LONDON (TheDeal) -- European markets were mixed Friday as investors waited for the outcome of the German parliamentary vote on the latest Greek bailout. A majority of the Bundestag is expected to vote in favor of the deal, but some of Chancellor Angela Merkel's own party are expected to rebel. There is a strong undercurrent of feeling in the country that Greece should be allowed to crash out of the eurozone without further help from the German taxpayer.
But a vote is only the beginning. International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Friday reiterated her view that the current bailout is unsustainable and will not work unless the creditors take a haircut on Greek debt. Germany says there can be no such debt forgiveness within the rules of the eurozone. There is still momentum, at least in Germany, for Greece to be pushed out of the euro.
In London, the FTSE 100 is down 0.16% at 6,785.54, while in Paris, the CAC 40 is up 0.19% at 5,130.99. In Frankfurt, the DAX is down 0.21% at 11,692.43.
In London, Royal Mail (ROYMF) slumped almost 2.5% in late morning to 514 pence, after the the communications regulator Ofcom published a discussion paper setting out the preliminary terms of a review of the way the former state postal services monopoly operates now that it is a publicly listed company.
Online gambling operator888 Holdings (EIHDF) said it has agreed to buy Bwin.party Digital Entertainment, in a cash-and-shares deal worth about 104.09 pence a Bwin.party share, or £898.3 million ($1.4 billion). 888 Holdings rose 4.53% to 167.25 pence, while Bwin.party sank 0.58% to 102.3 pence.
Bwin.party said last week that it was in talks with a rival consortium of Isle of Man-based GVC Holdings and Canada's Amaya (AYA) about a bid worth £906.5 million. That price was higher, but 888 is offering Bwin.party shareholders 48.9% of the enlarged company.
Irish airline Aer Lingus (AIRXY) was up 0.6% at €2.52 after the Irish government formally accepted its €2.50 a share, or €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion), takeover offer by Britain's International Consolidated Airlines (ICAGY) . IAG said it now has acceptances for 50.03% of Aer Lingus shares. IAG yesterday extended the offer period to the end of July. IAG stock was up 0.09% at 558 pence.
Dragon Oil (DRAGF) fell 0.2% to 724 pence, after activist investor Elliott Associates reportedly said a 750 pence a share, £3.7 billion ($5.78 billion) offer from Emirates National Oil underestimated the value of the company. Elliott has a 3.3% stake in Dragon.
In Stockholm, telecom company Ericsson (ERIC) - Get Report was up 4.37% at Skr94.25 after it said sales grew by 11% to Skr60.7 billion ($7.1 billion) -- faster than expected -- but margins fell due to slower growth in the U.S. and the rollout of 4G networks in China.
Also in Sweden, car- and truck-maker Volvo (VOLVY) said net sales increased by 17% year on year to Skr84.8billion ($9.9billion) in the three months before June 30. But Volvo was down 4.68% at Skr103.90
In Asia, the markets were in more optimistic mood. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.25% at 20,650.92, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng was up 1.00% at 25,415.27. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 3.51% at 3,957.35, while the Shenzhen Composite closed up 4.98% at 2,190.42.