Caroline's Feed
May 7, 2014

Falling prices take shine off big reinsurers’ profits

ZURICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Swiss Re (SRENH.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Hannover Re (HNRGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s no. 2 and 3 reinsurers, said they saw lower prices in natural disaster reinsurance and April renewals, as they beat profit expectations in the first quarter.

Fewer serious natural disasters, as well as competition from pension funds pouring money into the reinsurance industry, have crimped the pricing power of reinsurers, which help primary insurers cover the cost of major damage claims in return for part of the premiums.

Apr 30, 2014

Straumann sales rise as pricing strategy takes hold

ZURICH, April 30 (Reuters) – Straumann Holding AG,
the world’s largest maker of dental implants, posted a 2.9
percent rise in sales in the first quarter as it started to reap
the benefit of a new pricing strategy.

The premium dental implant market has shown tentative signs
of a turnaround in recent quarters, after the financial crisis
made consumers in developed countries postpone or scrap
non-urgent treatment and trade down to cheaper brands.

Apr 29, 2014

Moody’s predicts further wave of healthcare deals

ZURICH, April 29 (Reuters) – The deal-making frenzy sweeping
through the healthcare industry should continue apace in 2014,
as companies look to stock up new drug pipelines, bolster
existing businesses and diversify into new areas, Moody’s
Investors Service said on Tuesday.

Deals totalling more than $153 billion have been struck in
the sector so far this year, the highest year-to-date level
since Thomson Reuters began tracking such data.

Apr 29, 2014

ABB to overhaul power systems unit as profit falls

ZURICH, April 29 (Reuters) – Swiss engineering group ABB
said it would again overhaul its struggling power
systems unit after posting an unexpected fall in first-quarter
profit because of its weak orders and charges related to wind
and solar power projects.

The Zurich-based firm has been working for more than a year
to try to turn around its least profitable division, which has
incurred heavy costs for delays to offshore wind projects and
faced tough price competition in Asia.

Apr 29, 2014

ABB to overhaul power systems unit again as division hits profit

ZURICH, April 29 (Reuters) – Swiss engineering group ABB
said it would embark on further restructuring of its
power systems division after weak orders for the unit and
charges related to wind and solar power projects led to an
unexpected fall in first-quarter profit.

It will now halt bids for new turnkey solar power generation
projects, reassess its business model for offshore wind power
connections and implement further management changes. These come
on top of previous measures in late 2012 to be more selective
about projects.

Apr 28, 2014

Holcim says huge interest in disposals, forex hits sales

ZURICH, April 28 (Reuters) – Holcim said there was
strong interest in the market for assets it must sell to get the
go-ahead for its merger with France’s Lafarge, as
foreign currency swings weighed on its first-quarter results.

The two companies need to shed around 5 billion euros ($6.9
billion) in assets to try to persuade regulators to back the
proposed merger, which would create the world’s biggest cement
maker with $44 billion in annual sales.

Apr 25, 2014

Swisscom enters fray for PubliGroupe web directories

ZURICH, April 25 (Reuters) – Telecoms group Swisscom
said it had submitted a non-binding offer worth 230
million Swiss francs ($261 million) to buy PubliGroupe’s
shares in two local directory businesses, creating the
potential for a takeover battle.

The bid from Switzerland’s national telecoms provider comes
on the heels of last week’s public tender offer for all shares
in PubliGroupe from Swiss media company Tamedia AG. The
offer of 150 Swiss francs per share values the advertising group
at around 375 million francs.

Apr 25, 2014

Swisscom offers PubliGroupe 230 mln to fully own web directories

ZURICH, April 25 (Reuters) – Telecoms group Swisscom
said it had submitted a non-binding offer worth 230
million Swiss francs ($261 million) to buy PubliGroupe’s
shares in two local directory businesses, creating the
potential for a takeover battle.

The bid from Switzerland’s national telecoms provider comes
on the heels of last week’s public tender offer for all shares
in PubliGroupe from Swiss media company Tamedia AG. The
offer of 150 Swiss francs per share values the advertising group
at around 375 million francs.

Apr 24, 2014

Novartis sales miss forecast as readies overhaul

ZURICH, April 24 (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis
posted a weaker-than-expected 1 percent rise in
quarterly sales, underscoring the pressures from generic
competition and tighter healthcare budgets that led it to
announce a radical business overhaul earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Novartis unveiled a series of deals worth over
$25 billion aimed at strengthening its cancer business and
exiting underperforming operations – part of a wider trend among
drugmakers to focus on their best assets.

Apr 22, 2014

Novartis and GSK trade assets as pharma industry reshapes

ZURICH/LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) – Novartis and
GlaxoSmithKline traded over $20 billion worth of assets
on Tuesday, aiming to bolster their best businesses and exit
weaker ones as the drugs industry reshapes to cope with
healthcare spending cuts and generic competition.

The deals, which include Novartis buying GSK’s cancer drugs
and GSK acquiring Novartis’ vaccines business, came hot on the
heels of a newspaper report that AstraZeneca had turned
down a $101 billion bid approach from Pfizer – a story
that sent shares across the sector surging.