World

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Surge in mergers and acquisitions seems set to continue

Sarah Stack

Published 21/06/2014|02:30

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Stock market graph

EUROPEAN stocks were little changed yesterday, paring gains in the final minutes of trading as the surge in mergers and acquisitions activity continued apace.

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The Stoxx Europe 600 Index of European shares was down by less than 0.1pc, to 348.09, at the close of trading in London.

"I expect that M&A activity in Europe will go on until the end of the year," Herbert Perus, of Raiffeisen Capital Management in Vienna said. "A lot of companies are sitting on a pile of cash.

"Some US companies will get a tax advantage by buying European companies, so I expect cross-border deals to continue."

Dublin-based biopharmaceutical firm Shire surged 17pc, to a record 4,371 pence, after rival AbbVie said the drugmaker rejected an enhanced bid of as much as £27.3bn (€34.2bn).

TSB Banking Group Plc rallied 12pc and Euronext fell 2pc on their trading debuts.

Back home the Irish Stock Exchange closed at 4812.92, down almost 60 points, slipping 1pc.

The main laggers on the day were Kemare Resources, which fell by almost 8pc, Irish Continental Group, down 6.44pc. The movers included Conroy Gold, up over 100pc to a mere 0.035 cents, followed by Fastnet Oil, up 30pc, and Aminex, which rose by 20pc. UTV Media rose by 7pc.

The S&P 500 added 0.1pc in New York. US stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index extending a record, as deal activity spurred a rally in health-care shares and energy producers gained with oil prices. Gold extended a rally and emerging equities sank.

Elsewhere, in the UK, stocks rose for a fourth day. The FTSE 100 increased 17.09 points, or 0.3pc, to 6,825.2 at the close of trading in London, for a weekly advance of 0.7pc.

Irish Independent

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