Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Aviva, BP, RBS, Lloyds, Vodafone: U.K., Irish Equity Preview


The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual price changes in U.K. and Irish markets today. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are from the last market close.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index rose 59.95, or 1.2 percent, to 5,104.50. The FTSE All-Share Index gained 1.1 percent and Ireland’s ISEQ Index climbed 0.2 percent.

Associated British Foods (ABF LN): The maker of Silver Spoon sugar reported a 12 percent rise in full-year group revenue. The company also said it’s cautious about the outlook for the U.K. consumer. The shares gained 5.5 pence, or 0.7 percent, to 833.

Aviva Plc (AV/ LN): The U.K. insurer raised 1.02 billion euros ($1.5 billion) selling stock in its Dutch insurance unit Delta Lloyd NV, pricing the shares near the low end of its forecast range after insurance companies slumped.

The U.K.’s biggest insurer by market value sold 63.5 million Delta Lloyd shares at 16 euros each. Aviva had sought 15.50 euros to 19 euros a share. Delta Lloyd will begin trading today in Amsterdam.

The shares rose 5.5 pence, or 1.4 percent, to 389.1.

BP Plc (BP/ LN): Europe’s second-largest oil company sold a cargo of North Sea Forties crude to Total SA and bought a shipment from Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The stock rose 12.4 pence, or 2.2 percent, to 584.7 pence.

British Airways Plc (BAY LN): Europe’s third-biggest carrier may face its first cabin-crew strike since 1997 before the end of the year as the union representing flight attendants at Europe’s third-largest airline prepares to vote on a walkout.

Members of the Unite union will meet on Dec. 14, by which time union leaders aim to have the results of a strike vote. The stock dropped 1.9 pence, or 1 percent to 179.9.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK LN): The U.K.’s largest drugmaker received a letter from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal saying he was investigating allegations of price gouging, according to a faxed statement. The shares fell 3 pence, or 0.2 percent, to 1,247.

Hammerson Plc (HMSO LN): The U.K property company said the vacancy rate for its properties declined to 92.4 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30. The shares declined 14 pence, or 3.5 percent, to 392.2.

Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN LN): The U.K.’s second- largest insurer by assets’ said its worldwide new business fell 7 percent in the first nine months of the year to 1.06 billion pounds. The stock declined 1.4 pence, or 1.8 percent, to 77.1.

Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY LN): Lloyds plans to raise 21 billion pounds in Britain’s biggest rights issue and deny the government majority control of the country’s largest mortgage lender.

The bank will raise 13.5 billion pounds in the share sale, and 7.5 billion pounds in exchange offers. The shares will be sold for 15 pence, 82 percent less than Lloyds’s closing price yesterday. The stock dropped 2.03 pence, or 2.3 percent, to 85.

Rolls Royce Group Plc (RR/ LN): The world’s second-biggest maker of aircraft engines predicted revenue growth for this year and said trading was in line. The stock was little changed at 451.7 pence.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS LN): Britain’s biggest government-controlled bank will sell its insurance division and bank branches after negotiations with the European Commission and the U.K. treasury. The lender also agreed to put 282 billion pounds of assets into the government’s Asset Protection Scheme and take an additional 25.5 billion pounds of investment from the Treasury. As a result the government will increase its stake in RBS to 84.4 percent.

The shares declined 3.27 pence, or 7.8 percent, to 38.65.

Telecity Group Plc (TCY LN): The U.K. data-center operator that hosts Sony Corp.’s European PlayStation servers is looking at significantly raising capacity in its data centers in Europe as it faces the prospect of its existing facilities becoming full in just over a year’s time, the Financial Times reported, citing Mike Tobin, the company’s chief executive officer.

The stock rose 2.5 pence, or 0.8 percent, to 337.5 pence.

Vodafone Group Plc (VOD LN): The world’s biggest mobile- phone company was contacted by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office over its deal to acquire a controlling holding in Ghana’s third- biggest mobile phone operator, Ghana Telecommunications Co., the Financial Times reported, without saying where it got its information. The shares rose 1.65 pence, or 1.2 percent, to 136.2.