European shares turn flat as Ahold, Sanofi gain

LONDON Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:09am GMT

LONDON Feb 11 (Reuters) - European shares briefly turned flat on Monday as a rally in Dutch retailer Ahold offset losses for pharma group Novo Nordisk.

Ahold rose 4.2 percent after agreeing to sell its 60 percent stake in Swedish supermarket chain ICA for about $1.3 billion dollars, close to the high end of analysts' expectations.

It was among top risers on the FTSEurofirst 300, which was flat at 1,161.63 points at 1005 GMT, recovering from earlier losses.

Shares in Novo Nordisk curbed gains on the index, falling 12 percent after U.S. regulators requested additional tests on the firm's new drugs, in a move that could delay approval by up to five years, according to analysts at Jefferies.

Rival Sanofi rallied 4.3 percent as its own insulin drugs would not face competition from Novo Nordisk's products.