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BHP, Bank of Ireland, BSkyB, Ryanair: U.K., Irish Equity Preview

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

Futures on the benchmark FTSE 100 Index slid 0.6 percent to 5,857.5 at 7:54 a.m. in London. The FTSE 100 rose 35.13 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,935.02 on July 22. The FTSE All-Share Index gained 0.7 percent to 3,088.36, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index advanced 1.4 percent to 2,927.38.

Anglo American Plc (AAL LN) and Xstrata Plc (XTA LN): Workers of Anglo American, Xstrata and Exxaro Resources Ltd. have started a strike over pay at South African mines producing coal for use in local, European and Indian power plants. Anglo American advanced 1.2 percent to 3,025 pence, while Xstrata’s stock rose 0.6 percent to 1,357.5 pence.

Bank of Ireland Plc (BKIR ID): Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the state agreed to sell a 1.12 billion-euro ($1.6 billion) stake in the Dublin-based bank to a group of unnamed investors. The private sector will hold a minimum of 68 percent in the lender following the share sale this week.

The Sunday Times reported that the Irish government has held talks with a Canadian investment fund about a possible investment in Bank of Ireland, without citing anyone. The shares fell 1 percent to 10.1 euro cents in Dublin.

Barclays Plc (BARC LN): An ex-Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. brokerage executive asked a district judge not to allow Barclays to dismiss his demand for $19.6 million in bonuses, according to a court filing.

Separately, Rory Gilbert, the managing director and head of high net worth business in the U.K. and Ireland at Barclays Wealth, has been appointed as private banking head for the Middle East and north Africa, replacing Soha Nashaat. The shares retreated 0.1 percent to 239.6 pence.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BLT LN): Workers at BHP’s Escondida site voted to prolong a strike at the world’s biggest copper mine that drove up metal prices last week amid concern that other mines in Chile may join the action. The workers, who seek higher production bonuses and better job conditions, agreed to extend a one-day stoppage on July 22 after talks with management broke down, a union leader said. BHP’s shares rose 0.6 percent to 2,373 pence.

British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY LN): Investor Crispin Odey backed James Murdoch as chairman of the U.K. commercial broadcaster amid pressure to review his position at a meeting next week, the Sunday Telegraph reported. The stock was unchanged at 741 pence.

Charter International Plc (CHTR LN): Melrose Plc (MRO LN) said it is willing to consider raising its proposed offer for Charter to reflect any information that shows it has materially undervalued the company. Charter’s shares rose 0.8 percent to 786 pence, while Melrose increased 1.4 percent to 368 pence.

Diageo Plc (DGE LN): The maker of Johnnie Walker scotch and Smirnoff vodka plans to invest 56 billion naira ($368 million) in expansion of its Nigerian unit, Guinness Nigeria Plc, THISDAY reported. The stock advanced 0.8 percent to 1,271 pence.

Invensys Plc (ISYS LN): The U.K. maker of controls that help run Whirlpool Corp. washing machines may pay about 500 million pounds ($816 million) to dispose of a 4.2 billion-pound pension portfolio, the London-based Times reported, without saying where it got the information. The stock gained 1.5 percent to 302.7 pence.

Irish Life & Permanent Plc (IPM ID): Northern Rock Plc may bid for the U.K. buy-to-let unit of Irish Life & Permanent, the Sunday Business Post said, without citing anyone. An Irish Life spokesman told the Dublin-based newspaper it expects significant interest in the unit, which is called Capital Home Loans. Irish Life’s shares plunged 20 percent to 4 euro cents.

Kesa Electrical Plc (KESA LN): Weight Partners Capital LLP has joined the bidding for Kesa’s Comet unit, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. The stock increased 0.3 percent to 133.8 pence.

Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY LN): The lender received “a number of credible bids” for the branches it is selling, said a spokeswoman who declined to be identified because of company policy.

Separately, Lloyds is considering an initial public offering for the 632 bank branches it is trying to sell after receiving only two formal bids, the Sunday Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the information. The shares fell 0.9 percent to 47.1 pence.

London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSE LN): Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. denied a report that Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld is flying to the U.K. this week for takeover talks with LSE. The shares jumped 3.2 percent to 1,057 pence.

National Grid Plc (NG/ LN): The operator of the U.K.’s power and natural gas networks said it started the year with a “solid operational and financial performance” and also reaffirmed its outlook for 2011-12. The shares rallied 1.3 percent to 610 pence.

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc (RB/ LN): A dispute between Reckitt and an Indian manufacturer has disrupted global condom supplies, the Financial Times reported, citing a Citigroup Inc. research report.

The company reported second-quarter adjusted net income of 418 million pounds, a 13 percent gain at constant rates of currency exchange. Analysts had estimated adjusted net income of 412 million pounds, according to the median estimate compiled by Bloomberg. The stock rose 2.1 percent to 3,478 pence.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS LN): Bank of China Ltd. joined the list of possible buyers for the $5 billion plane-leasing business from RBS, the London-based Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information. The shares gained 2.3 percent to 36.9 pence.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA LN): The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has suspended a proposed three-day industrial action that would have begun on July 25 over the sale of oil wells by Shell’s local unit, the Guardian reported.

Separately, Shell and ConocoPhillips won draft air permits for oil drilling in Alaska’s waters, the Environmental Protection Agency said. The stock advanced 0.2 percent to 2,275 pence.

Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA ID): Europe’s biggest discount airline said first-quarter earnings were little changed at 139.3 million euros ($200 million) after higher fuel costs eroded gains from rising passenger numbers. Profit was forecast at 156.8 million euros, according to the average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The shares surged 4.8 percent to 3.46 euros.

Songbird Estates Plc (SBD LN): Songbird’s Canary Wharf and Qatari Diar will develop the area around Shell’s London headquarters, the Sunday Times reported without saying where it obtained the information. The stock dropped 0.3 percent to 148 pence.

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