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Axa to launch 2bn cash call

Insurance giant AXA is plotting a €2bn (£1.8bn) rights issue to fund potential acquisitions. It is believed that bankers BNP Paribas and HSBC have been hired to work on the capital raising. Earlier this year Axa’s senior management said that the company did not need to tap shareholders for money – but the fresh equity is likely to be passed off as funding a war-chest for depressed assets.