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ADR Report: Shares Up As Gains Continue Into Holiday Weekend

By Ian Thomson Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- International companies trading in New York closed higher on light volume Friday, in line with the broader markets, as investors cheered the accelerating U.S. economy ahead of the three-day Christmas weekend. The Bank of New York Index of ADRs gained 0.6% to 119.92, aided by the energy sector. Venezuelan state energy giant Petroleos de Venezuela signed a supply contract with Spain's Repsol YPF SA (REPYY, REP.MC) and Italy's Eni SpA (E, ENI.MI) that will allow for development of the South American country's offshore Perla gas fields. Repsol shares rose 0.8% to $30.48 and Eni added 0.8% to $41.30. Shares in other European oil majors climbed as crude futures inched slightly higher ahead of the Christmas holiday. France's Total SA (TOT, FP.FR) increased 1.7% to $50.48, Britain's BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) gained 0.7% to $43.28, and Norway's Statoil ASA (STO, STL.OS) closed 0.7% higher at $25.69. The European index climbed 0.7% to 112.09. Dutch financial services company ING Groep NV (ING, INGA.AE) said it will raise around EUR745 million after tax from a EUR5.8 billion debt exchange aimed at boosting its capital buffers. The proceeds of the deals will be used to strengthen the capital position of ING's banking arm, which will continue on a stand-alone basis following the planned spin-off of its insurance business. Shares advanced 1.8% to $7.44. Vodafone Group PLC (VOD, VOD.LN, VODPF), a provider of mobile telecommunication services, said that it purchased 6.6 million of its ordinary shares on the London Stock Exchange via Deutsche Bank AG London, and that it intends to hold the purchased shares in treasury. Shares rose 1.3% to $27.72. The Asian index closed 0.5% higher at 113.62, and the emerging markets index rose 0.5% to 276.69. Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. (YZC, K3GD.SG, 600188.SH, 1171.HK) shares gained 7.2% to $21.47 after Gloucester Coal Ltd. (GCL.AU) said Friday that its largest shareholder Noble Group Ltd. (N21.SG) will accept a A$2.2 billion reverse takeover by the Chinese-controlled entity, all but sealing a deal that would make Yanzhou the largest stand-alone coal miner on the Australian stock exchange. Japan's Hitachi Ltd. (HIT, 6501.TO) signed a preliminary deal with Lithuania on the building of a new nuclear energy facility to replace a plant closed in 2009 in the Baltic state under an EU agreement. Hitachi's shares rose 1.2% to $52.41. Honda Motor Co. (HMC, 7267.TO) plans to make its vehicles lighter by adopting new design and assembly methods, The Nikkei reported early Saturday. The firm plans to revamp production lines in Japan and overseas and use the new methods on small vehicles initially, then on all models within several years. By making its automobiles lighter and cheaper, the carmaker aims to speed its advance into emerging markets, which is one of its top priorities. Shares increased 1% to $30.26. The Latin American index grew 0.4% to 335.10. The planned $3.51 billion purchase of a 21% stake in EDP-Energias de Portugal (EDPFY, EDP.LB) by China's Three Gorges Corp. is a positive for Brazilian unit EDP-Energias do Brasil (ENBR3.BR), says UBS. "We now see EdB as a consolidator more than a target." It adds the news is also good for Brazilian utilities Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais (CIG, CMIG4.BR, CIGC), or Cemig, and Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras (EBR, ELET6.BR). Cemig climbed 2% to $18.03, and Centrais Electricas closed 0.7% higher at $9.80. Argentina's government passed legislation that caps foreign ownership of farmland at 1,000 hectares. Shares of Cresud SA (CRESY, CRES.BA), one of the country's top agricultural firms, gained 0.4% to $11.53. -By Ian Thomson, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2314; ian.thomson@dowjones.com

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