FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - Two takeover candidates, Morphosys and Vitesco, are likely to swap places in the MDax and SDax at the index review in March. Beyond that, no changes are expected. Only one change is also expected in the TecDax, according to index expert Luca Thorißen from the investment bank Stifel.

Provided that none of the takeover processes take place in the coming month or the proportion of freely tradable shares falls below ten percent, the electric drive specialist Vitesco is likely to be relegated from the index of medium-sized shares to the second-line index SDax in the near future. According to Thorißen, Morphosys, a researcher into active pharmaceutical ingredients, whose shares recently received a huge boost, is a candidate for promotion.

On Tuesday, March 5, Deutsche Borse will conduct a regular review of the indices of the Dax family, consisting of the leading index Dax, the MDax, SDax and TecDax. Any changes will be announced in the evening after the US stock market close and will come into effect on Monday, March 18.

As has been known since February 5, Morphosys is about to be taken over by the Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis. Novartis is particularly interested in Morphosys' cancer drug pelabresib, which could become a blockbuster. Novartis is offering 68 euros per share or a total of 2.7 billion euros. Morphosys estimates up to eight weeks for the review of the offer, for example by the financial supervisory authority Bafin, before the regular acceptance period can begin. In addition, the offer must be reviewed by competition authorities. Morphosys does not anticipate any difficulties under competition law, meaning that the takeover could still be completed in the first half of the year. Should this happen, Morphosys could then quickly drop out of the MDax.

The takeover plans for Vitesco by the major shareholder Schaeffler were announced in October last year. As of January, the automotive and industrial supplier, together with the Schaeffler family holding company, owns just under 89% of the shares.

Should Vitesco's free float fall below 10 percent in the short term, Morphosys would be promoted to the MDax before the expected regular change date. The reason: Vitesco would then have to leave the MDax, which would be implemented two trading days after it becomes known that the threshold has not been reached. The financial services provider MLP would then move up to the SDax.

In the TecDax, radiation specialist Eckert & Ziegler would also be included, while biofuel manufacturer Verbio would have to leave the technology index.

Such changes are particularly important for funds that replicate indices in real terms (physically replicating ETFs). They then have to rebalance accordingly, which can have an impact on share prices./ck/mis/stk