European stocks climbed for a third straight week amid takeover activity and corporate earnings that surpassed analysts’ estimates.
AstraZeneca PLC surged 18 percent as Pfizer Inc sweetened its bid for the UK’s second-biggest drugmaker. Alstom SA jumped 10 percent as General Electric Co made an offer for the French company’s energy business. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC climbed 9.4 percent after posting quarterly profits that exceeded projections.
The STOXX Europe 600 Index added 1.3 percent to 337.76 in a shortened holiday week for its biggest increase in a month. The benchmark equity gauge rallied 1.1 percent last month, following a decline in March.
The index closed within 0.4 percent of the six-year high it reached on April 4.
“M&A [merger and acquisition] is helping the market,” Louis de Fels, a Paris-based fund manager at Raymond James Financial Inc, said in an interview. “US companies have a lot of cash, and they want to use it in Europe, so it is positive for the European market.”
National benchmark indices rose in 16 of the 18 Western European markets this week. The UK’s FTSE 100 advanced 2.1 percent, while Germany’s DAX added 1.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.3 percent. Most European markets were closed on Thursday for a holiday.
M&A announcements, coupled with better-than-expected earnings, offset concern over the Ukraine crisis. The US and the EU imposed new asset freezes and travel bans on people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and some of their companies. Ukraine sent armored vehicles and artillery to retake Slovyansk, a stronghold for pro-separatist forces, defying Putin’s demand to pull back troops.
AstraZeneca surged 18 percent as Pfizer sweetened its bid to ￡63.1 billion (US$106 billion). AstraZeneca rejected the proposal on Friday, saying the offer fails to recognize the value of promising experimental medicines under development.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
STAYING AHEAD: TSMC expects its sales this year to grow 14 to 19 percent and could spend up to US$3.52 billion on research and development, leaving its rivals far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) reported that the US last year approved 99 percent of its patent applications, which placed the tech giant among the top patent holders in the US. In its Corporate Social Responsibility Report, TSMC said it last year secured about 3,600 patents worldwide, including more than 2,300 in the US. As of the end of last year, TSMC owned more than 39,000 patents, the report said. The company last year filed almost 6,500 patent applications worldwide and ranked among the top 10 patent applicants in the US. In Taiwan, it was the largest patent applicant for the fourth