HBOS quashes Prudential rumours

Halifax and Bank of Scotland group HBOS today moved quickly to quash speculation linking it to an approach for insurance giant Prudential.

Halifax and Bank of Scotland group HBOS today moved quickly to quash speculation linking it to an approach for insurance giant Prudential.

Amid rumours that HBOS was casting an eye over the Pru, the Edinburgh-based group told the London Stock Exchange that it had not considered – and had no intention of considering – a move for the £9bn (€13bn) insurer.

The statement was made a month after HBOS said it was no longer interested in making a rival bid for Abbey National, which is now due to be taken over by Spanish operation Santander Central Hispano in a month’s time.

As with the Abbey statement, HBOS said today it was happy with the value in its existing prospects, which it described as being “very significant”.

Shares in the Pru were up by as much as 2% today amid the speculation, although the company’s recent announcement of a £1bn (€1.44bn) rights issue will also have been a factor in the sharp movements in the stock.

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