A rise in Tui Travel shares yesterday renewed City speculation that its German parent is poised to buy the shares it currently does not own in the UK-based tour operating giant.

The First Choice and Thomson owner has seen its shares come under pressure of late amid concern over the effects of political unrest in destinations including Egypt and Tunisia as well as high fuel costs.

Tui Travel has been demoted from the main FTSE 100 and will join the FTSE 250 on Monday. But the speculation over TUI AG helped Tui Travel recover some recent losses, edging up 3.8 to 215.1p, making it the best-performing blue-chip stock yesterday.

It has long been thought that TUIAG is keen on snapping up the remaining 42.5% of the UK company it does not already own. But the German group would first have to divest its 43% stake in container shipping business Hapag-Lloyd.