Shire leads FTSE higher on bid hopes and tax refund

Guardian Web |

Shire is back in the spotlight on continuing bid hopes and a cash boost from Canada.As reports suggest potential bidder AbbVie intends pressing its $46bn takeover attempt again this week, the Dublin-based pharmaceutical group announced it had been told it was entitled to a $410m tax credit from the Canadian authorities.It has already received $248m and expects the rest later this year. It said:Shire intends to use the cash receipts to repay debt, providing Shire with increased capacity to invest in focussed business development activities.The news has helped lift its shares 75p higher to £46.45.Overall the FTSE 100 has edged up 3.17 points to 6760.94, following a strong performance overnight from Asian markets. Rebecca O'Keeffe at Interactive Investor said:Equities are on track for their fifth straight month of gains as investors continue to shrug off market concerns and carry on embracing risk. However, the current lofty market levels are creating concerns that global central banks are storing up dangerous risks of excessive leverage as they pursue overly stimulative policy for too long. The key question is whether central bank policy has created an unrealistic environment which is allowing investors in both equities and bonds to ignore risk?As signs emerge of more control being exerted by the army in Iraq, oil prices are starting to fall. The situation is still tense, but with ISIS insurgents having made no significant progress towards the oil fields in the south, markets are reducing the risk premium that had been built into the oil price over the past few weeks.But housebuilders have slipped back on fears of curbs on mortgage lending, with Persimmon 21p lower at £12.57 and Barratt Developments down 6.4p at 368.1p.Sports Direct International, ahead of its latest attempt to win shareholders over to its incentive scheme for employees including Mike Ashley, has slipped 18p to 705.5p. The company has squashed trade talk it was considering an offer for footwear retailer Office. It said:Such speculation is unhelpful to the customers, staff, suppliers and other stakeholders of both companies, particularly as Sports Direct focuses on building brand support for the group's Premium Lifestyle format - USC / Republic. The board believes that maintaining strong brand relationships is a strategic priority for Sports Direct, particularly given the difficulties that the competition authorities appear to have in addressing the supply issues faced by the group.

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