Wed, May 27, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take



LIBOR trader trial starts

The first trader to face prosecution on charges of rigging global benchmark interest rates was to go on trial in London yesterday, following a scandal that handed banks hefty fines and damaged reputations. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said that Tom Hayes was the ringleader of more than a dozen traders that it said worked to rig the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) in the mid to late 2000s. Formerly a trader with Swiss bank UBS and its US rival, Citigroup, the 35-year-old Briton was to go before the court in Southwark, across the river from London’s financial center, in a trial expected to last weeks.


Charter eyes Time Warner

Charter Communications Inc reached an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable Inc for about US$55.33 billion in cash and stock, according to people familiar with the matter. Charter offered about US$195.71 a share — 14 percent above Time Warner Cable’s closing price on Friday last week — with US$100 in cash and the rest in its own stock, the people said. Bright House Networks, a smaller cable company that Charter is trying to buy, is also to be merged into the combined entity, they said. Charter, the fourth-biggest US cable company, is making its second move on No. 2 Time Warner Cable after its bid early last year was rejected and Comcast Corp swooped in with a competing offer.


Ryanair profits surge

Irish no-frills airline Ryanair yesterday announced its annual net profit surged by two-thirds, boosted by improved customer service, rising sales and sliding oil prices. Earnings after taxation surged by 66 percent to 866.7 million euros (US$945.1 million) in the year to March 31, compared with 522.8 million euros the previous fiscal year, Ryanair said in a statement. That beat the company’s own guidance of 840 million euros to 850 million euros. Passenger numbers swelled by 11 percent to 90.6 million, while revenues grew by 12 percent to 5.654 billion euros, it added.


US firm eyes London listing

Boston-based PureTech Health PLC plans to raise US$160 million in a London listing, filling its coffers to fund product development and delivering a vote of confidence in the British life sciences sector. The planned initial public offering on the main market of the London Stock Exchange is expected to happen next month, the company said in a statement yesterday. The group specializes in building a portfolio of early-stage science and technology in the healthcare sector, typically from academia, and nurturing the ideas into commercially viable businesses.


AstraZeneca drug stumbles

AstraZeneca PLC’s hopes of topping US$45 billion in revenue by 2023 have been dealt a blow by a problem with an experimental psoriasis drug that the drugmaker had viewed as a potential billion-dollar-plus seller. Amgen, its partner on the project, announced late on Friday last week that it was ending a collaboration to develop brodalumab after suicidal thoughts were observed in patients taking the medicine. Deutsche Bank analyst Richard Parkes called the setback a surprise, adding that terminating the drug’s development would hit long-term consensus forecasts for AstraZeneca’s earnings by about 2 percent.

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