Friday 20 October 2017

Winning lottery ticket seller Applegreen sees 5pc shares lift

One of the Applegreen service station – on M1 going north
One of the Applegreen service station – on M1 going north

Reuters

European shares held around one-year highs, supported by mergers and acquisitions-related optimism, with Johnson & Johnson's $30bn (€28bn) deal to buy Actelion lifting shares in the Swiss biotech firm.

Actelion surged 19.4pc after the US healthcare giant's move to make an all-cash purchase that includes spinning off Actelion's research and development pipeline. The acquisition gives J&J access to the Swiss group's line-up of high-price, high-margin medicines for rare diseases.

"We are likely to see more of such deals as many companies that want to merge or acquire other firms could use the current low bond yield environment to fund such initiatives," said Christian Stocker, strategist at UniCredit in Munich.

The STOXX 600 added 0.2pc, building on strong gains seen in the previous session when the pan-European index ended at its highest level since end-December 2015.

Germany's DAX rose 0.4pc to its highest since May 2015, while UK'S FTSE ended flat.

In Dublin the Iseq index was up marginally to 6532.52, and remained close to its 12 month high.

Applegreen, up 5.33pc, was among the main movers, coinciding with a flurry of publicity for the brand after its Lusk, Co Dublin outlet sold a winning €88m Euro Millions lottery ticket.

In London, Diageo, the maker of Guinness, Johnnie Walker Scotch and Smirnoff, rose 3.6pc after reporting a better-than-expected rise in sales. Royal Bank of Scotland added 2.4pc as investors cheered a £3.1bn provision taken by the bank to settle claims in the United States that it mis-sold toxic mortgage-backed securities.

Daily Mail and General Trust fell more than 8pc, after the owner of the Daily Mail newspaper cut its revenue outlook for its Information division blaming a property slowdown.

Irish Independent

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