Luxury goods group LVMH says it "welcomes" an investigation by French stock market watchdog Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) into the way the group built up its 17.1% stake in rival Hermes International.

"LVMH is confident that this enquiry will establish, as the group has always affirmed, that these operations were made in full respect of current regulations," it said.

LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton, Céline, Fendi, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs, bought its first 14.2% tranche of Hermes shares on 23 October, followed by another 2.9% three days later. The company used derivatives called equity swaps so that it wouldn't have to make a declaration when it crossed certain thresholds.