European shares end higher; Gross departure hits Allianz
(Adds closing levels, details)
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Italy's MIB up 1.9 pct
* Allianz tumbles 6.2 pct as Gross leaves Pimco
* Strong demand seen for bank option calls
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, led by banks on expectations they will be the big winners in the ECB's drive to stave off deflation, while Allianz sank on news fund manager Bill Gross was leaving the group's asset-management unit Pimco.
Gross, one of the bond market's most renowned investors, will be joining Pimco rival Janus Capital Group, Janus said on Friday.
Traders worried that his departure could mean more redemptions from Gross's flagship Pimco Total Return Fund , the world's largest bond fund with more than $220 billion in assets. It has suffered nearly $70 billion of investor withdrawals over the past 16 months.
Allianz shares tumbled 6.2 percent on Friday in their biggest one-day slide in nearly three years, representing a wipeout in the group's market value of about 3.8 billion euros ($4.82 billion). Continuación...