March 18 - Shares in British retailer Marks & Spencer only lost 2 percent after Qatari issued a denial it was planning a takeover bid. Shares had soared 9 percent on the initial news. Hayley Platt reports.
Marks & Spencer's share price hasn't been this high in almost two years. The news of a takeover sent it soaring 9 percent. The Sunday Times, reported that state-owned Qatar Investment Authority was plotting a $12.1 billion dollar takeover. Commerzbank's Peter Dixon. SOUNDBITE: Peter Dixon, Global Financial Economist, Commerzbank, saying (English): "M&S is regarded for better or for worse as one of the flagship institutions on the British high street and it's a very attractive target for anybody who wants to buy into it. It's hardly surprising that anybody looking for blue chip investments in the UK will be looking for the likes of M&S." Even a denial by Qatar only led to a 2% drop. And ETX Capital's Ishaq Siddiqi says a takeover would be good for M&S. SOUNDBITE: Ishaq Siddiqi, Sales Trader, ETX Capital, saying (English: "Given the fact that they're going through this transformation period and are looking not only to diversify as a company but also stem the decline in market share its had for its clothing section it could be seen as a positive. It may allow them to start operating outside the UK." Britain's biggest clothing retailer has been hit by tough trading conditions Flagging profits and a faltering turnaround has left it vulnerable. The Qatari speculation also made a lot of sense. It already holds stakes in M & S, as well Sainsbury's, the London Stock Exchange and Barclays.