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Allianz jumps after sale of Dresdner Bank sealed early
Shares in Europe's biggest insurer Allianz jump 6.8 percent to 63.90 euros, as the top gainer on Germany's blue chip DAX index, after its sale of Dresdner Bank to Commerzbank is sealed ahead of time late on Thursday.
'The uncertainty about the transaction will quickly disappear. This is clearly positive,' writes DZ Bank analyst Thorsten Wenzel in a note, confirming his 'buy' rating.
The sale leaves Allianz with a stake of about 18 percent in the combined bank and concludes a costly lesson for the insurer for dabbling in bank ownership.
'The future stake of Allianz in Commerzbank will be just 18 percent instead of the originally planned 29 percent. This is ... also positive because of a lower concentration risk,' says DZ Bank's Wenzel.
Shares in Commerzbank are trading 6.6 percent higher, vying with Allianz for the position of top gainer on the DAX index.
Equinet analyst Christian Muschick says: 'We see the agreement positive as it closes this unfortunate chapter earlier and thus seems to create a win-win situation for Commerzbank and Allianz.'
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JD Wetherspoon down as Altium cuts to 'sell'
Shares in JD Wetherspoon fall 1.1 percent after the group, which owns over 700 pubs in the UK, suffers downgrades at Altium Securities, which cuts its 6-month trading rating to 'sell' from 'hold' and 12-month core rating to 'hold' from 'buy', on valuation grounds.
'The shares have outperformed by just under 55 percent over 3 months and are currently trading on a full year estimated EBITDA of 7.3 times, which we feel is fair value and should now pause for breath,' says Altium, keeping its target price of 300 pence.
The broker adds first quarter 2009 could prove turbulent, posing such challenges as the recent increase in alcohol duty and from a consumer spend point of view.
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