Shell shares rise on merger hopes

SHARES IN SHELL Transport & Trading rose strongly yesterday amid persistent speculation that it may merge with Texaco. A Netherlands spokesman for the Anglo-Dutch Shell group insisted that a full corporate merger was not on the cards, but he admitted talks on combining various aspects of its business were possible.

Shares in Shell rose from 316.5p to 327p in London with analysts saying investors were buying the stock in anticipation of a merger - which could bring costs-savings, restructuring and better critical mass, they believed.