STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-HeidelbergCement up on newspaper report

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11:57GMT 10Dec2008-HeidelbergCement up on newspaper report


Shares in German cement-maker HeidelbergCement HEIG.DE rise 6.2 percent as the second-biggest gainer in Frankfurt's .MDAXI, after Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports German tycoon Adolf Merckle has made creditor banks a new offer in talks to secure fresh loans his family needs to escape a liquidity crunch.

He was quoted as saying that the Merckle family would provide stakes in companies such as HeidelbergCement, in which it owns about 80 percent, “if we can get the loans that are needed”.

“This could allay concerns about a possible sale and stabilise the share price,” FrankfurtFinanz market analyst Heino Ruland says.

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11:41GMT 10Dec2008-Aryzta falls on Goldman downgrade


Shares in specialist bakery group Aryzta ARYN.S fall 5.3 percent as traders cite a downgrade to "sell" from "neutral" by Goldman Sachs which points to the risks of its overreliance on the U.S. market and on premium goods.

“The group posted a positive start to the year driven by strong growth in North America, however we believe significant risks remain given the group’s exposure to convenience channels and an indulgent product offering - both susceptible to downtrading in a challenging consumer environment,” Goldman says.

Aryzta, one of the world’s biggest baked goods companies, was formed when Irish baker IAWS bought Swiss peer Hiestand in a deal worth around 4 billion Swiss francs ($3.32 billion) in June.

Aryzta shares in Dublin ARYN.I are down 4.4 percent.

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($1=1.206 Swiss Franc)

11:38GMT 10Dec2008-Ackermans & Van Haaren, CFE slide on dredging


Jitters about the global dredging market send shares in both Belgian holding company Ackermans & Van Haaren ACKB.BR and Belgian building company CFE CFEB.BR sliding about 5 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Both companies hold a 50 percent stake in Antwerp-based dredging company DEME. CFE is 46.84 percent owned by French public works and transport concessions group Vinci SGEF.PA.

“There had been huge growth in the past six to seven years in the dredging sector, the market was expecting a flattening out, that it would turn negative maybe by 2011,” says KBC Securities analyst Tom Simonts. “Now, it may be sooner than expected - the market fears that due to the financial crisis, there might be significantly less big contracts for dredging.”

Ackermans & Van Haaren shares trade down as much as 5.25 percent and CFE shares trade down as much as much as 7.96 percent against the Belgian bluechip index which is up 0.12 percent.

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11:28GMT 10Dec2008-Wm Morrison rises; JPMorgan upgrades


Shares in Wm Morrison MRW.L rise 2.7 percent after JPMorgan upgrades its rating to "overweight" from "neutral" with an increased target price of 310 pence, up from 275.

JPMorgan says Wednesday’s TNS sales survey data for Wm Morrison, showing 12.3 percent sales growth in the four weeks to Nov 30, should not be ignored.

The broker says 8-10 percent like-for-like sales growth is now possible from the food retailer over Christmas; before Wednesday’s data JPMorgan had said 3-4 percent growth looked realistic.

JPMorgan says a return to sale densities, relative to Tesco TSCO.L, that Wm Morrison had prior to its takeover of Safeway are perhaps only 12 months away and a return to pre-Safeway acquisition margins may well arrive eventually.

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