The week

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The London stock market was galvanised by Thursday's announcement that Germany's Dresdner Bank was in talks to take over Kleinwort Benson, the UK merchant bank. That focused attention on Legal & General, where there were strong rumours that it might receive a bid from Allianz, the German insurance giant.

The Church Commissioners sold a 90 per cent stake in the Gateshead Metrocentre, Europe's largest covered shopping centre, to Capital Shopping Centres, a UK property company. The price is thought to be pounds 340m.

ITT, the US conglomerate that owns Sheraton hotels, said it was splitting itself in three.

Shares in Shell Transport and Trading, the oil group, were hit by protests at its plan to dump a North Sea oil rig in the Atlantic.