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Alliance & Leicester shares jump on bid talk

Shares in UK bank Alliance & Leicester jumped over 10% after French bank Credit Agricole said that it is considering a possible takeover offer for the lender.

Credit Agricole said that it is assessing Alliance & Leicester, amongst others, but added that its evaluation is at a preliminary stage. The bank has not made any proposal yet, but rumors of a takeover offer have been circulating around Alliance & Leicester for a while.

Banco Santander, the Spanish owners of rival UK bank Abbey, was also tipped as a possible buyer in a recent press report. Earlier in the month A&L was thought to have rejected a GBP5.8 billion informal bid from Credit Agricole although neither company has made any comment on the speculation.