Markets & Finance

On the Move: DaimlerChrysler, Areva, Vodafone


Plus: Ahold, Adecco, Volvo and other European indexes making headlines Thursday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

United Kingdom

VODAFONE (VOD) was down £0.01 to £1.36. The company has admitted that Indian law prevents it from owning all of the 67% shareholding of Hutch Essar that it said in February it was planning to acquire in a controversial US$11.1 billion deal, the Financial Times reported.

OLD MUTUAL was up £0.04 to £1.70. Citigroup upgraded the company to buy from neutral and raised its target to £1.88 from £1.87. The company said that at current levels the market is not paying for any life goodwill despite an annual VNB of £250 million.

France

INFOGRAMES was up €0.05 to €0.26. The company named Patrick Leleu as chairman and CEO.

AREVA was up €28.75 to €765.16. Two Russian-built nuclear power plants in eastern China are delaying commercial operation for about half a year, following months of safety checks and repairs at one faulty unit, Reuters reported.

SAFRAN was up €0.78 to €19.12. The possibility of a merger with Thales has resurfaced, according to Le Figaro. The paper said that the presidents of both companies are not against the idea.

Germany

DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was down €1.04 to €60.06. Magna International and Blackstone-Centerbridge have submitted bids for Chrysler, reported Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

SIEMENS (SI) was up €0.75 to €82.64. The company said Johannes Feldmayer, a board member who was detained last week in one of a series of corruption investigations involving the company, has been released on bail, The Times reported.

Nordics

VOLVO was down SEK20.00 to SEK577.00. WestLB downgraded the company to sell from reduce and lifted its target to SEK460 from SEK390. The broker included Ingersoll Rand (IR) in the valuation and updated Nissan Diesel.

NOKIA (NOK) was up €0.04 to €17.46. The company is paying US$20 million to Qualcomm (QCOM) for a license giving it rights to use UMTS patents after April 9, 2007 covering the second quarter.

Spain

TELEFONICA (TEF) was down €0.07 to €16.82. France Telecom (FTE) and the company are considering individual counteroffers to tentative bids by AT&T (T) and America Movil for a combined 66.6% stake in Olimpia, which owns 18% of Telecom Italia, according to the WSJ.

SACYR-VALLEHERMOSO was down €0.05 to €42.25. The company has increased its stake in French firm Eiffage to over 33% and now holds 29% of the voting rights. The company said it has not passed to the 33.3% limit that would oblige it to launch a full takeover bid.

Switzerland

ZURICH FINANCIAL was down CHF2.50 to CHF350.75. JP Morgan downgraded the company to neutral from overweight as it believes the company has reached the limits of capital efficiency.

ADECCO was up CHF1.00 to CHF78.65. The company said Juergen Dormann was nominated to succeed Klaus J. Jacobs as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Netherlands

AHOLD was down €0.03 to €9.19. The company is interested in Hema, a private equity owned Dutch department store company, according to Dutch FD.

Claudia Perotti, Lydia Carroll, Sara Oscarsson, Isabell Witt, Michael Sanderson, Gaurav Panchal, Julien Manrique, John West, Ben Marino, Emma Stevenson, Pawan Girglani.

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