Friday, November 28, 2008

Banks, Oil Producers Climb in Stronger London; New York & Co. and Majority Holder Each Plan to Buy Shares; Carl Icahn Increases His Stake in Yahoo

Banks, Oil Producers Climb in Stronger London

Banks and insurance firms boosted London's top share index Thursday, with activity subdued due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. The U.K. FTSE 100 index rose 1.8%. Other European shares also gained ground while Asian markets also advanced Thursday, a day after the Chinese central bank slashed interest rates.

Indian markets were closed for the day in the wake of synchronized terrorist attacks overnight in nine or more locations in the financial capital Mumbai.

Oil producers were on the rise, with BP shares up 3.4 and Tullow Oil shares up 10.2%. Miners were also strong, with platinum producer Lomin up 4.7% and copper miner Xstrata jumping 12.2%. In the financial sector, shares of Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered rose 11.6% and insurer Prudential gained 8.8%.

Tui Travel climbed 2.6% after underlying fiscal-year operating profit at the firm jumped 53% to 398.0 million pounds. Winter trading is progressing well with average selling prices up and fewer holidays left to sell in all key markets, the tour operator added.

New York & Co. and Majority Holder Each Plan to Buy Shares

New York & Co., the New York specialty apparel retailer, said late on Wednesday that it would buy back as many as 3.75 million of its shares in the next 12 months. Additionally it said that its majority holder has indicated that it also intends to buy as many as 3.75 million company shares. The holder said it would instruct the broker executing the purchases to fulfill all the company's purchase orders before it fulfills orders on behalf of the holder, New York & Co. said. At Nov. 26, the company had 60 million shares outstanding.

Carl Icahn Increases His Stake in Yahoo

Activist investor and Yahoo Inc. board member Carl Icahn has increased his stake in the Internet company. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Icahn purchased roughly 6.8 million shares in Yahoo between Nov. 24 and Nov. 26, at an average price of $9.88. The acquisition brings Icahn's total stake to 75.6 million shares, according to the filing. Icahn agreed to join Yahoo's board of directors in July, after acquiring over 68 million shares, or a nearly 5% stake in the company and agitating for it to entertain an acquisition offer from Microsoft Corp. Negotiations between Yahoo and Microsoft ultimately petered out, and Microsoft has said it's no longer interested in a merger.

Source: MarketWatch

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