Company news in brief

09 January 2018 | Business

Novo Nordisk offers billions for Ablynx

Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk has made a 2.6 billion euros (US$3.12 billion) bid for Belgian biotech group Ablynx, the latest offer by a big pharmaceutical company for a Belgian biotech firm.

Ablynx already rejected an offer by the Danish group on Dec. 14 and Novo Nordisk said the new bid, made on Dec. 22, was some 14% higher.

Ablynx specialises in researching novel drugs based on nano-bodies found in the immune systems of llamas and alpacas, for which it partners with several of the world's largest pharmaceutical firms.

Novo Nordisk, the world's biggest diabetes company, has sat out a rash of deal-making that has gripped the rest of the drugs industry in recent years. – Nampa/Reuters

LG Electronics' profit estimate misses expectations

South Korea's LG Electronics Inc estimated a fourth-quarter operating profit that fell short of market expectations, which analysts attributed to increased spending to expand market share in the home appliances business.

LG, in a regulatory filing, said its October-December profit could be 367 billion won (US$343.60 million) versus a Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimate of 485 billion won from a poll of 14 analysts, and compared to a 35.2 billion won operating loss in the same quarter in 2016.

South Korean exporters like LG Electronics are keeping a close eye on the won, as it hit a three-year high of around 1 058.8 per US dollar yesterday, before reversing direction on what appeared to be South Korean foreign exchange authorities buying dollars. – Nampa/Reuters

LSE's clearing house reports record volumes in 2017

London Stock Exchange Group Plc-owned clearing house LCH reported record volumes across multiple clearing services in 2017 as the exchange fights to keep some of its euro-denominated clearing services within London after Brexit.

The European Union is considering a law that could end London's global dominance in clearing euro-denominated financial contracts following Brexit, threatening both job losses and tax revenues.

LCH said during 2017, its interest rate derivatives clearing service, SwapClear, which dominates clearing of euro-denominated swaps or derivatives, processed over US$873 trillion in notional.

EU policymakers have said that clearing of euro-denominated swaps or derivatives may have to move to the euro zone after Brexit. – Nampa/Reuters

US tax law pushes Deutsche into loss

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank said it would report "a small full-year after-tax loss" for 2017, largely owing to changes in the US tax system passed late last year.

"As a result of the recent enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Deutsche Bank... expects to recognise an approximate 1.5-billion-euro (US$1.8 billion) non-cash tax charge ... for the fourth quarter," the group said in a statement.

Although the US tax reform slashes the rate from 35% to 21%, numerous large firms such as BP and Goldman Sachs have reported that it will inflict short-term pain.

Looking to the future, Deutsche noted that the changes would reduce its average effective tax rate worldwide to around 30% from January 1. – Nampa/AFP

VW 2017 group sales more than 10 million

Volkswagen group sales probably rose to around 10.7 million cars last year and kept the German behemoth ahead of Toyota as the world's largest automaker, Bild am Sonntag reported, citing in-house VW estimates.

Higher delivery figures across the group, which includes premium brands Audi and Porsche, helped drive revenue above 220 billion euros (US$264.62 billion) for the first time ever after the 2016 record of 217 billion euros, the newspaper said.

Toyota said last month it expected to sell 10.35 million cars worldwide in 2017 across its Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino brands, up 2% from 2016, and 10.5 million this year. – Nampa/Reuters

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