UK manufacturing activity rose to its highest in more than two years, as the level new export orders surged on the weaker British Pound, a private survey revealed on Monday. According to Markit/CIPS, the Purchasing Managers' Index advanced to 55.4 in September, its highest level since June 2014, compared to the preceding month's 53.4 points, while market analysts anticipated a slight deceleration to 52.1 in the reported period. Back in July, the PMI dropped to 48.2 points amid Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
Facebook announced on Monday it is launching Marketplace, its version of the local rummage sale. With its 1.71 billion users, it's trying to capitalize on the e-commerce potential of its massive user base. According to company, more than 450 million people already visit Facebook groups that have items to buy and sell each month. The new marketplace allows users to find things to buy from users nearby, list items quickly, and through Facebook messenger, users can communicate to negotiate deals and arrange a meet up.
Nestle and Britain's R&R Ice Cream have completed the transaction to create their new Froneri ice cream and frozen food joint, Nestlè said on Monday. The 50/50 joint venture will combine Nestle and R&R ice cream businesses across Europe, the Middle East, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa. Froneri will also include Nestlé’s European frozen food business (excluding pizza and retail frozen food in Italy), as well as its chilled dairy business in the Philippines. Operational headquarters will be located in the UK. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Greek government is facing public discontent as it prepares to approve a new austerity measures and to proceed with a controversial new round of privatisations to secure more cash from its creditors. Tsipras government presented on Monday its 2017 draft budget to parliament, projecting an economic growth of 2.7% after eight years of recession from a 0.3 percent contraction this year.
Women are rare at top levels in Switzerland, with board level representation “closer to that seen in much less-developed nations”, according to a report by Credit Suisse. The research “The CS Gender 3000” titled “The Reward for Change” showed that companies that have at least three women on the board have three times higher market capitalization compared to those who only have one female representative. “With regards to business performance, we find clear evidence that a higher participation of women in decision-making roles continue to generate higher returns on equity, while running more conservative balance sheets,” said Urs Rohner Chairman of Credit Suisse and board member Iris Bohnet in the report.
The Swiss Association of Bank Employees (ASIB) requires to increase the wages by 1.5% for 2017 and two days off more in 2016. In a statement today, the ASIB writes that "once again the health insurance premiums rose considerably. In addition, the expected increase in inflation rate later this year and throughout 2017. In light of these facts, salary increase by 1,5% for 2017 appears to be entirely justified. ASIB also requires two additional days off in 2016 to compensate for the loss of public holidays that fall on the weekend this year. An advantage for all employees. "
US drug giant AstraZeneca said on Monday that it has signed a deal with Allergan through its global biologics research and development unit MedImmune, where the latter will pay up to $1.52B for rights to MEDI2070, an antibody for Crohn's disease. Allergan pays $250mln up front, but it might also make payments worth up to $1.27bln over a period of up to 15 years, tied to potential sales of the antibody, MEDI2070, a treatment that is currently undergoing clinical trials for moderate to severe Crohn’s disease.
Brent crude oil prices remained above $50 a barrel today, supported by last OPEC agreement but under pressure due to controversial views about deal. Brent crude futures were trading at $50.25 per barrel, up 6 cents from the last close while WTI crude were down 8 cents at $48.16 a barrel on October 3. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said last week that it would cut output to between 32.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and 33 million bpd from about 33.5 million bpd.
The Swiss market mergers and acquisitions declined in Q3 2016. Compared to Q2, the number of transactions increased from 107 to 80 while the volume fell to $ 9.3 billion from 22.2 billion. If compared with the same period last year, which had been strongly influenced by the $28.3 billion-deal, US Chubb's acquisition by Zurich-based american insurer ACE, the volume of transactions fell by 32.2 billion, KPMG writes in a statement released yesterday.
Britain will trigger the formal process for leaving the European Union before the end of March, Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday, during the Conservative Party conference. Announcing the historic change, May said: “We will introduce, in the next Queen’s speech, a Great Repeal Bill that will remove the European Communities Act from the statute book. That was the act that took us into the European Union". Then, speaking to the BBC, May stresses that the negotations required at least 2 years.
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