R&SA still a buy-out target ROYAL & SunAlliance (R&SA) remained in the spotlight this week as dealers gossiped that private equity groups are running their slide rules over the insurer.

Its share price held up at around 83p, despite Corvus's announcement last Friday that it would not bid for R&SA.

Traders speculated that financier Andrew Regan's investment vehicle had been reluctant to launch a hostile bid and that R&SA was just one of the companies it was looking at.

However, dealers reckon that with R&SA looking undervalued to Corvus, there are likely to be other predators.

Trading in Benfield also remained stable, with shares worth about 265p. Deccan Value Advisors was the latest investor to buy a declarable stake of a further 1.8 million shares. It now holds 7.88 million in total, representing 3.35% of the broker.

But traders do not think the stake-building necessarily means Benfield is about to be taken over. The company has also been buying back shares - meaning it could not have received an approach.

Elsewhere, Jardine Lloyd Thompson made headway. Its price has rallied recently on good volumes and now stands at 385p, up from May's low of 335p.

' Yvette Essen is stock market reporter and insurance correspondent for

The Daily Telegraph