AIB bond swap lifts ISEQ higher
IRISH shares gained, dragged higher by Icon and Allied Irish Banks after the lender launched a $4bn bond exchange offer.
The ISEQ Benchmark closed up 20.05 points, or 0.7pc, at 3044.97 as national benchmark indexes climbed in 16 of the 18 western European markets on hopes that the worst of Greece's problems are over. The UK's FTSE 100 increased 0.7pc, France's CAC 40 advanced 1.4pc, and Germany's DAX climbed 1.3pc.
Icon was among the biggest gainers in Dublin, advancing 4.7pc to €18 after it was added to conviction buy at Goldman Sachs and the Dublin-based company opened an office in Manila.
AIB rose 3.4pc to €1.45 as banks across Europe gained and analysts said the lender's planned bond swap could contribute up to €400m towards its efforts to find fresh capital. The planned exchange, which covers a range of euro, sterling and dollar subordinated bonds worth about $4bn, is open to investors until Friday. Bank of Ireland rose 2.4pc to €1.24.
Origin advanced 5.9pc to €2.35. The food company's chief executive, Tom O'Mahony, said last week that he remained "confident for the full year" and expected to deliver consensus market expectations.
European stocks climbed to an eight-week high as Standard & Poor's said it was no longer reviewing Greece's credit rating for possible downgrade.
Barclays, Britain's second-largest bank, and BNP Paribas, France's biggest, led lenders higher after Morgan Stanley raised its share-price estimates. Lindt & Sprungli rallied after the chocolate maker said it expected 8pc-10pc growth in earnings before interest and taxes from 2011.
"Regarding Greece, there's a sense of relief," said Yves Maillot of Robeco Asset Management in Paris. "The episode seems well-managed and this is relaxing the atmosphere."
Bulgari sank 9pc after the jeweller reported a €13.6m fourth-quarter loss that trailed analysts' estimates because of restructuring costs and falling demand for watches.
Carmakers climbed 1pc, the most among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, advanced 1.4pc, while Porsche increased 1.5pc.
US stocks rose in early trading in New York on Tuesday after S&P's comments on Greece and a statement by Intel on a new type of semi-conductor.
Intel was the top boost for the Dow index, gaining 3.2pc after the chip maker released its newest server chips, preparing for an expected rise in demand. General Electric gained 2.2pc after the chief financial officer said he expects the company's earnings and dividend to rise in 2011, while Harley-Davidson shares gained 5.9pc amid speculation that the motorcycle maker was the potential target of a leveraged buyout.