business

On the Move: Luxottica, Siemens, LSE

Plus: Man Group, ABN Amro, Novo Nordisk, and other European stocks making headlines Thursday

UK

BRADFORD & BINGLEY was down £0.02 to £4.19. The company says prospects remain good for second half as demand continues to drive the buy-to-let market. Expects fiscal underlying pretax profit to be towards the upper end of the range of analysts' forecasts (from £358 million to £377 million). Anticipates net residential lending in first half to be almost double year-over-year. The company says there has been a modest dilution in the net interest margin during first half due to funding mix. The company says cost growth remains below the rate of revenue growth and the impairment charge is likely to be in line with first half last year.

MAN GROUP was up £0.04 to £6.29. Announces the indicative IPO price for MF Global has been set between US$36 and US$39 per MF Global share, implying an indicative gross equity value for MF Global Ltd. of between US$4.6 billion and US$5.0 billion.

LSE was down £0.20 to £13.46. In merger talks with Milan bourse - with the discussions understood to be at an advanced stage.

France

EDF was up €4.10 to €78.20. UBS raises target to €100 from €80. The company says the company offers an attractive investment case; the cost impacts of climate change policies are limited while the company benefits from the resulting high electricity prices. Adds that 80% of the company 's generation is CO2-free and its CO2-emissions are c.20% of the sector average. Buy. SocGen lifts target to €88 from €66. In view of the increasingly positive outlook for nuclear, thinks the company , with almost half of EU and one-sixth of global nuclear reactor capacity, deserves to trade at a premium. Keeps buy.

CLARINS was up €2.82 to €67.82. Yesterday, the French magazine "Challenges" cited unidentified the company managers as saying that the company has been attracting the attention of potential acquirers since the death of its founder, Jacques Courtin-Clarins in March 2007. L'Oreal was named among potential suitors along with LVMH and PPR.

Germany

SIEMENS (SI) was down €0.78 to €106.60. The company reportedly sees very good potential to increase its EPS and dividend payment at or above the historical rate. Envisages no share buyback in the short term. Earlier, the company said it is progressing with its IPO plans for VDO, adding that no would-be buyers of the unit are conducting due diligence yet. On the broker front, UBS lifts target to €122 from €107 as it sticks to buy.

E.ON (EON) was down €1.33 to €119.88. Sells 50.1% stake in ONE - the Austrian mobile operator - to a consortium of private equity firm Mid Europa and France Telecom (FTE), pocketing €550 million in cash and a book gain of some € 330 million.

THYSSEN KRUPP was down €0.58 to €44.86. A parliamentary budget committee has approved Germany's purchase of four navy frigates for €2.27 billion to be delivered between 2014 and 2017, built by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Friedrich Luerssen-Werft in Bremen.

Italy

LUXOTTICA LUX was up €1.76 to €28.00. Cheuvreux ups target to €29.5 from €27.00. The company says the €1.6 billion acquisition should be carried out in second half07 adding about 14% to the top line (34% if just considering the manufacturing business) and providing room for huge synergies (€100 million/year on top of € 80 million EBIT of Oakley). the company is to buy Oakley (OO) - the US sunglasses maker - for an all-cash deal worth some US$2.1 billion.

Netherlands

ABN AMRO (ABN) was down €0.19 to €35.18. US-based hedge fund Atticus Capital has repeated its call for Barclays ( 2 Next Page

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