Caroline's Feed
Apr 15, 2014

New cancer drugs limit Roche first-quarter sales drop

ZURICH (Reuters) – A strong uptake of new cancer medicines helped Roche (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to limit a decline in first-quarter sales and the Swiss company confirmed a forecast for higher earnings this year.

Roche Holding AG said currency movements, the loss of exclusivity on chemotherapy drug Xeloda and falling sales of hepatitis medicine Pegasys combined to pull sales down 1 percent.

Apr 10, 2014

French antitrust watchdog probes Roche and Novartis over eye drug

PARIS/ZURICH, April 10 (Reuters) – France’s competition
authority is investigating drugmakers Roche and
Novartis on suspicion they were involved in
anti-competitive practices in relation to eye disease
treatments, the companies said on Thursday.

This is the second time in as many months that the Swiss
drugmakers have faced regulatory scrutiny over treatments for
wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)- a leading cause of
blindness among the elderly.

Apr 7, 2014

Holcim, Lafarge agree merger to create cement giant

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.

Apr 3, 2014

Credit Suisse increases provision for U.S. tax deal

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.

Mar 31, 2014

Mila sees big firms using web to outsource customer support

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.

Mar 31, 2014

Swiss, UK watchdogs step up scrutiny on forex traders

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.

Mar 31, 2014

Novartis closes heart drug study early after strong results

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.

Mar 26, 2014

Switzerland treads careful path over Russia sanctions

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.

Mar 25, 2014

Julius Baer raises stake in Brazilian wealth manager GPS

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.

Mar 20, 2014

Quality woes point to generic drugs shake-out: Novartis

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.