European Factors to Watch- Shares seen edging higher on Chinese boost

lunes 20 de abril de 2015 02:28 GYT

(Adds futures, further company news)
    LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - European shares were seen edging higher on
Monday, recouping some of the previous week's sharp losses on the back of a new
attempt by China's central bank to shore up the world's second-largest economy. 
    At 0625 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Germany's DAX,
France's CAC and Britain's FTSE indexes were up between 0.1
percent and 0.3 percent.
    China's central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold
as reserves to help spur bank lending and combat slowing growth. 
    Shares in basic resources and oil & gas companies were in
focus as copper and crude prices rallied on expectation of stronger demand from
China, the world's top consumer of metals and second-largest consumer of oil.
Oil prices were also lifted by a drop in the number of U.S. rigs drilling for
    Relief on the Chinese stock market proved short-lived, however, with the
country's main indexes trading lower after an early rally .
    Merger & acquisition activity remained centre stage. Belgium's Telenet
, a subsidiary of cable company Liberty Global, said on
Monday it had agreed to acquire KPN's BASE Company for 1.325 billion
euros ($1.43 billion). 
    Belgium's Telenet, a subsidiary of cable company Liberty Global,
said on Monday it had agreed to acquire KPN's BASE Company for 1.325 billion
euros ($1.43 billion). 
    British finance minister George Osborne said on Sunday that he intends to
sell billions of pounds of government shares in Lloyds Banking Group to small
investors if his Conservative Party wins the May 7 election. 
    The UK-listed banks are looking at the viability of quitting London for a
new home in Asia because a big jump in a tax on UK banks makes staying in
Britain increasingly painful. 
    Indian tax authorities have issued a fresh notice to Vodafone Group Plc
seeking re-assessment of tax returns for assessment year 2009-2010, news channel
ET Now reported on Saturday citing sources familiar with the development.
    Miner BHP Billiton has shut an oven at its Cerro Matoso ferronickel plant in
Colombia after equipment damage, cutting output by as much as three quarters,
the president of the union representing the plant's workers told Reuters on
    Chairman Ferdinand Piech's iron grip on the German carmaker has been
severely weakened following a dramatic confrontation with senior board members
last week that nearly resulted in a push to oust him, sources told
    Separately, supervisory board leaders plan to meet ahead of VW's May 5
shareholder meeting to try to iron out an effective working relationship between
Piech and VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Monday,
citing sources close to the supervisory board.
    Also, the carmaker is exploring the possibility of developing budget sports
utility vehicles (SUVs) and multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) in China in a bid to
keep up with shifts in the market, its China chief executive, Jochem Heizmann,
said on Sunday. 
    BMW is recalling 91,800 Mini Coopers in the United States to replace a
defective sensor that may prevent the front passenger seat air bag from
deploying in a crash, the German automaker said on Saturday. 
    Italy's biggest bank by assets, UniCredit, is close to signing a deal with
Spain's Santander to combine their asset management businesses, UniCredit CEO
Federico Ghizzoni said on Saturday. 
    Separately, the Bank of Portugal has picked five out of seven financial
institutions, including Santander, according to sources, that had made
non-binding bids for Novo Banco and will accept binding offers until the end of
    Britain's financial regulator has harshly criticized Deutsche Bank's top
management for failing to cooperate in its probe of the rigging of benchmark
interest rate Libor, German magazine Der Spiegel said on
    Deutsche Bank will sell Postbank but keep a pared back own-brand
retail business in the overhaul plan currently favoured by management, sources
familiar with the internal discussions at Germany's biggest lender
    A preliminary price range of 17.7-23.6 euros  ($19-25) per share has been
set in the initial public offering of the Slovak state's 49 percent stake in
Slovak Telekom, a source close to the deal said on Friday. Deutsche Telekom, the
majority owner, is not selling any of its 51 percent stake.  
    The world's third biggest retailer said big businesses could be driven from
Britain by the uncertainty surrounding a referendum on European Union
membership, which the governing Conservatives have promised to hold if
    The German kidney dialysis specialist is in talks to buy Israel's Nephromor
for a high double-digit million euro amount, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
reported on Saturday, citing sources. Nephromor is partly owned by Teva
    Families of the victims of the Germanwings crash are considering filing a
claim for damages in the United States if they cannot reach agreement with
parent airline Lufthansa in Germany, a lawyer representing the families said on
    The French car maker said it and China's Dongfeng Motor Group (DFG) will
spend 200 million euros ($216 million) on a joint project to develop a platform
to manufacture small cars. 
    The French power utility said construction work at its Flamanville nuclear
plant in the country's western Normandy region can go ahead despite recently
disclosed anomalies.  
    The French hotel group announced the acquisition of digital services
provider Fastbooking 
   Building and services company ACS said on Sunday it had won several contracts
in the United States worth a total of 382 million euros.
    Sika's board of directors wants to buy out the company's major shareholder
to try to stop a takeover of the Swiss chemicals business by France's
Saint-Gobain, SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported, citing two unnamed sources.
    For more, click on 
    Nestle Chief Financial Officer Wan Ling Martello is giving up her current
position to succeed Nandu Nandkishore as the firm's executive vice-president in
charge of Asia, Oceania and Africa, the Swiss company said on Friday.
    For more, click on 
    Germany's Merck aims to quickly repay the up to $5 billion in bank loans it
needed to fund the $17 billion acquisition of U.S. lab supplies company
Sigma-Aldrich, its finance chief told daily Boersen-Zeitung.
    The industrial group might cut more than 1,000 jobs in its Muehlheim plant
in North Rhine-Westphalia, weekly Wirtschaftswoche said, citing workers
council's sources. Siemens declined to comment.
    Banca Popolare dell'Emilia Romagna (BPER) is looking at merging with an
equal or smaller rival, its CEO said on Saturday, ruling out a tie-up with a
larger cooperative bank such as UBI Banca or Banco Popolare. 
    Standard & Poor's has affirmed the group's long term rating at 'BBB+' and
cut the outlook to 'negative' from 'stable'. Rating decision follows Exor's
announcement of the $6.4 billion all-cash proposal to acquire PartnerRe.
    The oil and gas major is interested in returning in Iran should western
sanctions be lifted and Tehran offer production-sharing contracts, its CEO
Claudio Descalzi told Financial Times on Sunday. Descalzi also said, he was
concerned about Lybia but added he did not see the security situation
deteriorate to the point the group had to shut down production.
    Banca Finnat and Banco Popolare are left in the race to buy the private
banking unit of the Genoa-based bank after two bidders dropped out, daily Il
Sole 24 Ore reported on Sunday.
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  > China, Japan stocks up as Beijing steps up stimulus            
  > Wall St falls steeply with China, Greece fears paramount       
  > Nikkei steady as China's stimulus underpins; focus on earnings 
  > TREASURIES-Yield curve flattens as inflation picks up          
  > Dollar off to sluggish start, Aussie hails China stimulus      
  > Gold holds above $1,200 on softer dollar; Asian demand eyed    
  > London copper jumps after China cuts banks' reserve ratio      
  > Oil extends gains on lower US rig count, China stimulus        

 (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Alistair Smout)