PARIS, April 22 European stocks index futures rose early on
Monday, with mergers and acquisitions (M&A) fever set to boost shares in the
Novartis will be in focus after the Swiss drugmaker said it will
buy GlaxoSmithKline's oncology products for a $14.5 billion payment, and
sell its vaccines business, excluding flu, to GSK for $7.1 billion plus
royalties. In a separate transaction, Novartis said it had agreed to divest its
animal health division to Eli Lilly for approximately $5.4 billion.
Shares in AstraZeneca will also be eyed after Britain's Sunday Times
reported that U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has approached its
British rival to propose a 60 billion pound ($101 billion) takeover.
On the earnings front, Philips reported a bigger-than-expected
decline in quarterly operating profit as restructuring costs and unfavourable
currency effects weighed on earnings.
At 0628 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100,
for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.3-0.4 percent.
The market's gains on Monday could be limited, however, by simmering
tensions in Ukraine.
An international agreement to avert wider conflict in Ukraine was faltering
on Monday, with pro-Moscow separatist gunmen showing no sign of surrendering
government buildings they have seized.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pad95v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/rav46v
MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0629 GMT:
> GLOBAL MARKETS-Weak China shares depress Asia, Ukraine eyed
> Wall St advances; S&P, Nasdaq book fifth straight gain
> Nikkei edges up; caution over earnings, Ukraine caps gains
> FOREX-Dollar holds gains in quiet trade, yen limps after export data
> Gold extends losses to 4th day as fund outflows hit sentiment
> METALS-Nickel hits 14-mth peak on tight supply; copper falls
> Brent holds near $110 on Ukraine, forecast US stockpile gain weighs
Britain's Sunday Times reported that U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer
has approached its British rival AstraZeneca to propose a 60 billion
pound ($101 billion) takeover.
The Swiss drugmaker said it will buy Glaxo's oncology products for a $14.5
billion payment, and sell its vaccines business, excluding flu, to GSK for $7.1
billion plus royalties. In a separate transaction, Novartis said it had agreed
to divest its animal health division to Eli Lilly for approximately $5.4
Philips reported a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly operating
profit as restructuring costs and unfavourable currency effects weighed on
UniCredit has received 16 expressions of interest in buying UniCredit Credit
Management Bank (UCCMB), Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday without citing
sources. Blackstone, Fortress-Prelios, Lone Star and Pimco are in the running,
Il Sole said, alongside a joint bid from Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and TPG
Capital, another combined offer from Cerberus, Jupiter Asset Management and CVC
Capital Partners, and individual bids from York Capital and Oaktree.
The lender said on Thursday it had successfully completed its capital
increase for 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion), which was 99.14 percent
The airline is in talks with several "sector heavyweights" about a takeover
of its IT unit, Chief Financial Officer Simone Menne told Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung in an interview published on Tuesday.
BANCA MONTE DEI PASCHI DI SIENA
The bank's board approved on Friday a proposal to boost the size of a
planned share sale to 5 billion euros to help cover any gaps a Europe-wide bank
check might find in its finances.
Italy's Treasury may allow Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena more time to pay
interest on a state bailout, to ensure the sum is paid in cash rather than in
bank shares, Corriere della Sera reported on Saturday.
Fiat Chrysler has reached an agreement to start producing Jeep vehicles in
China with partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, the companies said on
Saturday, as Fiat tries to catch up with competitors in a fast-growing market.
The liquid crystal maker extended the offer period for its planned takeover
of AZ Electronic Materials for a sixth time on Friday as it continues
to seek Chinese antitrust approval.
The head of Vivendi's French telecom unit SFR, won by cable company
Numericable in a fierce bidding war, said in comments published on
Saturday it planned to partner with Britain's Vodafone in a
France's oldest nuclear power plant, Fessenheim, was shut down on Saturday
following an incident at the facility away from the reactor which did not pose
any danger, operator EDF said.
EDF and electricity producer China Datang Corporation have signed a deal
under which EDF takes a 49 percent stake in Datang International Fuzhou Power
Generation Company Ltd. The venture is set to build and operate a coal-fired
power plant with two units with an output of 1,000 MW each on the Fuzhou site in
Jiangxi province in South-Eastern China.
Europe's largest hotel group Accor said on Thursday that difficulties in its
core French market that held back first-quarter revenue growth would remain in
the second quarter.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)