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European Stocks to Watch: British Energy

Shares in nuclear power group British Energy fell 2.1% despite the overall strength of the FTSE-100, following proposals from the British government to cut its stake in the nuclear power group Wednesday.

Alistair Darling, trade and industry secretary of the U.K. government, said Britain would cut its 64% stake in the company to 39%, but said it didn't plan to cut its holding "below a strategic interest of 29.9%," the Financial Times reported.

The move will raise about $43 billion at the current share price and comes at a time when the British government is re-evaluating the prospects for nuclear fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels.

BHP Billiton (Up 1.6%) The London-listed global miner named Marius Kloppers as its new CEO. Insider Kloppers succeeds the outgoing Chip Goodyear.

Bank of Ireland (Down 2.8%) Shares in the bank fell as it met its full-year earnings expectations with a 22% rise, but predicted a slower rate of profit growth this year.

Biolitec (Down 0.3%) Shares in the German pharmaceutical company rose sharply after the company said earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 321% for the first nine months of the business year 2006/07.

Greencore (Up 2.7%) The convenience food producer pleased investors by beating expectations with its interim results, according to Liam Igoe at Goodbody Stockbrokers, Dow Jones reported.

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