3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 is back above the 6,400-point level, having risen 0.61% to 6,432 by 9:10 a.m. EDT. The rise, along with boosts for other European markets, comes after Cyprus reached a last-minute deal on its 10 billion euro bailout. The controversial plan to tax savings was abandoned, but even the consideration of the measure has surely damaged the island's offshore-banking reputation.

Financials are among those doing well on the FTSE this morning in the wake of the Cyprus outcome. Here are three shares rising today.

Schroders shares are up 1.3% to 2,121 pence by mid-morning after the asset management firm announced the acquisition of Cazenove Capital Holdings. Extending Schroders' interest in private banking, the deal is worth 135 pence in cash per Cazenove share, valuing the firm at 424 million pounds.

Schroders chief executive Michael Dobson told us: "This transaction creates a leading, independent Private Banking and Wealth Management business in the UK. ... I am confident the transaction will create long-term value and benefits for clients, shareholders and employees."

Full-year results sent shares in Afren up 0.14% to 148 pence after the oil firm reported a near-doubling of profits. Chief executive Osman Shahenshah told us, "In 2012 we achieved record financial results driven by strong production growth at our greenfield developments offshore Nigeria."

Normalized profit after tax rose by 95% to $244 million. We had already heard that revenue was up 151%, and that was confirmed today, with the total coming in at $1.5 billion -- made possible by production soaring 123% to 43 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The company's net debt fell by 11% to $488 million.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, saw its shares gain 1.5% to 363 pence after the firm announced a long-term contract with Cheniere Energy Partners for the purchase of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. The deal will see Centrica taking approximately 1.75 million metric tonnes per year for an initial 20-year period with an option for a further 10 years.

Chief executive Sam Laidlaw described the agreement as "a significant step forward in our strategy, enabling Centrica to strengthen its position along the gas value chain and helping to ensure the U.K.'s future energy security."

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