STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Prudential seen replacing H&M in STOXX Europe 50

Mon May 27, 2013 9:37am EDT

UK insurer Prudential is seen replacing the world's second largest fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz in the pan-European blue chip index STOXX Europe 50 at the index's next reshuffle.

"It's still a close call when you look at market capitalisations, but chances are Prudential will get in, and H&M will get out," Exane BNP Paribas index analyst Christophe Wakim says.

Societe Generale index analysts also see Prudential replacing H&M, although they warn it could still change depending on this week's price movements.

"Candidates are such similar sizes that every day we have looked over the past week or so, the names have changed," they write in a note.

"Nevertheless, using 23 May prices, Prudential could replace Hennes & Mauritz. Glencore Xstrata is the next closest add, 2 percent away, and using 22 May price, it was an add. Anglo American is the next closest delete, literally 1 basis point behind H&M, and along with E.ON, (which) has been a delete in other recent dates."

Shares in the European blue-chip index attract investment funds, which play index tracking strategies such as exchanged-traded funds (ETFs).

A spokeswoman for STOXX Limited says if there are any changes to the blue-chip index, they will be announced early next week.

Prudential has gained 19 percent over the past three months, while H&M is down 0.8 percent over the same period, and the STOXX Europe 50 - home of bellwethers such as Nestle and Royal Dutch Shell - is up 5.6 percent.

Analysts see no clear changes in the euro zone's Euro STOXX 50 index, although they point out that Deutsche Post is the closest potential add, while Arcelor Mittal is the closest delete.

Reuters Messaging: blaise.robinson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net