AstraZeneca and Deutsche Bank drag down European shares

lunes 19 de mayo de 2014 12:52 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 closes down 0.2 pct at 1,358.91 points

* AstraZeneca slumps after rejecting "final" Pfizer bid

* Deutsche Bank capital increase hits bank stocks

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - European equities were pulled down on Monday by the pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca, which slumped after rejecting a bid from Pfizer, and by Deutsche Bank's announcement of a capital increase.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which last week hit a 6-year high of 1,372.81 points, closed down 0.2 percent at 1,358.91 points. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also fell 0.1 percent to 3,169.90 points.

AstraZeneca's shares dropped 11.1 percent to take the most points off the FTSEurofirst 300, after the British company rejected a sweetened "final" cash-and-stock offer from Pfizer, casting doubt on the U.S. drugmaker's plan to create the world's biggest pharmaceuticals group.

"Despite Pfizer having spent a large amount of money and time, the signal seems clear from AstraZeneca's board of directors, UK politicians and mainstream media that this is a bad deal, and we see limited efforts from Pfizer going forward," said Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.

"Its shareholders will not appreciate a fourth attempt as it will inflate the valuation too much, relative to deal risk," he added.   Continuación...