Takeda to buy Nycomed
Japan’s top drugmaker, Takeda Pharmaceutical, has reached a US$12 billion deal to buy Swiss drugmaker Nycomed, a report said yesterday. Takeda has struck a basic agreement and is expected to make a formal announcement soon, the Nikkei business daily said in its evening edition. It will be the largest ever acquisition by a Japanese drugmaker and make Takeda the world’s 10th largest pharmaceutical company, it said.
Baidu to pay damages
Chinese Web giant Baidu (百度) has been ordered to pay damages of more than US$75,000, the maximum penalty available, to a literary Web site after losing a copyright suit, state media said yesterday. A Shanghai court has ruled that Baidu should pay 500,000 yuan (US$76,950) in compensation to Shanda Literature (盛大文學), a content provider Web site, for violating the company’s copyright, the Global Times said. Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo (郭怡廣) said the company has appealed the ruling.
BofA Merrill Lynch fined
Hong Kong’s securities watchdog says it has fined a unit of Bank of America (BofA) Merrill Lynch HK$3 million (US$386,000) over the sales of some financial products to clients in 2007. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said yesterday it also issued a reprimand to Merrill Lynch (Asia Pacific) Ltd over the sales of the index-linked notes to 72 clients. The SFC said an investigation found Merrill Lynch failed to “properly assess the financial situation and investment objectives” of 40 clients.
Current-account surplus down
Japan’s current-account surplus narrowed more than expected in March as a record earthquake disrupted the nation’s supply chain, curbing exports. The gap shrank 34 percent from a year earlier to ￥1.68 trillion (US$21 billion), the Finance Ministry said yesterday. Exports fell 1.4 percent and imports increased 16.6 percent, the ministry said. The ministry also said in a separate report yesterday that Japan fell into a trade deficit of ￥786.8 billion in the first 20 days of April. Exports fell 12.7 percent year-on-year, the sharpest fall since Oct. 1 to Oct. 20 in 2009, while imports rose 14.2 percent.
Treasury selling AIG stock
American International Group (AIG) and the US Treasury said on Wednesday they would sell just under US$9 billion in AIG stock, suggesting the government’s exit from its crisis-era investment will be more difficult than originally thought. The US$9 billion figure is less than half of what had been contemplated earlier this year. Based on the government’s US$28.72 break-even point and the government’s total shareholding, the Treasury would have to raise just over US$47.5 billion in total from AIG share sales to break even.
Oversight of Microsoft ends
US Department of Justice oversight of Microsoft ended yesterday, more than a decade after the US authorities filed an historic anti-trust lawsuit against the US software giant. “Microsoft no longer dominates the computer industry as it did when the complaint was filed in 1998,” the US Department of Justice said in a statement on Wednesday. As a result, the settlement with the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft known as the “final judgment,” which has been in place since 2002, would expire yesterday, it said.