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Market Update

CRH Expands in U.S., Fortum Accelerates Renewable Consolidation in Europe

Author: Sarla Buch
Last Update: 11:43 AM EDT September 21 2017

4:00 PM Frankfurt Capita tumbled after net declined 52%. CRH agreed to buy the U.S.-based Ash Grove Cement for $3.5 billion. Fortum plans to offer 8 billion to acquire stake in Uniper and split the business. Hochtief is in talk with Spain-based toll-road operator Abertis. Kier net swung to profit.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index edged down 2.15 to 7,270.06 and in Frankfurt the DAX index gained 46.72 or 0.4% to 12,615.83.

In Paris, CAC 40 index increased 33.38 or 0.6% to 5,275.04.

Capita Plc tumbled 13.8% to 554.90 pence after the U.K.-based outsourcing and professional services provider said revenues in the first-half ending in June fell 1% from a year ago to 2.1 billion.

Net income in the period plunged 51.9% to 25.1 million from 52.2 million in a year ago six-month period and diluted earnings per share dropped to 3.76 pence from 7.83 pence.

Commerzbank AG advanced 2.9% to 11.14 after Reuters said Italy-based UniCredit SpA is interested in merging with the Germany-based state-owned lender but the German government is seeking a merger with France-based BNP Paribas SA.

CRH Plc jumped 2.2% to 2,714 pence after the Ireland-based building materials provider is exploring to acquire the U.S.-based cement maker Ash Grove Cement Co for $3.5 billion and expand in North America.

Fortum Oyj declined 4.8% to 16.09 after Finland-based energy services provider plans to offer 8.05 billion or $9.7 billion for the remaining stake owned by E.ON in Uniper SE for 22 a in cash, a 4.5% premium to its closing price on September 20.

German utility spun off its traditional coal and fossil fuel business last year and the renewable energy producers are rapidly consolidating in Europe.

Finland government controlled Fortum, since its sale of electric grid network, has been looking to acquire more carbon free generation facility and is likely to split the Uniper business and sell off parts.

Hochtief AG gained 0.8% to 137.70 after Germany-based newspaper Rheinische Post reported construction and engineering services provider is in preliminary talk with Spain-based toll-road operator Abertis Infraestructuras SA on behalf of majority shareholder Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA.

In July, ACS confirmed that the company was considering to acquire Abertis.

Johnson Matthey Plc surged 10.5% to 3,267 pence after the U.K.-based specialty chemicals producer plans to invest 200 million in lithium battery business expansion for electric vehicles from 2018.

The chemicals producer reaffirmed fiscal 2018 sales to grow 6% and operating profit of about 13 million and said Clean Air business and auto catalysts performed ""strong single-digit sales growth"" in the next two to three years.

Kier Group Plc soared 7% to 1,171 pence after the U.K.-based residential construction services provider reported revenues in the year ending in June jumped 3% from a year ago to 4.1 billion.

Net in the year swung to 11.8 million profit from a loss of 16.8 million in a year ago six-month period and diluted earnings per share swung to 11 pence from diluted loss per share of 18.5 pence.

The residential construction services provider said pre-tax profit in the year soared 8% to 126 million and the increase was driven by acquisition of engineering services provider McNicholas in July and boosted the order book to 9.5 billion from 8.9 billion.

Kier reaffirmed fiscal 2018 double-digit profit increase.

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