European shares end little changed, consolidation hopes boost Iliad

jueves 12 de junio de 2014 12:42 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index closes flat

* Iliad, Bouygues up on sector consolidation hopes

* Miners slip on global growth concerns

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) - European equities closed near recent multi-year highs on Thursday, as merger hopes buoyed some telecom stocks but mining shares fell amid global growth concerns.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares finished flat at 1,392.02 points, just below this week's 6 1/2-year high.

Iliad rose 6.3 percent, the top gainer on the FTSEurofirst index, and Bouygues advanced 5.2 percent on expectations of more consolidation among French telecom companies.

Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Thursday the government still wants to reduce the number of mobile telecom operators in France to three from four, to end the "destructive spiral" of falling prices.

"Consolidation is a good thing for the sector as it improves their market power and pricing, which has been a key issue holding back earnings in the sector," Macquarie strategist Daniel McCormack said.   Continuación...