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M&S shares climb on back of Qatari bid speculation

Marks & Spencer shares were on the rise this morning, after rumours emerged that it could be the subject of an £8bn takeover bid by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Qatar Investment Authority is understood to be eyeing the British high street legend, although neither QIA nor M&S has commented on the speculation.

The retailer’s share price has risen more than 4% today on the back of the rumours. If it rises more than 5%, the two parties involved will be under pressure to issue a statement under stock market rules.

However according to Reuters a source close to the fund has denied the rumours, saying the Qatari fund is not considering a bid.

QIA already has stakes in a number of British high street names, including J Sainsbury and Harrods.  

M&S has released disappointing financial results recently, with third quarter declines wiping out the minimal gains made in Q2.

Its most recent full year results saw the retailer record its worst trading since 2008.

Reports have also suggested its international strategy is struggling, with the business making a loss at its Paris branch and failing to hit its targets in China.

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