Shares in British designer Burberry have risen over 4% after reports that an unknown investor has built up a 5% stake in the company. As David Pollard reports, it's prompted speculation of a potential takeover bid.
Celebrities jumping for joy in its Christmas ad ... Customers splurging on branded trench coats and scarves .... Burberry has its fan base. But perhaps none keener than a secret buyer who's built a nearly five per cent stake in the British fashion retailer. Is he, she - or they - merely following fashion? Or, after recent weakness in its share price, on the hunt for a corporate bargain? (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "There's a speculative opportunity here which plays to the sell-off in Burberry stock which has provided an attractive entry point to an opportunistic investor and I'm sure in the coming days we shall find out who that person or persons are." At least, Burberry may hope so. A source told Reuters there's been no takeover bid - but shares shot up five per cent on the story - to a five-month high. Burberry now seen as perhaps more weatherproof amid the economic squalls of Asia than before. Chinese demand for luxury still strong. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "This sector is performing much, much better in China than the traditional industrial sector, and therefore somewhat insulated from some of the negative headlines regarding Chinese growth." As for the buyer: that's a mystery which for now remains unsolved.