R&SA share sale

There is one rumour that has persisted in the past few months, and that is that Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) could be taken over.

AXA and Fortis have been repeatedly cited as potential bidders for the insurer, causing the shares to trade around a three-year high.

However, one key investor became tired of waiting for a bid to materialise. That shareholder is US fund manager Brandes Investment Partners.

Late last week it was revealed that Brandes had reduced its holding in R&SA from 7.9% to 6.7%. The share sale attracted attention as Brandes has the reputation of being a savvy investor, having seen the value of its holding in Marks & Spencer surge last year. Nevertheless, R&SA shares continued to perform strongly, and was trading at 128p as Insurance Times went to press.

LogicaCMG, the insurance software provider, was one of the main risers this week. It is trading at 191p - its highest level since April 2004.

Deutsche Bank raised its target price on the stock from 185p to 210p, and lifted its earnings per share estimates for 2006 and 2007 by 2% and 3% respectively. Deutsche Bank is particularly upbeat about LogicaCMG's offshore operations.

' Yvette Essen is stock market reporter and insurance correspondent for The Daily Telegraph