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Swedish Match Advances as Snus War Seen Ending: Stockholm Mover

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May 13 (Bloomberg) -- Swedish Match AB rose to its highest level in more than six months in Stockholm trading after Nordea Bank AB said the Swedish price war on snus will probably end and advised clients to buy the shares.

The stock advanced as much as 5.7 kronor, or 2.3 percent, to 249.7 kronor, its highest intraday level since Oct. 29 last year. It traded 0.6 percent higher at 245.5 kronor as of 12:01 p.m. local time, with trading volume at about 58 percent of the daily average in the past three months.

Stellan Hellstroem, an analyst at Nordea, raised his recommendation on Swedish Match to buy from hold and lifted his price estimate to 280 kronor from 225 kronor. Imperial Tobacco Group Plc and British American Tobacco Plc have planned list price increases for low-price snus brands by between 1 krona and 1.4 kronor per can and Japan Tobacco Inc. will probably do the same, Hellstroem wrote in a note to clients today.

“After the recently announced list-price increases by two of Swedish Match’s three key competitors in the Swedish snus market, we foresee a dramatic increase in the likelihood of the price war ending within the next few quarters,” Hellstroem said. “Given a probable return of pricing in the Swedish snus market, we believe the share is set for a further rerating.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Niklas Magnusson in Stockholm at nmagnusson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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