SHARES in BAT rose 6 per cent after it agreed to sell its stake in Rothmans International to meet regulatory concerns. BAT had announced in March it was in discussions with the Canadian Competition Bureau on how to shed the Toronto-based cigarette maker. The competition office said it had filed for a consent order with the Competition Tribunal to ensure BAT was divested of the Rothmans stake within a year of its merger with Rothmans International.

Canadian officials concluded the proposed merger was going to "lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition" in the Canadian manufactured cigarette market. Had it not agreed to the order, BAT would have had a 88 per cent stake in the Canadian market.