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Irish Independent: Investor excitement surrounding possibility of ‘mega merger’ between oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell

Headline: WEEKLY ROUND-UP: Strong Europe buoys sentiment in Dublin

EXTRACTS FROM ARTICLE

London

Investor excitement surrounding the possibility of a ‘mega merger’ between oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell helped propel the London market to its highest level for nearly seven years.

Rumour of a tie-up between the oil majors, combined with higher metal prices for miners, sent the FTSE-100 Index soaring through the 6600 barrier to close at 6640.9, up 61.6 points.

Shell shares shot up by 47p to 1906p, while BP was ahead 11.5p at 582p thanks to the rumours, despite the fact brokers remained realistic on the prospect of a tie-up between the two groups, branding such a move “unlikely”. Miners also helped boost London’s leading share index. Vedanta Resources led the way with shares soaring 5pc, or 72p, to 1484p.

Europe

European shares ended yesterday’s session at their highest close in six and a half years, boosted by oil producers and banks as merger and acquisition talk rippled through the market.

PAT BOYLE

Published: May 19, 2007

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