*TSX down 79.26 points, or 0.6 percent, at 13,101.97
*BMO drops 6.4 pct after acquisition, share offer news
*RIM gains 2.8 pct after results (Adds details, quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index fell on Friday morning as Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) skidded after it said it would buy a U.S. regional bank for $4.1 billion and issue C$800 million in new shares to help pay for it.
BMO was among the most heavily traded stocks and dropped 6.4 percent to C$58.10.
BMO’s parent said on Friday it would buy Wisconsin bank Marshall & Ilsley Corp MI.N in an all-stock deal that would strengthen its position in the U.S. Midwest and more than double its U.S. branch network. [ID:nN1744360]
It said it would raise about C$800 million in additional equity before completion of the acquisition.
“It’s not so much that they (investors) don’t like the BMO announcement. It’s that it’s being funded with a big stock issuance,” said Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy.
“If there’s going to be a whole bunch of new shares out there why would you want to buy BMO shares at the moment.”
The news helped to push down the index’s financial group, which fell 1.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was down 0.7 percent at C$51.51, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) fell 1.1 percent to C$71.50.
At 10:08 a.m. (1508 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 79.26 points, or 0.6 percent, at 13,101.97. Eight of its 10 main sectors were lower.
Also on Friday, France’s Total (TOTF.PA) said it would spend C$1.75 billion to forge a partnership with Suncor Energy (SU.TO) in Canada’s oil sands. [ID:nLDE6BG0EZ]
Suncor shares dropped 0.4 percent to C$36.33.
Research In Motion RIM.TO was the most influential mover on the upside, rising 2.8 percent to C$61.30. The Canadian company said on Thursday that net profit jumped 45 percent and it shipped 14.2 million devices in the three months to Nov. 27. [ID:nN16269441]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)