy products said full-year sales rose 5.3 percent to 856.6 million euros, beating the 849.8 million-euro average of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company forecast 2011 revenue of at least 927 million euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Martijn van der Starre in Amsterdam at vanderstarre@bloomberg.net.

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

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