AstraZeneca and TSB help London reverse declines - London Report

UK SHARES rose yesterday, led by challenger bank TSB after it received a takeover offer, and by drugs group AstraZeneca on optimism about key trial results.

Shares in TSB, which was spun off from Lloyds and listed at 280p per share last year, rose 23 per cent to 326p after it received a takeover bid from Spain’s Sabadell for 340p.

The stock was the top riser on the FTSE 350 index of UK shares, which closed 0.6 per cent higher at 3,719.75 points.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index also ended up 0.6 per cent, at 6,761.07 points. The index is up about three per cent so far this year.

AstraZeneca topped FTSE 100 risers as it surged four per cent on the back of hopes for positive news on its key heart drug Brilinta when full clinical trial results are presented at the weekend.

Among mid-cap firms, oil producer Soco International slumped 34 per cent after reporting a 54 per cent fall in profits last year on the back of weak oil prices.

Another mid-cap firm Serco dropped 11 per cent after kicking off a £555m rights issue and saying it was unlikely to return to growth for another three years, as it reported a collapse in profits.

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