Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Staff writer, with agencies

PHARMACEUTICALS

Fitch cuts Teva rating to junk

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd’s credit rating on Monday was cut to junk by Fitch Ratings Inc as the Israeli company struggles with declining prices for generic drugs and high debt. “Teva is facing significant operational stress at a time when it needs to reduce debt” from a US$40 billion acquisition of Allergan PLC’s generics business last year, Fitch said in a statement. Sales of Copaxone, a multiple sclerosis medicine that is Teva’s biggest single product, are struggling as well, Fitch said. The ratings firm predicted that Teva would have to either sell assets or find external sources of financing to meet its obligations. Fitch downgraded its rating from “BBB-” to “BB.” Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC rates the debt “BBB-,” and Moody’s Investors Service has a “Baa3” rating, the lowest investment-grade ratings at the firms. Both have a negative outlook.

CRYPTOCURRENCY

Asset indices launched

VanEck Associates Corp’s VanEck’s MV Index Solutions unit is partnering with CryptoCompare, a London-based digital asset data provider, to offer 12 single digital asset indices, including for bitcoin and ether, and four indices tracking baskets of five to 100 cryptocurrencies. The firm on Sept. 27 withdrew an application to list a bitcoin derivatives exchange-traded fund after the US Securities and Exchange Commission said it would not review a petition for a fund that intends to invest in instruments that are not yet available. The indices incorporate trade data from about 50 cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, with prices weighted by volume. The indices are live and some have historic data back to 2014, VanEck said. Separately, Goldman Sachs Group Inc analysts on Sunday said in a note that bitcoin might hit US$8,000, but that could be the peak for a while. Analysts said that the cryptocurrency is entering the third of five waves of growth, citing pricing levels tracked by technical analysts.

SMARTPHONES

Top court rules for Apple

The US Supreme Court on Monday upheld a US$120 million patent award Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was ordered to pay Apple Inc. The justices let stand without comment an appeals court verdict reinstating the award for Apple, which sued Samsung over patents for “slide to unlock” and other features used on smartphones. The case is separate from a bigger patent court battle in which Samsung was initially ordered to pay US$1 billion to the iPhone maker. That case is set for a new trial over some elements of the damages awarded. Monday’s ruling involved some smartphone features Apple alleged were copied by the South Korean electronics giant. Samsung had claimed these features were “obvious” and thus not able to be patented.

CHINA

Minister details import fair

Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan (鐘山) has laid out plans for an import fair aimed at helping foreign companies sell more to the domestic market, a move aimed at curbing the country’s trade surplus with the US ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing this week. The first-ever China International Import Expo, which runs from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10 next year in Shanghai, is a signal that President Xi Jinping (習近平) is following through on pledges to further open the nation’s economy, Zhong said. Tax, fiscal and administrative measures would also be rolled out to support the initiative, he added. “In the coming five years, [China] is expected to import more than US$10 trillion of goods and services,” Zhong said.

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