R&SA shares rise on AIG takeover rumour

Shares in Royal & Sun-Alliance (R&SA) rose sharply last week amid rumours that US insurance giant AIG may be set to buy the group.

Speculation that AIG could pounce on the UK’s third biggest general insurer are not new, having circulated last year. R&SA is no stranger to bid rumours, which have gathered in strength since the group sold off its US operation.

Finnish insurer Sampo recently ruled out a bid for R&SA, following speculation that it was interested in making its way into the UK non-life market.

“I can say categorically, no,” Sampo’s chief executive Bjorn Wahlroos was quoted as saying by a Finnish business daily, when asked about Sampo’s interest in making a bid for R&SA.

Although the price of R&SA’s shares climbed 7p over the course of last week they are still trading short of the 172p peak recorded in May. As Insurance Times went to press the shares were valued at around 155p.

Meanwhile, shares in extended warranty specialist Domestic and General (D&G) plummeted over the weekend from a high of 1400p at the end of last month.

The shares hovered around the 1400p mark for most of the second half of May based on pre-tax profits of £36.5m and reports of a potential £500m buy-out offer from plumbing group Homeserve.

But following a speedy dip, D&G shares were trading at 1272p as Insurance Times went to press.

Shares in CBG Group also gained some ground following news of the acquisition of G F Baskeyfield on the back of last week’s £3m placing. At the time of writing CBG shares were trading at just under 145p.