UBS Warburg upgrades 3i

The company’s stock price was among the blue chips gaining ground in London trading on Friday.

Shares in venture capital group 3i Plc were buoyed today by an upgrade from UBS Warburg.

The investment bank changed its rating on the FTSE 100 venture capital firm from hold to buy. Sources familiar with 3i said the company's stock was undervalued after recent falls of its share price.

Following UBS Warburg's comment, which the bank declined to comment on, 3i Group shares rose 48 pence to a high of 1,068 in London.

The firm, which is Europe's largest listed venture capital company, has been aggressively expanding its presence in the international market place. In February, 3i and Swedish private equity company Ratos made a £580m takeover offer for Atle AB, the quoted Swedish private equity investor which focuses on small and medium-sized unlisted companies.

The deal was 3i’s fourth acquisitive venture into continental Europe since the beginning of last year.