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Categorized | Equities

Spanish banks surge on acquisition talk

Posted on November 30, 2012

Spanish banks surged this week amid optimism about dealmaking in the sector.

Banco de Sabadell
gained on speculation it would buy Banco Mare Nostrum. The shares gained 8.8 per cent to €2.15 over the week.

    “The proposed acquisition . . . highlights opportunities for stronger institutions to acquire assets put up for sale by banks with weaker balance sheets in Spain,” Fitch Ratings wrote in a note about Spanish lenders.

    Caixabank’s agreement with Berkshire Hathaway to shift its life insurance portfolio to Warren Buffett’s investment group sent its shares rallying 6 per cent to €2.94.

    Sanguine investors bought into Banco Popular’s €2.5bn rights issue
    , adding more than a quarter to its market capitalisation. The lender tapped capital markets after an independent audit revealed it needed an extra €3.2bn. Its shares climbed 17 per cent to €0.64.

    Not all analysts were positive. “The shares are pricing a more optimistic outcome,” wrote RBC Capital Markets, which has a €0.35 price target and “underperform” rating on the shares.

    The FTSE Eurofirst 300 gained 0.8 per cent to 1,119.36 over the week.

    lost ground after it said a deal with Sogefi
    , the Italian car parts maker, had fallen through. “Expect a ‘messy’ Q4,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote.

    The German steelmaker’s shares lost 7.3 per cent to €15.57.

    Nokia shares fell 7.4 per cent to €2.55 as it stepped up a patent battle with Research In Motion

    , launching lawsuits in Canada, the US and the UK.