PARIS/ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland’s Holcim (HOLN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) unveiled a deal to buy France’s Lafarge (LAFP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Monday to create the world’s biggest cement maker, with $44 billion of annual sales, and spark a raft of asset sales worldwide to steer it through antitrust rules.
The partners billed the cement, concrete and aggregates industry’s biggest ever tie-up as a merger of equals, under which Lafarge shareholders receive one Holcim share for every Lafarge held and Holcim investors end up with 53 percent of the group. The merged business will be based in Switzerland and listed in Zurich and Paris.
ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse has increased the funds it has set aside to settle a U.S. tax dispute and avoid prosecution for helping wealthy Americans to hide cash from the taxman, raising the prospect it may be close to a settlement in the lengthy dispute.
Switzerland’s second-biggest bank also disclosed in its annual report on Thursday it had paid its Chief Executive Brady Dougan 9.8 million francs in 2013, up 26 percent from the previous year, a rise it said was justified by the bank’s performance over the period.
ZURICH (Reuters) – Mila, a Swiss peer-to-peer online marketplace for services ranging from IT support to furniture assembly, expects big European firms to turn to such platforms as a cheap way to improve their customer care.
Austere times and cheap mobile technology have helped kickstart the so-called sharing economy, in which individuals rent out their time and expertise – from lending power tools to making their cars available for hire.
ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss and British regulators stepped up their scrutiny of alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets on Monday, as watchdogs take a closer look at whether banks have a tight enough grip on the behavior of their traders.
Switzerland’s competition commission WEKO said it opened an investigation into several Swiss, British and U.S. banks over potential collusion to manipulate currency rates.
ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis has ended a late-stage clinical trial of a chronic heart failure drug early, following strong interim results, giving the Swiss drugmaker a boost after recent setbacks to another heart failure medicine.
The Basel-based firm said on Monday an independent committee had unanimously recommended it close its PARADIGM-HF study ahead of time after results showed patients receiving its LCZ696 drug lived longer without being hospitalized for heart failure than those who were given enalapril, the standard care.
ZURICH/BERN (Reuters) – Switzerland said on Wednesday it would not be “abused” by those wanting to circumvent Western sanctions against Russia but stopped short of adopting its own measures.
Transparency campaigners say it is taking a cautious stance to help protect its role as a global commodities hub that earns revenue from trade with Russia, although the government said it had no intention of allowing the sanctions to be bypassed.
ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss bank Julius Baer (BAER.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has raised its bet on Latin America’s largest wealth management market, buying a majority stake in Brazil’s GPS for an estimated 100 million Swiss francs ($113 million), as part of a drive to expand abroad.
The deal underscores Zurich-based Baer’s commitment to gaining greater access to markets in Asia and South America as a crackdown on tax evasion hits private banking, which provides tailored services to wealthy individuals, in Switzerland.
BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – Recent manufacturing problems in India suggest some makers of generic drugs will struggle to compete in the face of a rising quality bar, pointing to a likely a shake-out in the low-cost sector, according to Novartis (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research).
Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said the Swiss group’s Sandoz unit – a world leader in making cheap off-patent medicines – was well placed to thrive in an era of tougher standards. Others, however, would not be able to upgrade and stay competitive.
BASEL, Switzerland, March 20 (Reuters) – Recent
manufacturing problems in India suggest some makers of generic
drugs will struggle to compete in the face of a rising quality
bar, pointing to a likely a shake-out in the low-cost sector,
according to Novartis.
Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said the Swiss group’s Sandoz
unit – a world leader in making cheap off-patent medicines – was
well placed to thrive in an era of tougher standards. Others,
however, would not be able to upgrade and stay competitive.
BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – Novartis Chief Executive Joe Jimenez is taking a hard look at the drugmaker’s smaller businesses as he reshapes the company for what he expects to be a “brutal” new era in healthcare spending.
At least one of the three sub-scale units – animal health, vaccines and over-the-counter medicines – is not expected to make the cut, he told Reuters in the clearest indication yet of how the review is progressing.