BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) boosted its presence in pain management on Monday by agreeing to buy U.S.-Australian biotech firm Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, the companies said in separate statements on Monday.
Spinifex said Novartis was paying $200 million upfront and Spinifex shareholders could get further payments based on clinical development and regulatory milestones. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of this year, pending regulatory approval.
ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) – Unusual public confirmation that the Swiss National Bank intervened to weaken the franc escalated its battle to rein in a currency whose strength amid Greece’s debt crisis is hamstringing an export-reliant economy.
“We have always said that we are active in the foreign exchange market if necessary,” SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan said at a financial seminar on Monday. “A situation like we experienced over the weekend is a situation which warranted this need and we went in to stabilize the market.”
ZURICH (Reuters) – One of seven soccer officials arrested in Zurich last month on suspicion of racketeering following a U.S. extradition request has had a request for bail rejected, with a Swiss court saying on Friday he posed a “risk of flight”.
The officials were detained in a dawn raid on May 27 on a luxury Zurich hotel two days before FIFA’s annual Congress, throwing soccer’s governing body into turmoil. They have since been held in prisons around the Zurich region.
VIENNA, June 17 (Reuters) – Austrian “bad bank” Heta Asset
Resolution had a capital shortfall of 7 billion euros
($7.9 billion) at the end of 2014 after writing down overvalued
assets, at the upper end of the gap originally estimated at
4-7.6 billion euros.
The size of its capital hole will help determine the extent
of debt “haircuts” that its creditors face.
VIENNA, June 15 (Reuters) – European Central Bank Governing
Council member Ewald Nowotny acknowledged on Monday calculating
the costs of a Greek exit from the euro zone, a rare admission
from a central banker as Athens struggles to reach a deal with
His comments underscored the sense of urgency in Europe.
Germany’s EU commissioner said it was time to prepare for a
“state of emergency” after talks fell apart at the weekend to
rescue Greece from default and possible exit from the euro.
BUDAPEST/VIENNA, June 12 (Reuters) – Austrian Erste Group
is on track to acquire Citigroup Inc’s Hungarian
retail portfolio, several banking sources told Reuters.
Under a deal with Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government,
Erste affirmed its commitment to Hungary in February, pledging
to boost lending in return for a cut in a heavy bank tax and
other conciliatory measures.
VIENNA, June 2 (Reuters) – New capital requirements that the
Austrian authorities will impose on their big banks are
undermining dividend prospects and underscore the fragmented
approach being taken to regulating the sector, despite efforts
to foster a European banking union, analysts and officials said
The national Financial Market Stability Board said Erste
Group, Bank Austria, Raiffeisen Zentralbank
and Raiffeisen Bank International should hold
an extra 3 percentage-point capital cushion by mid-2017.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has provided some information about one of two open items in a U.N. nuclear watchdog investigation into whether it may have researched an atomic bomb, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Friday.
The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said Tehran had “shared some information in relation to one of these measures. The Agency and Iran agreed to continue the dialogue on these practical measures and to meet again in the near future.”
VIENNA, May 29 (Reuters) – Iran has provided some
information about one of two open items in a U.N. nuclear
watchdog investigation into whether it may have researched an
atomic bomb, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on
The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said
Tehran had “shared some information in relation to one of these
measures. The Agency and Iran agreed to continue the dialogue on
these practical measures and to meet again in the near future.”
VIENNA, May 27 (Reuters) – Austrian bank supervisors did
what they could with the powers then available to keep problem
bank Hypo Alpe Adria on the rails in the “gold rush” era before
the global financial crisis, a senior central banker testified
Supervisors’ role is under scrutiny in a parliamentary
investigation into the meteoric rise and spectacular fall of
Hypo in Austria’s biggest post-war financial scandal.