Markets & Finance

On the Move: Suez, Nokia, ABN Amro


Plus: Vodafone, Continental, Zurich Financial and other European companies making headlines Friday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

France:

SUEZ (SZE) was up €0.98 to €39.23. Francois Pinault, the French financier and reference shareholder of Suez, plans to launch a &euro70 billion takeover bid for the company, having received the nod of approval from President Jacques Chirac to proceed with the offer, according to French monthly magazine Capital.

United Kingdom

GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) was up £0.02 to £13.42. Scientists said that the company's experimental drug Tykerb to treat late-stage breast cancer has also shown promise in treating the early stages of the disease.

VODAFONE (VOD) was unchanged at £1.42. The FT reported that Anil Ambani, the Indian telco tycoon, has entered the race for control of Hutchison Essar, saying it makes more sense for a domestic company to take over the country's fourth-largest mobile phone operator than a foreign suitor such as Vodafone.

BRITISH LAND was up £0.03 to £17.25. Shares outperformed the market Thursday ahead of the company's conversation to REIT status on Jan. 1. The company 's shareholders approved the move earlier this month.

Germany

DEUTSCHE BOERSE was up €0.34 to €139.42. Trading on German stock markets rose a preliminary 32% this year, according to the company, driven by an increase in turnover for stocks, warrants and exchange-traded funds. The company predicted volume of about €5 trillion.

CONTINENTAL was up €0.10 to €88.10. The CEO ruled out a share buyback according to Die Welt.

Spain

FERROVIAL was up €0.75 to €73.95. The company sold its property unit for €1.6 billion to Habitat. It said the capital gain was €770 million and €160 million will be distributed to shareholders as a dividend.

Italy

SAN PAOLO-IMI was up €0.27 to €17.60. Shares edged higher as news emerged that Buzzi Unichem will replace the company in the S&P/MIB index from Jan. 2, following the company's merger with Banca Intesa, reported Reuters.

Netherlands

ABN AMRO (ABN) was down €0.27 to €24.40. The company is to cut 900 jobs in North America by mid 2007 to reduce costs amid growing competition.

Nordics

NOKIA (NOK) was up €0.01 to €15.55. The Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) is close to choosing the company as its third primary network-equipment supplier for its new US wireless network.

Switzerland

ACTELION was up CHF0.50 to CHF268.00. US regulators reportedly said it will take longer than expected to review Encysive Pharmaceuticals' (ENCY) experimental drug Thelin for an often fatal lung condition, likely giving a competitive advantage to the company's Tracleer.

ZURICH FINANCIAL was down CHF1.00 to CHF328.00. A US federal judge has reportedly dismissed securities fraud claims against the company and the underwriters of Converium, while allowing the case to proceed against some of Converium's former officers.

Alexander Wisch, Rocio Opazo-Aniotz, Claudia Perotti, Michael Sanderson, Emma Stevenson, Mariella Mongio, Pawan Girglani, Guarav Panchal, Julien Manrique, Isabell Witt, Sara Oscarsson, Ben Marino, John West

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