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Australia’s CSL reaffirms commitment to making AstraZeneca COVID vaccine

(Reuters) – Australian biotech CSL (OTC:CSLLY) said on Thursday it was committed to its agreement for the production of about 50 million doses of AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN)’s COVID-19 vaccine into 2022.

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Australia's CSL reaffirms commitment to making AstraZeneca COVID vaccine
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled “Astra Zeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine” and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo, in this illustration photo taken March 14, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

(Reuters) – Australian biotech CSL (OTC:) said on Thursday it was committed to its agreement for the production of about 50 million doses of AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:)’s COVID-19 vaccine into 2022.

The announcement came after a media report said the British drugmaker’s vaccine, Vaxzevria, will no longer be manufactured in Australia due to demand for vaccines of Pfizer (NYSE:) and Moderna (NASDAQ:). [nL4N2R91XR]

Pfizer and Moderna have established a market dominance by using mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine technology to fight the pandemic.

CSL, in a brief statement, added that more than 20 million of the doses have already been produced, and it is expected that the remaining production will be completed early next year.

Cafes, gyms and restaurants in Sydney welcomed back fully vaccinated customers earlier this week after nearly four months of a lockdown, as Australia aims to begin living with the coronavirus and gradually reopen with high rates of inoculation.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Turkey’s Erdogan says to discuss F-35 jets with Biden in Glasgow – Anadolu

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said problems over the F-35 jet programme will be the main topic at his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden later in Glasgow, state media reported on Wednesday.

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Turkey's Erdogan says to discuss F-35 jets with Biden in Glasgow - Anadolu
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan sits during an interview with Reuters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said problems over the F-35 jet programme will be the main topic at his meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden later in Glasgow, state media reported on Wednesday.

Turkey, a manufacturer and buyer of the F-35s, was expelled from the programme over its purchase of Russian defences. It says its removal is unjust and has demanded reimbursement for a $1.4-billion investment in the programme.

Erdogan has said Washington offered Ankara a package of F-16 jets and modernisation kits in exchange for the payment, but the United States has said it offered no such financial plan.

“The information we received is that there is a payment plan of some sort with them,” state-run Anadolu news agency cited him as telling reporters on a flight from Azerbaijan.

“Whether this is true or not, we will find out from them. It will be good for me to discuss this with Mr. Biden at the highest level. If so, we will go for a deal in that regard.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Investment banks argue Hong Kong’s proposed SPAC rules are too rigid -sources

By Scott Murdoch and Alun John

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Investment banks argue Hong Kong's proposed SPAC rules are too rigid -sources
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Hong Kong stock exchange sign is seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China September 4, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

By Scott Murdoch and Alun John

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Investment banks and corporate advisors are pushing back against Hong Kong’s proposed rules for blank check listings, arguing they are too onerous and will not make the city competitive, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Interested parties have until Oct. 31 to lodge submissions with the Hong Kong stock exchange over its proposed framework for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs).

The criticism comes at a time when rival Asian financial hub Singapore has shot ahead with its preparations to allow SPACs, which raise money on stock markets to buy private companies, giving those businesses a quick and cheap route to a listing.

Key concerns raised include a proposed requirement that any SPAC deal be worth at least HK$1 billion ($130 million) as that excludes smaller buyout targets, said the sources who have worked on submissions.

The sources were not authorised to speak to media and declined to be identified.

The proposed rules also stipulate that there need to be at least 75 professional investors in a SPAC listing, 40% of which must be institutional while retail investors cannot participate until after the company has carried out its merger – requirements likely to make trading illiquid, the sources added.

The rules also require the merged entity to appoint a financial sponsor to carry out due diligence and meet the exchange’s existing listing requirements which could tack on another three to six months to the listing process.

“It is of the view to some practitioners that it could undermine the intention of offering the SPAC as an alternative and streamlined listing approach,” the city’s Financial Services Development Council said of the due diligence requirement in a submission lodged on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong stock exchange did not comment on whether it would be amenable to making concessions when asked for comment by Reuters.

Its SPAC consultation paper says the bourse does not want to replicate U.S. SPAC rules but instead plans to create a regime “tailored to the particular risks and requirements of the Hong Kong market”, adding that several proposals are “designed to provide a high entry point for SPAC listing applicants and De-SPAC targets.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission told Reuters in a statement it would work closely with the exchange to take into account market feedback when finalising the new rules.

There has been nearly $137 billion worth of SPACs issued globally so far in 2021, according to Refinitiv. The pace of deals has fallen sharply https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/how-wall-streets-hottest-dealmaking-trend-fizzled-2021-09-16 since the first quarter, however, with U.S. investors spooked by the vehicles’ poor financial performance and a regulatory crackdown.

While Hong Kong is still debating its rules, Singapore last month became the first Asian market to allow SPACs to list, making concessions after the initial proposals were seen as too strict.

European asset manager Tikehau Capital is among the first https://www.reuters.com/article/tikehau-capital-listing/asset-manager-tikehau-capital-applies-to-list-spac-on-sgx-sources-idUSKBN2HH05F to plan a SPAC listing in Singapore, sources have told Reuters.

“I think there is a concern that the proposed SPAC regime for Hong Kong is less competitive than that in other jurisdictions,” said Vivian Yiu, a Hong Kong-based capital markets partner at law firm Morrison & Foerster.

“While the Stock Exchange is understandably putting in place these safeguards to prevent abuse and market manipulation, there is perhaps room for relaxation in some areas as retail investors are excluded from investing until the de-SPAC completes,” she said.

Hong Kong authorities have spent years trying to combat illegal practices linked to the formation and speculative trading of shell companies, which they say provide opportunities for market manipulation and insider dealing. Those concerns resulted in strict rules in 2019 that constrain back door listings.

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Sodexo eyes earnings acceleration with post-COVID recovery on the horizon

By Diana Mandia and Federica Mileo

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Sodexo eyes earnings acceleration with post-COVID recovery on the horizon
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of French food services and facilities management group Sodexo is seen at the company headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

By Diana Mandia and Federica Mileo

(Reuters) -French catering and food services group Sodexo (PA:) said on Wednesday it expects sales to accelerate in 2022 and will resume dividend payments after posting better-than-expected annual results.

The company, which operates in 56 countries, reported a 12.4% jump in annual core profit to 578 million euros ($672.68 million), on revenues edging down to 17.4 billion euros – both slightly beating forecasts.

Sodexo cited the acceleration in cornavirus vaccination programmes across its markets as the driving force of restaurant reopenings. By the fourth quarter, the group reached 87% of its annual activity in 2019, it said.

The company remains confident in its capacity to continue the recovery momentum to pre-COVID levels, and expects organic growth between 15% and 18%, as well as an operating margin of close to 5% at constant rates for its 2022 fiscal year.

A boost in growth in the United States, the accelerated deployment of the new food model based on digital solutions and the active portfolio management will help Sodexo return to regular and sustained growth, it said.

Shares in the company jumped 6.6% at 0747 GMT.

The caterer will pay a dividend of 2 euros ($2.33) for the year ended Aug. 31, including an exceptional 0.80 euro linked to the disposal programme, becoming the first leisure stock to resume dividend, Bernstein analysts said in a client note.

The COVID-19 crisis cost Sodexo a further 2 billion euros in revenue, Chief Finance Officer Marc Rolland said during a call with analysts.

“In China, we’ve recovered well. And in Brazil we’ve almost never lost because our sector exposure was very industrial and the factories were running in Brazil and we continued to operate throughout the pandemic,” he said, adding the U.S. market still lags on back-to-office trend.

Sodexo launched a search in July for a new chief executive to replace Denis Machuel, and aims to fill the post before the end of 2021.

“We are past the stage of the long list,” interim CEO Sophie Bellon said on a call with journalists.

($1 = 0.8593 euros)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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