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ABInBev ups offer; govt to sell rest of Royal Mail

BudweiserMon close:  SABMiller was on the rise as Anheuser-Busch InBev sweetened its proposal to £43.50 after its London-listed rival rebuffed a third approach at £42.15 last week.

AB InBev said the improved proposal comprises a cash offer of £43.50 per share, with a partial share alternative available for around 41% of SABMiller shares.

After trading closed the Treasury said it would sell its remaining stake in Royal Mail through a sale to professional investors.

At tonight’s closing price of 470.3p its 14% slice of the 500-year old postal operator is valued at £660 million.

Glencore was the biggest faller on the FTSE as the troubled miner began the process of selling two of its copper mines in Australia and Chile. Fellow miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Rio Tinto also slumped.

Rolls-Royce fell sharply as investors got their first chance to react to a press report that European regulators are being forced to enter anti-competitive contracts to keep their 24,000 aircraft flying.

Standard Chartered was also under the cosh after a broker downgraded the stock to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ with an unchanged target price of 820p. It said the latest leg of Standard Chartered’s 26% eight-session surge appears to have been driven by market enthusiasm around media reports of plans to cut about 1,000 top staff.

Banking analysts were also keeping watch on continued speculation that Standard Life chairman Sir Gerry Grimstone will be appointed deputy chairman of Barclays.

Sir Gerry, a long-serving chairman of the insurer, recently committed himself to remaining with the Edinburgh company.

Brent crude fell 1.7% to $51.77 per barrel while West Texas decreased 2.2% to $48.56 per barrel. WTI was above $50 in morning trade on data showing falling US oil rig count and suggestions that major oil producers will work together to address low prices.

The FTSE 100 fell 45 points to 6,371.

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