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Market Update

Fairfax to Acquire Brit for 1.2 B, CaixaBank to Buy 56% of Banco BPI

Author: Nigel Thomas
Last Update: 10:12 AM ET February 17 2015

4:00 PM Frankfurt Brit agreed to acquire by Fairfax Financial for 1.2 billion. CaixaBank bid for 55.9% stake of Banco BPI for 1.09 billion. InterContinental Hotels profit jumped 5%. Monitise net loss widened. William Demant in talk to buy 53.9% of French rival Audika.

European markets turned cautious after tensions flared between finance ministers of euro zone and Greece.

Market tone was defensive and German bonds strengthened after the euro zone finance ministers issued an ultimatum to Greece to seek an extension of bailout for new loans with no revisions in debt terms.

Greek market index declined 1% and the euro gained 0.7% to $1.143.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index rose 0.1% or 8.73 to 6,865.78 and in Frankfurt the DAX index fell 0.4% or 43.41 to 10,879.82.

In Paris, CAC 40 index slid 0.1% or 5.81 to 4,746.14.

Home prices in 64 of 70 largest cities in China declined for the ninth month in a row, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Home prices declined 0.4% in January from the previous month and declined at an annual 5.1% from a year ago month, fifth monthly decline. On an annual basis prices declined 4.3% in December.

Brit Plc surged 10.9% to 303.85 pence after the U.K.-based insurer agreed to acquire by Canada-based financial service provider Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd for about 1.22 billion or $1.88 billion, representing a premium of 11.2% to the closing price of Monday.

Under the terms, shareholders of Brit will receive 305 pence in cash per of the company, including any final dividend for the year ended December 2014.

CaixaBank SA dropped 2.5% to 4 after the Spain-based commercial bank announced a takeover bid for 55.9% stake of Portugal-based lender Banco BPI SA for as much as 1.09 billion or $1.24 billion.

InterContinental Hotels Group Plc declined 4.1% to 2,489 pence after the U.K.-based hotels operator reported revenues in the year ending in December fell 2% to $1.86 billion from $1.90 billion a year ago period.

Net profit in the year climbed 4.8% from a year ago to $392 million compared to $374 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 156.4 cents from 139.3 cents.

Monitise Plc soared 12.2% to 24.12 pence after the U.K.-based mobile banking service provider reported group revenues in the first-half ending in December declined 8.8% to 42.4 million from 46.5 million a year ago period.

Net loss in the period widened from a year ago to 56.79 million compared to 21.98 million and diluted loss per share increased to 2.8 pence from 1.4 pence.

The company forecasted revenues for the fiscal 2015 to be between 90 million and 100 million and EBITDA loss in the range of 40 million to 50 million.

Pendragon Plc slipped 1.9% to 37.75 pence after the U.K.-based new car dealer said revenues in the year ending in December slumped 3.9% to 4 billion from 3.85 billion a year ago period.

Profit in the year soared 21.2% from a year ago to 49.8 million compared to 41.1 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to 3.4 pence from 2.7 pence.

William Demant Holding A/S gained 1.6% to 499.20 kronor after the Denmark-based hearing aid maker is in exclusive talk to buy 53.9% stake of the smaller French rival Audika for 17.78 per share or in a transaction value of about 168 million.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc