Unnamed company said to be considering buying the company for 175p a share

The revival of speculation that RSA Insurance could be the target of a takeover bid resulted in the group enjoying a late rally on the blue-chip index last night, according to the Independent.

There is market speculation that an unnamed company is considering a bid for the insurer of about 175p a share. Zurich Financial Services and Finnish insurer Sampo are some of the companies previously rumoured to be interested in a take-over.

A spokesman for Zurich refused to comment. Sampo said its company policy is not to comment on speculation.

Traders said they expected corporate activity within the sector soon, and one noted that, after its failed £5bn attempt to buy Aviva last year, RSA had changed from "predator to prey".

However, despite enjoying a rise towards the end of the day, the company only managed a modest gain of 1p to close at 134.9p.

Subscriber exclusive: We ask how plausible is a bid for RSA? To find out, read: RSA: When the hunter becomes the hunted