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European Stocks to Watch: Debenhams

Shares in Debenhams closed down 0.8% as a spokesperson for KarstadtQuelle confirmed the German conglomerate held talks with the U.K. chain store Sunday, but declined comment on merger speculation.

A report in London's Sunday Times also linked Debenhams to French retailer Galeries Lafayette, Italian chain Rinascente and German retailer Galeria Kaufhof.

Since its initial pubic offering a year ago, shares of the U.K. retailer are down about 50%.

Mitchells and Butler (Down 1.9%) Shares in the U.K. pub and restaurant owner declined following the introduction of a ban on smoking in public places throughout Britain.

Soitec (Down 13.9%) The French supplier of specialist silicon to the semiconductor industry warned investors its first-half sales could fall about 15%from the same half last year.

QSC (Up 5.2%) The German telecomprovider gained a new wholesale customer for its high-speed broadband network in the form of 1&1 Internet, a subsidiary of United Internet.

Vodafone (Down 1.7%) The cell-phone maker gave away free handsets and SIM cards to artificially inflate the subscriber figures for its first-quarter, according to reports.

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