April 3, 2019 / 1:10 PM / 5 months ago

St Gobain shares rise on reports of possible asset sale to Chinese group

PARIS (Reuters) - Shares in French construction materials company St Gobain rose on Wednesday, which traders and fund managers attributed to media reports of a possible sale of an asset to a Chinese company.

St Gobain’s shares were up 2.9 percent by 1238 GMT, following French media reports that St Gobain was considering the sale of a 60 percent stake in its Pont-A-Mousson unit to Chinese company XinXing Ductile Iron Pipes.

“The market would view this sale positively, since Pont-A-Mousson is one of St Gobain’s underperforming units, having been hit by competition from Chinese and Indian rivals,” said Roche Brune Asset Management fund manager Gregoire Laverne.

St Gobain said it was in the early stages of possibly finding a “partner” for the Pont-A-Mousson unit, but did not comment on whether or not the company was in talks with XinXing.

“We are in the very early stages of the process and it is far too early to go into further details at this stage,” said a company spokeswoman.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Michel Rose

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