Novartis Rises on Drug Review

Statoil rises after winning new exploration license; plus more of Monday's European stocks in the news

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

Switzerland Drugmaker Novartis was up 0.65 Swiss francs to 60.55 francs on Monday after the company said that U.S. regulators will make a priority review of Femara in a new use as first therapy for post-surgery, post-menopausal women suffering from early breast cancer.


Energy group Statoil was up 1.00 Norwegian kroner to 153.00 kroner, after securing a new exploration license off Nigeria. According to the agreement, Nigerian group Ask holds 10% in the Nigerian deepwater block 315 and Statoil and Brazilian oil company Petrobras receive 45% in the acreage, with the latter as operator.

Mobile phone maker Nokia was up €0.12 to €12.65 after reaching a settlement deal with Turkey in dispute with the network operator Telsim. Note that the company'sclaims arose from Telsim's default on its repayment obligations under a loan facility related to network equipment delivered in 2000. Separately, Nokia opened its sixth research and development center in Chengdu, the capital city of the Sichuan province in Western China.

Telecom operator Teliasonera up 0.60 Swedish kronor and 37.40 kronor, after the company signed a final share purchase agreement to acquire 91.2% of Vollvik Gruppen in Norway, which owns the service provider Chess/Sense. Teliasonera paid 11.03 Norwegian kroner in cash per Vollvik Gruppen share, totalling 1.9 billion Swedish kronor.


Travel, transport and shipping group Tui was up €0.23 to €19.28 after the newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the company plans to separate its cruise business from its Hapag-Lloyd shipping division and add it to its hotels business, following a successful takeover of container shipping group CP Ships.

Sugar company Suedzucker was down €0.47 to €16.62 after the company said in a statement to the Frankfurt exchange that it plans to raise €203.9 million in a capital increase by selling 14.6 million shares at €14 a piece. The bank Sal. Oppenheim said that the size of the capital increase was expected, and noted that the company is expected to use the cash for growth investments, such as an acquisition in Brazil and further investments in bioethanol, functional food fruit ingredients. Broker reiterated its "buy" rating and recommended that investors take part in the capital increase.

Hypovereinsbank was up €0.23 to €22.93 State bank BayernLB is interested in the bank's unit BPH of Poland as it seeks to expand its business in eastern Europe, the newspaper Die Welt reported.


Mining company Eramet was down €2.45 to €90.00, after the French Industry Minister Jean-Louis Borloo declared the company to be more strategic than food maker Danone, when discussing his government's decision to support the latter against a rumored takeover bid by U.S. food and drinks giant PepsiCo, reported the newspaper Les Echos.

Credit Agricole was up €0.25 to €21.70 after Italian dairy group Parmalat's Enrico Bondi is claiming up to €1.9 billion from Banca Intesa, in which the bank holds an 18% stake, after Parmalat collapsed. This claim follows others filed by the banks UBS, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Citigroup, Unicredito and JP Morgan.


Saipem, oil industry services group, was up €0.22 to €13.17 as crude oil prices hit $70 per barrel as Hurricane Katrina moved into production regions of the Gulf of Mexico, forcing some oil groups to shut operations


Mobile phone services provider Telefonica Moviles was up €0.10 to €8.62 after the newspaper Expansion reported that two young Spanish engineers have patented a solution that will allow a 20% increase in the capacity of 3G mobile networks. The system could help operators increase 3G revenues by 10%. The system is based on improving the technology that estimates the power needed for each transmission. The two engineers have held talks with Telefonica Moviles, among others, regarding the development.

Netherlands Oil services group Fugro was up €0.59 to €23.49 after the company withdrew and said that it will not increase its initial bid of 290 kroner per share for Norwegian Exploration Resources. Earlier Monday, the French group Compagnie Generale de Geophysique said it has bought around a 60% stake in Norwegian group Exploration Resources at 340 kroner per share. CGG added it will now make a mandatory offer for the remaining shares at the same price.


Markets were closed Monday for the Summer Bank Holiday.

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