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Shares in Standard Chartered surge after First Abu Dhabi Bank mulls takeover

A takeover offer for global bank Standard Chartered has fallen through, although it briefly sent its shares soaring following speculation of the possible bid.

First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, told investors on Thursday that it had been at the very early stages of mulling over an offer for Standard Chartered.

It said in a statement: “First Abu Dhabi Bank confirms that it had previously been at the very early stages of evaluating a possible offer for Standard Chartered, but as of the date of this announcement, is no longer doing so.”

It did not give a reason why the talks may have collapsed, but that it reserves the right to make an offer in the future.

Shares in Standard Chartered, which is listed on the FTSE 100, surged by more than a fifth during the early afternoon following the speculation.

The price dropped back down again after the initial hike but was still trading about 7% higher.

Asia-focused Standard Chartered has more than 86,000 staff in 59 countries and territories in Europe and the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, although it is head-quartered in London.

It has reportedly been eyed up for a takeover by banks in the past due to its global scope, but a deal has never materialised.

In October, the bank reported pre-tax profits of 1.4 billion US dollars (£1.18 billion) in its third financial quarter, about three-quarters of which was generated in Asia, primarily Singapore and Hong Kong.

Investment experts have suggested that UK-listed companies could be more appealing to investors this year as they are trading at “bargain” prices, thanks to the depreciation of the pound recently.

It could mean high-quality companies are snapped up by international buyers wanting to take advantage of cheaper prices before the pound could rebound.