European Stocks to Watch: Barclays

Shares of British bank Barclays rose 1.2% on a report from the Financial Times that the proposed merger between Dutch bank ABN AMRO and Barclays could result in $3.03 billion to $4.04 billion in cost savings.

Merger talks between the two banks began in March and assessment of synergies and cost savings is thought to have been completed, the paper said.

In addition to the cost savings the banks are likely to state that the merger has the potential to boost revenues, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Altadis (up 2.8%) Imperial Tobacco's $24.23 billion bid for Spain’s Altadis could be derailed as CVC Capital Partners forms financial consortium to rival the offer.

Peugeot (up 2.9%) French carmaker Peugeot-Citroen denied market speculation that it planned to sell its 71.33% stake in Faurecia, a French car parts maker.

Sacyr-Vallehermoso (up 3.8%) ING upgraded shares of Sacyr-Vallehermoso to “hold” from “sell” on the Spanish construction company’s strong 2006 results.

AstraZeneca (up 1.5%) AstraZeneca bought back 308,925 of its own shares at 2739 pence per share.