European Movers: Northern Rock, AXA, Postbank

Plus more European stocks making headlines Monday


NORTHERN ROCK (NRK.L) was down £0.22 to £1.11... UK seeks EU nod / Offers below Friday close - The UK finance ministry says that it may have to get the go-ahead from the EU to rescue the company Any ongoing State Aid measures beyond those currently in the course of notification to the European Commission would represent a potential risk to value and execution, because the European Commission may impose adverse conditions and may take additional time to approve such State Aid, the Treasury says in a statement. the company says current proposals are materially below the market price at the close of business on 16 November. Adds expects to receive further expressions of interest in the next few days. The company says proposals received are of two types: proposals to invest and proposals to acquire parts of the business. The company says the value to shareholders from any of the proposals remains highly uncertain.

STANDARD CHARTERED (STAN.L)was up £0.46 to £17.10... Temasek rejects Chinese approach - China's three leading banks have approached Temasek, the Singapore state investment agency, to discuss the possible acquisition of its 17% in the company , the FT writes. People familiar with the matter said officials of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank had in recent months made "informal and discreet" contact with senior Temasek personnel about a possible deal, the paper adds. Temasek is understood to have rebuffed the advances because it considers its stake in the company to be of financial and strategic importance, it writes.

BARRATT DEVELOPMENT (BDEV.L) was down £0.25 to £4.80... Maintains half yr op margin target - Expects operating margin for the half year to be broadly in line with the guidance given at the preliminary results. The company says continues to maintain a strong forward order book, currently at £1.8 billion. Adds that as anticipated interest rate hikes, the recent liquidity squeeze and the cost of mortgage finance, has led to a tightening of the UK housing market.


FRANCE TELECOM (FTE) was up €0.67 to €26.61... ING lifts target to EUR 29.50 from €25.00, keeps buy. Believes management has reinvigorated growth in all key business areas, culminating in the recent guidance upgrade. In ING's view, the current discount to peers is not justified in light of the stronger earnings momentum and visibility.

AXA (AXA) was down €0.86 to €26.28... Friends Provident rumours - The UK's Friends Provident's days as an independent group are numbered as it is understood that insurance giants Zurich, Old Mutual and the company are all preparing bids for the firm, according to the Sunday Express.

CREDIT AGRICOLE (CAGR.PA) was down €1.05 to €22.22... Buys 14.99% stake in Bankinter - the company buys a 14.99% stake in Spain's Bankinter at €13.60 per share, totalling €809 million. The company says the company now owns 19.53% of Bankinter. Adds it has bought its stake from Ramchand Bhavnani. the company says the purchase is part of its 'strategy aimed at strengthening its position in the Spanish and European markets.' ING thinks the company should make a full bid for Bankinter.


POSTBANK (DPBGn.DE) was up €1.80 to €54.49... Banks eyeing the company - Several banks, including those from abroad, are interested in acquiring the company from Deutsche Post World Net, even though it is not for sale right now, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.


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