CMA Raises Concern On Deal Between Hitachi And Thales

European Shares Slip Ahead Of US Jobs Data

European stocks fell on Friday, after having hit a six-month high in the previous session on signs of easing COVID-19 curbs in China and expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve may temper its aggressive rate hikes.

Investors awaited key U.S. employment report for November due later in the day that is expected to show a sizable slowdown in hiring.

The pan European STOXX 600 dipped 0.3 percent to 442.81 after two days of strong gains.

France’s CAC 40 index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 both eased around 0.3 percent while the German DAX inched up 0.1 percent.

The euro extended gains against the dollar for a third straight session, hitting a six-month high and on track for a second weekly gain in a row.

Financials declined in London, with banks Standard Chartered and HSBC Holdings falling around 1 percent each.

Energy stocks succumbed to selling pressure after recent gains.

BP Plc lost 2.5 percent and Shell gave up 1.60 percent after the release of troubling U.S. manufacturing data and amid uncertainty over the outcome of Sunday’s OPEC+ meeting.

Wizz Air Holdings gained nearly 2 percent after reporting a 70 percent rise in passenger traffic figures for November.

In economic releases, France’s industrial production declined for the second straight month in October, data published by the statistical office Insee showed.

Industrial production dropped 2.6 percent month-on-month in October, following a revised 0.9 percent fall in September.

Syncona: Autolus’ FELIX Trial Of Obe-cel Meets Primary Endpoint

Syncona Ltd said its portfolio company, Autolus Therapeutics Plc (AUTL), has announced that the phase II FELIX clinical trial of obe-cel in relapsed/refractory adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia patients has met its primary endpoint at interim analysis. This has triggered a $35 million payment from Blackstone Life Sciences, with Autolus also announcing an additional $35 million payment from Blackstone as a result of the completion of planned activities supporting the obe-cel manufacturing process.

Autolus plans to present the results from the FELIX trial at a medical conference in mid-2023, with longer follow up planned to be reported at the end of 2023.

Christian Itin, CEO of Autolus, said: “We look forward to supplementing this interim data with longer follow up data to more fully explore the clinical benefit of obe-cel, and to work towards the submission of a Biologics License Application by the end of 2023 to the U.S. FDA.”

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Carl Zeiss Meditec Annual Earnings Rise

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (CZMWF.PK), a German medical technology firm, on Friday reported a rise in earnings for the fiscal 2021-22, reflecting an increase in revenue, driven by a more favorable product mix with a high proportion of recurring revenue.

In addition, the Board said it intends to propose a dividend of 1.10 euros per share, higher than last year’s 0.90 euros.

For the full-year, the Jena-headquartered company reported earnings per share of 3.29 euros, higher than 2.64 euros, reported for the fiscal 2020-21.

EBIT increased to 397 million euros, compared with last year’s 374 million euros. This positive growth is also attributable to stockpiling of consumables in the mid-double-digit millions range in the Chinese distribution channel.

Carl Zeiss generated revenue of around 1.903 billion euros versus 1.647 billion euros of previous fiscal.

Looking ahead, for the first quarter of 2022-23, the company said: “The EBIT margin is expected to fall significantly short of the prior year’s figure, due among other things to the widespread lockdown situation in China and a weaker product mix as well as rising operating costs…However, revenue growth for fiscal year 2022-23 is expected to be at least as high as market growth, with an EBIT margin of around 19 to 21 percent…”

Anglo American Says Production Down 3% In 2022

Anglo American (AAL), a global mining company on Friday said that in 2022, production was down approximately 3 percent whereas unit costs increased by approximately 16 percent.

Capital expenditure was lower at approximately $5.7 billion due to supply chain disruptions, people availability and FX.

In 2023, production is expected to increase by 5% while unit costs are expected to increase by approximately 3 percent. Capital expenditure is forecasted between $6.0 and $6.5 billion.

In 2024, production is expected to increase by 5% led by copper, iron ore and steelmaking coal while Capex is forecast between $5.5 – 6.0 billion.

In 2025, production is expected to be in line with 2024 while the capex forecast is between $5.0 – 5.5 billion.

Shares of Anglo American closed Thursday’s trading at 3299.50 pence, up 29.50 pence or 0.90 percent from the previous close.

CMA Raises Concern On Deal Between Hitachi And Thales

The Competition and Markets Authority or the CMA in the UK has found that Hitachi’s (HTHIF.PK,HTHIY.PK) anticipated purchase of Thales’ rail infrastructure business could lead to higher fares in future. The CMA is concerned that the deal could eliminate a credible competitor from the new tendering process for mainline signalling, just when both firms are expected to offer much-needed additional competition.

Colin Raftery, Senior Mergers Director at the CMA, said: “This deal involves two of the main competitors for future mainline rail and urban metro signalling projects, so the loss of competition could risk higher costs and lower quality services, which would ultimately come at the expense of taxpayers and passengers.”

Hitachi announced the deal to acquire the Thales Ground Transportation Business in August 2021. The CMA stated that Hitachi now has an opportunity to submit proposals to resolve the CMA’s concerns or the deal will face a more thorough phase 2 investigation.