Minerva’s strong run continued yesterday as takeover speculation gathered momentum. Financial Times

While rumours that Songbird, which controls Canary Wharf, was interested in bidding were being played down, several US funds are known to have cast an eye over the real estate group, which is developing the St Botolphs and Walbrook sites in the City of London.

The rise came in spite of yesterday’s downgrade from 'buy' to 'hold' from Citigroup, Minerva’s house broker. 'Minerva is one of the riskiest stocks in the UK real estate sector at the moment,' Citigroup wrote.

Sceptics also pointed to a sizeable short position in the stock. Minerva closed up 11.9% at 157.25p.