CWC shares rise on Monaco disposal

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The $1bn deal pushed the shares higher in early trading.

Traders pushed shares in Cable & Wireless Communications higher after the group announced it would sell its Monaco and Islands division in a deal worth as much as $1bn.

Bahrain Telecommunications is buying the business from the FTSE 250 (FTSE: ^FTMC - news) -listed company for $680m (£424m), with the option of acquiring a controlling stake in Monaco Telecom for a further $345m. Shares in CWC climbed 5.5pc on the news, the biggest rise on the mid-cap index.

"The announcement should be received well as a deal like this has been perceived as difficult to execute due to the geographic spread of the assets and the requirement to try and align eleven different governments," said broker Espirito Santo. "We are now more confident in management’s ability to execute deals at good multiples, which is pertinent as we believe negotiations to sell Macau are still on-going."

CWC confirmed last month that it was in talks to offload a controlling interest in Macau's biggest telecoms company.

The wider market experienced a less impressive move, with the FTSE 100 (FTSE Index: EO100.FGI - news) up 9 points in early trade and the FTSE 250 14 points better. However, many traders are hoipng the market will continue its strong run of form in December.

"The markets seem to be getting into festive cheer as you would expect now that we are in December," said Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads. "Of the last 28 Decembers the FTSE has risen in 23 of them at an average of over 3pc and only fallen in five at an average of just under 2pc.

"So if you are a believer in history repeating itself it would be reasonable to think that we’ll see the usual rally into the year end this time despite the obvious headwinds."

Among the blue-chips, fund manager Schroders (Berlin: PYX.BE - news) was the best performer, lifted by an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (AMEX: LGL - news) .

"The company is now strongly diversified, with a thriving multi-asset franchise to add to its equity and fixed income businesses," the broker said. "In our view, it has also done a very good job of broadening its distribution profile, with its organic expansion in the US a clear success."

The shares advanced 2.9pc on the new recommendation.