Shares in Saipem jump on asset sale speculation

MILAN Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:21am EST

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MILAN (Reuters) - Shares in Italy's Saipem (SPMI.MI) jumped nearly 4 percent in early trading after an Italian newspaper said Norway's Seadrill (SDRL.OL) could be interested in buying the offshore drilling business of the Italian group.

"The disposal could help Saipem strengthen its financial structure," said a Milan trader about the possibility of a sale of Saipem's drilling division.

Contacted by Reuters, Saipem had no comment on Saturday. It was not immediately possible to contact Seadrill.

At 0812 GMT shares in Saipem were up 3.79 percent at 18.34 euros per share, outperforming Italian blue chip index .FTMIB that was down 0.44 percent.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Lisa Jucca)

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