London: European stocks rose for a fifth day on speculation that mergers and acquisitions will increase. British Airways Plc., Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana and Nutreco Holding NV climbed as investors bet they will be takeover targets.
“There’s a lot more activity with buyouts which is supportive of equities,” said Daniel Broby, who helps manage $14 billion as chief investment officer at Bankinvest in Copenhagen. “It is okay to resume buying again.”
The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index climbed 0.4% to 368.75 in London. The Stoxx 50 added 0.2% and Euro Stoxx 50, a measure for the 13 nations sharing the euro, was little changed.
So far this year, mergers and acquisitions in Europe have totaled $323 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Deals reached a record $1.4 trillion in 2006.
CNP Assurances SA had the biggest gain since 2000 as the insurer reported an increase in earnings. British building companies Wolseley Plc. and Balfour Beatty Plc. rose after U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown announced record spending on public services.
National benchmarks advanced in 16 of 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.6%. France’s CAC 40 was little changed and Germany’s DAX rose 0.2%.
British Airways, Europe’s third-largest airline, advanced 3.4% to 520 pence on expectations it may receive a bid from Emirates, the largest Arab airline.
Laura Goodes, a spokeswoman at British Airways, said the company never comments on market speculation. Tim Clark, president of Emirates, denied interest in buying British Airways and said the takeover talk was “very surprising.”
Iberia, Spain’s biggest airline, advanced 3.6% to a record 3.71 euros on speculation the so-called open skies agreement may lead to a bid from Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Yesterday the shares soared 8.8%.
Hammerson Plc., the U.K.’s fourth-biggest property company by market value, climbed 5% to 1737 pence as investors bet that it may receive an offer.