Thursday, 1 Oct 2020

AstraZeneca starts trial of COVID-19 antibody treatment

RBI announces special OMO of Rs 20,000 crore in 2 tranches

The auction will be in held in two tranches of ₹10,000 crore each and will be conducted on August 27 and September 03, 2020, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a statement.

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said it will conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under Open Market Operations (OMO) for an aggregate amount of ₹20,000 crore in two tranches.

The auction will be in held in two tranches of ₹10,000 crore each and will be conducted on August 27 and September 03, 2020, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a statement.

“On a review of current and evolving liquidity and market conditions, the Reserve Bank has decided to conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under OMO for an aggregate amount of ₹20,000 crores in two tranches of ₹10,000 crores each,” it said.

On August 27, the central bank said it would be selling four securities totalling ₹10,000 crore and will be purchasing four securities of the same amount.

“The securities for the second tranche auction on September 03, 2020 will be announced separately,” it added.

The Reserve Bank further said it will continue to monitor evolving liquidity and market conditions and take measures as appropriate to ensure orderly functioning of financial markets.

The simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities programme involves purchasing government securities of longer maturities and selling equal amount of securities of shorter maturities.

James Fisher H1 Profit Down, Sees Improved Trading Through H2; FY20 Results To Be Down

James Fisher and Sons plc (FSJ.L), a marine service provider, reported Tuesday that its first-half profit before tax fell 59 percent to 7.1 million pounds from 20.9 million pounds a year ago.

Earnings per share declined 62 percent to 9.9 pence from 33.6 pence a year ago.

Underlying profit before tax was 15.1 million pounds, compared to prior year’s 20.9 million pounds. Underlying earnings per share were 23.6 pence, compared to 33.2 pence last year.

Revenue declined 10 percent to 258.1 million pounds from 286.9 million pounds last year.

Further, the company declared interim dividend per share of 8.0 pence, down 29 percent from prior year’s 11.3 pence.

Looking ahead, Chief Executive Officer, Eoghan O’Lionaird, said, “Whilst the second half is expected to remain challenging and the outlook for our end markets is uncertain, we expect trading to improve through the second half, assuming no material deterioration in the Covid-19 situation.”

The company said its financial performance in 2020 will be lower than 2019.

Credit Suisse Announces Merger Of NAB With Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG – Quick Facts

Credit Suisse (CS) said the company is taking further steps to streamline its business. The company intends to merge NAB’s (Neue Aargauer Bank AG) business with that of Credit Suisse in Canton Aargau. Credit Suisse will adapt its Swiss branch network in response to evolving client needs, make organizational changes, and launch a new digital offering as well as a future-oriented branch concept.

In Canton Aargau, Credit Suisse and its 100% subsidiary NAB currently have a total of 30 branches. Following the merger, it is intended to maintain a total of 12 branches in Canton Aargau. The changes to Credit Suisse’s branch network across Switzerland, including branches in Canton Aargau, are expected to be implemented by the end of 2020 – with a goal of 109 locations – compared to 146 at present.

As part of the company’s plans to realign its market presence in Switzerland, Credit Suisse has developed a new branch concept that centers on the provision of advisory services.

The company’s announced measures, including the planned merger of NAB with Credit Suisse, are anticipated to result in gross cost savings of around 100 million Swiss francs per annum from 2022 onwards. The company intends to reinvest a substantial portion of these synergies in the Swiss business.

Credit Suisse noted that a headcount reduction at NAB as well as the Swiss Universal Bank division of Credit Suisse is inevitable.

Pandemic pushes airline SAS to $235.8 million loss in May-July

Airline SASswung to deep loss in its fiscal third quarter, it reported on Tuesday, as cost cuts did not make up for the collapse in air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from which the industry is now slowly emerging.

The airline, part-owned by the governments of Sweden and Denmark, said losses before tax in the May-July period amounted to 2.07 billion Swedish crowns ($235.8 million), compared with a profit of 1.49 billion a year earlier.

Sales tumbled to 2.51 billion crowns from 13.4 billion.

"Demand continues to return slowly and in line with the estimated ramp-up plan we presented in the second quarter," CEO Rickard Gustafson said in a statement. 

"During the fourth quarter, we will continue to ramp-up production and we expect to reach 30%-40% of prior year available seat kilometers by the end of Q4," he said.

In June, the airline unveiled a 14 billion Swedish crown recapitalisation plan to recover from the effects of the pandemic on business and keep it flying.

But it has yet to shore up enough debtholder support for a key part of the plan — debt conversions upon which main owners Sweden and Denmark have conditioned their pledges to inject fresh cash.

AstraZeneca starts trial of COVID-19 antibody treatment

AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it had begun testing an antibody-based treatment for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, with the first participants dosed, adding to recent signs of progress on possible medical solutions to the disease.

The British drugmaker, whose COVID-19 vaccine candidate is already among the most advanced, said the early-stage trial would evaluate if AZD7442, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), was safe and tolerable in up to 48 healthy participants between the ages of 18 and 55 years.

If the UK-based trial has a positive readout, AstraZeneca said it would proceed with larger, mid-to-late-stage trials to test AZD7442 as both a preventative treatment for the disease and a medicine for patients who have it.

mAbs mimic natural antibodies generated in the body to fight off infection and can be synthesised in the laboratory to treat diseases in patients and has been endorsed by top scientists. Current uses include treatment of some types of cancers.

London-listed AstraZeneca in June received $23.7 million in funding from U.S. government agencies to advance development of antibody-based treatments for the novel coronavirus.

U.S. based companies Regeneron and Eli Lilly are also testing mAbs-based treatments for COVID-19.

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