3i Group, Ageas, Barclays, BP, GDF Suez: European Equity Preview

The following companies’ shares may have unusual moves in European trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.1 percent to 223.62. The Stoxx 50 Index sank 1 percent to 2,137.81. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index, a benchmark measure for nations using the euro, lost 1.9 percent to 2,138.24.

3i Group Plc (III LN): The U.K.’s largest publicly traded buyout firm is exploring whether to bid for the private-equity fund unit of insurer Axa SA, four people with knowledge of the talks said. The shares advanced 0.6 percent to 188.9 pence.

Ageas (AGS BB): The insurer formerly known as Fortis said Augur Capital AG agreed to buy its German life-insurance unit for an undisclosed amount. Ageas will record a “limited” loss on the transaction. The shares fell 3.1 percent to 1.27 euros.

Barclays Plc (BARC LN): The U.K.’s second-largest lender by assets and Bank of America Corp. may sell their shares of apartment company Archstone after failing to reach an agreement with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to liquidate the entire business, said two people with knowledge of the banks’ plans. The stock slumped 3.2 percent to 156.25 pence.

BP Plc (BP/ LN): Europe’s second-largest oil company’s 110,000 barrel-a-day Castellon oil refinery in Spain had a “small” fire at a furnace yesterday, a company spokesman said. The stock dropped 0.4 percent to 386.85 pence.

D’Ieteren SA (DIE BB): Belgium’s biggest car dealer’s share of the country’s market widened to 24.3 percent in September as car registrations jumped 12 percent to 41,427, according to figures published by trade group Febiac. D’Ieteren climbed 1.8 percent to 38.20 euros.

Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentacion SA (DIA SM): The discount food retailer known as Dia said in a regulatory filing it bought back 1.47 million shares from Sept. 27 through Oct. 3 at an average price of 2.78 euros to 3.02 euros a share. The stock fell 1.7 percent to 2.92 euros.

GDF Suez (GSZ FP): The utility completed the sale of its G6 Rete Gas unit in Italy to a group including Axa Private Equity, Enel Distribution and F2i infrastructure fund, valued at 772 million euros ($1.02 billion). The shares fell 0.2 percent to 22.40 euros.

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA LN): Goldman Sachs Group, HSBC Holdings, EON AG and SSE Plc agreed to establish a company to help provide cheaper financing for efficiency improvements to British homes and businesses. The stock dropped 1.9 percent to 487.6 pence.

Sanofi (SAN FP): The company’s Genzyme unit is unable to meet patient demand for the Fabrazyme drug for Fabry’s disease, the company said in a statement. Cerezyme supply should begin to improve in February, the company said. Shares fell 0.7 percent to 49.01 euros.

Vinci SA (DG FP): The builder and Hitachi Ltd. won a contract to build the first phase of the Berjaya Central Park residential and office complex in Kuala Lumpur. The first phase of the contract is worth 76 million euros, Vinci said. Shares fell 1.9 percent to 31.80 euros.

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