Filipino Billionaire Lucio Tan’s Bank Plans $1 Billion Prime Asset Sale
Philippine National Bank is seeking to dispose of three prime properties that it values at about $1 billion as early as this year, a person familiar with the plan said.
The lender owned by billionaire Lucio Tan plans to realize the value of a 10-hectare property along Manila Bay, as well as an office building and a prime lot in the nation’s main financial district in Makati City, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the plan has yet to be approved by shareholders and regulators.
PNB said last week that the board approved a plan on its prime properties to help reduce low-earning assets and improve revenue, and a number of options were being considered.
A spokesman for the bank declined to comment, saying details of the plan are confidential. It’s unclear whether independent assessments would value the properties at this level amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The nation’s fifth-largest lender has joined other Philippine banks in setting aside more cash for bad loans during the outbreak. The former government-owned lender booked additional impairment provisions of 5.1 billion pesos ($105 million) in the second quarter.
Shares of PNB have slid 30% this year, tracking the Philippine financial sector index’s 38% drop.
— With assistance by Claire Jiao
FDA Releases Performance Data for More Than 55 Covid-19 Tests
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released performance data late Tuesday for a slew of Covid-19 diagnostic tests, in an effort to help doctors, labs and patients evaluate competing products.
There are more than 100 tests on the market for Covid-19. Since the early days of the pandemic, when tests were in short supply in the U.S., companies have rushed to fill the gap with a range of screening options. That has at times led to confusion among consumers and medical professionals about how well they perform.
To assess the products, the FDA shipped a standardized panel of samples to developers starting in May without disclosing how much viral material was in them. The agency is now making theresults of that blind test available, detailing how well more than 55 different screenings do in detecting infection.
Jeff Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in arelease that the panels provided “valuable insight into the comparative performance of different authorized molecular diagnostic tests under the same conditions,” and served as a powerful tool to track test performance.
The agency said that, as of Sept. 10, it has shipped the panel to manufacturers of 152 molecular tests, though not all of the data was returned, some was uninterpretable and other results are still being reviewed. The FDA plans to keep updating the table with results.
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Wall Street Likely To Open On Positive Note
Higher futures point to a positive opening for U.S. stocks on Wednesday. With no big economic data due for the day, activity may well remain stock specific.
The Nasdaq futures rose sharply after early weakness, suggesting a rebound of sorts in the technology space that saw heavy selling in recent sessions. After climbing nearly 2 percent, Nasdaq futures are currently up by about 1.5 percent.
The Dow futures are gaining more than 0.5 percent and the S&P 500 futures are up nearly 0.75 percent.
AstraZeneca announced on Tuesday that it is pausing its phase III study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, following an adverse reaction in a trial participant.
American Eagle has reported second-quarter revenue of $883.5 million compared with $1.04 billion a year ago. The company said digital demand in the second quarter was up 48% compared to the corresponding quarter last year.
Crude oil futures are bouncing back after suffering a severe setback on Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October, which shed 7.6% in the previous session, were up $0.78 or 2.1 percent at $37.54 a little while ago.
The Dow tumbled 632.42 points or 2.3 percent to 27,500.89 on Tuesday. The Nasdaq plunged 465.44 points or 4.1 percent to 10,847.69 and the S&P 500 slumped 95.12 points or 2.8 percent to 3,331.84.
Roche: FDA Approves Expanded Use Of CINtec PLUS Cytology Test To Help To Prevent Cervical Cancer
Swiss drug maker Roche Group (RHHBY) announced Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the expanded use of CINtec PLUS Cytology test to aid clinicians in preventing cervical cancer.
It is the first triage test based on biomarker technology for women whose cervical cancer screening results are positive for high-risk types of human papillomavirus or HPV, the principal cause of cervical cancer. Roche noted that additional information from this test supports clinical decisions about which women will benefit most from immediate follow-up.
With the approval, laboratories can now use CINtec PLUS Cytology to triage positive results from the cobas HPV Test run on the fully integrated, automated and high-throughput cobas 6800/8800 Systems.
Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics, said, “This expanded indication for CINtec PLUS Cytology gives laboratories the flexibility to triage cobas HPV test results on their choice of cobas Systems and deliver accuracy needed to reliably detect HPV infections that are starting to cause cellular changes that could lead to cancer. The biomarker information helps to clarify a woman’s risk of disease, reduce the potential for over- or under-treatment, and is a major step forward in individualising a woman’s care.”