M&A helps European shares sail through Russian jitters

lunes 28 de abril de 2014 11:30 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.9 pct

* AstraZeneca rallies 15 pct as Pfizer says to buy firm

* Bayer jumps after posting forecast-beating results

* Western sanctions against Russia keep markets on tenterhooks

By Blaise Robinson and Francesco Canepa

PARIS/LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - European stocks rose in choppy trading on Monday as merger and acquisition moves in the pharmaceuticals sector and strong results from Germany's Bayer outweighed jitters triggered by new western sanctions against Russia.

Shares in AstraZeneca rallied 15 percent after U.S. rival Pfizer said it wanted to buy the British drugmaker in a deal potentially worth more than $100 billion. The sharp jump in the stock increased the group's market capitalisation by roughly 7.7 billion pounds, or $13 billion.

"Thanks to central banks' massive (provision of) liquidity, a lot of companies are now looking for takeover targets across the board, which is very positive for the market," said Lionel Jardin, head of institutional sales at Assya Capital in Paris.

Shares in German conglomerate Siemens dropped 2 percent after the group said it was mulling an asset swap with France's Alstom, which has received an offer for its power arm from U.S. bellwether General Electric.   Continuación...