Markets & Finance

On the Move: British Energy, AstraZeneca, EADS


Plus:ABB, ING, Tenaris and other European companies making headlines Wednesday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

UK

BT GROUP (BT) was up £0.11 to £3.16. S&P Ratings Services said today that its ratings and outlook on the company (BBB+/Stable/A-2) were unaffected by the increased deficit of the BT Pension Scheme, as measured in the triennial actuarial funding valuation, and corresponding increase in contributions agreed with plan trustees.

BRITISH ENERGY was down £0.34 to £5.39. The company announced that four reactors at Hunterston B and Hinkley Point P will return to the grid at the end of March vs. earlier plans to return two to operations by end-December and the other two by end-January.

ASTRAZENECA (AZN) was down £0.03 to £27.35. Handelsbanken reportedly maintained its accumulate recommendation after news last night that the European Patent Office has revoked Nexium's patent.

HMV was down £0.07 to £1.47. The company has made significant market share gains in music, DVD and games since the national launch of simplified, lower pricing on Sept. 6.

France

EADS was up €0.99 to €25.24. The company won a US$2.7 billion Singapore Airlines order for A380s. Separately, a consortium of more than ten banks has agreed to buy a 7.5% stake in the company from DaimlerChrysler (DCX), the FT reported.

ARCELOR-MITTAL was up €0.74 to €31.97. Ostrava tax office has imposed a fine of CZK2.4 billion on the company's Czech unit for an abuse of a monopoly position, according to press reports citing independent sources.

Italy

ALITALIA was up €0.04 to €0.97. Il Sole 24 Ore wrote that Emirates has denied that it has made an offer for the company, the Dubai based airline added that it believes the company can be saved from its troubles. The paper also mentioned that a consortium made up by Air One, a foreign partner, Banca Intesa and investment fund Management Capital could bid for the troubled airline.

TENARIS was up €0.11 to €19.45. Shares rallied in the mid-morning as investors continued to speculate on the possible sale of a stake in the company to Gazprom.

BP MILANO was up €0.34 to €13.25. Shares rallied at the market open as the board of directors called for an EGM to increase the par value of shares, indicating a possible increase in dividend.

Netherlands

ING GROEP (ING) was up €0.25 to €33.61. The company has reportedly raised €350 million so that its Asian property arm can invest in Chinese real-estate.

Spain

ENAGAS was down €2.44 to €18.15. The company is set to confront the Industry Ministry over an expected drop in its remuneration, wrote Cinco Dias.

SANTANDER was up €0.10 to €14.08. The company will sell 2% of SanPaolo before the merger with Banca Intesa is complete, wrote BolsaCinco citing La Stampa. However, Italian sources indicated that the sale may already have happened.

Nordics

NORSK HYDRO was up NOK4.50 to NOK191.75. Credit Suisse downgraded the company to neutral from outperform. It said that given the company's 21% re-rating on Monday and with just 4% upside to its target price it downgraded the recommendation to reflect profit taking.

LINDEX was down SEK5.50 to SEK89.50. Cheuvreux cut its target to SEK82 vs. SEK85, and maintained its underperform recommendation.

Switzerland

ABB LTD (ABB) was up CHF0.55 to CHF21.70. Cheuvreux upped its target to CHF24.50 vs. CHF22.00 and kept the company on its selected list.

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