World Business Quick Take


Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - Page 15


GSK sells 25 older brands

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) yesterday advanced its clear-out of non-core drugs with a deal to sell 25 older brands marketed in Australia to South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare for £172 million (US$270 million). The old Australian brands being bought by Aspen include herpes treatment Valtrex, epilepsy drug Lamictal and the antibiotic Amoxil. In total, the 25 products generated sales of about £83 million last year and £31 million in the first half of this year. Revenues for these products have gradually declined over recent years due to generic competition. The sale to Aspen is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approvals from Australian authorities, and GSK said net cash proceeds would be about £155 million.


Economy a security risk: PM

India’s national security is at risk if urgent steps are not taken to boost economic growth, attract new investment in infrastructure and legislate against corruption, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday. Singh warned that if economic growth remained stagnant, new investments were discouraged, government finances did not improve and energy security was not ensured, “then it most certainly affects our national security.” Singh’s speech marking the 65th anniversary of India’s independence from British rule comes after large parts of India’s power grid collapsed over two days last month, leaving hundreds of millions without electricity.


De Beers Botswana starts

The world’s leading producer of diamonds, De Beers, on Tuesday began rough stone sorting in Botswana, a first step in its transfer from London to Gaborone. Rough stone sorting or aggregation operations have been based in London for nearly 80 years. De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier told reporters it was the first step in a process that should be completed by the end of next year. Mellier said the move would transform Botswana into a leading international center, with about US$6 billion worth of diamonds expected to flow through the country.


Soccer lifts Carlsberg profits

Danish brewer Carlsberg said the European soccer championship helped its second-quarter profits spike 63 percent. The company said net profit during the period rose to 3.36 billion kroner (US$556 million) from 2.06 billion kroner in the same period last year, while revenue increased to 19.6 billion kroner from 18.74 billion kroner. The Copenhagen-based group says Euro 2012, in which it was a sponsor, and bad weather combined to boost the quarter and help offset a 3 to 4 percent decline in most of Europe. However, Russia — Carlsberg’s key market — saw consumption rise 2 percent. Carlsberg yesterday added that its operating profit outlook for this year remained unchanged.


Singapore home sales spike

Singapore home sales last month rose to the highest in three months, boosted by demand for new condominiums in the suburbs. The city-state’s private residential property sales rose 42 percent to 1,943 units from a month ago, the highest since 2,497 units were sold in April, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority yesterday. Sales rebounded after slumping to 1,371 units in June, the lowest this year.