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  • Bloomberg

    Africa’s Biggest Investment Takes Shape Under Islamist Threat

    (Bloomberg) -- Dozens of soldiers clutching AK-47s and grenade launchers watch over roaring bulldozers on the white sand beach that meets a tropical turquoise sea. They’re guarding Africa’s biggest investment: a $23 billion project to export Mozambique’s natural gas from an area increasingly besieged by an Islamist insurgency.Companies led by Total SA will pump the gas from wells about 40 kilometers (25 miles) offshore, cool it to temperatures below minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit so that it turns to liquid, then ship it to electricity plants from France to China. The consortium is about to finalize almost $16 billion in project financing -- another record for the continent.“The work is immense,” said Ronan Bescond, the 44-year-old French chemical engineer who Total chose to lead the project after a career of nearly two decades at the company. “The first cargo of LNG must be in 2024. And we are on the right track,” he said to a handful of reporters in a prefabricated room at the site 32 kilometers south of the Rovuma River that marks the border with Tanzania.The obstacles facing a project that’s expected to transform the impoverished southeast African nation are huge.To achieve the target of first production for an undertaking worth billions of dollars more than Mozambique’s entire economy, developers need to move thousands of tons of equipment through territory thick with Islamic State-aligned insurgents. At one stage, a Covid-19 outbreak saw the Total site accounting for three in four of the country’s confirmed infections. All this as natural-gas prices plunged to near 25-year lows.Militants who first pledged allegiance to IS in 2018 have carried out increasingly brazen attacks this year.Deadly RaidLast week, they raided Mocimboa da Praia for a third time, and occupied the town for as long as three days. It’s a crucial supply hub just 60 kilometers south of the project site and the closest port.As many as nine workers for Total subcontractors Fenix Construction Services Lda died in the attack, Jasmine Opperman, an African analyst at Wisconsin-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, said in a Twitter post. The company didn’t answer seven calls and two emails seeking comment.Before the gas discoveries and insurgency, the remote coastline was more famous for luxury tropical island resorts. Last month, one of the nearby hotels offered a discount price of $19,820 a night to hire out an island as a refuge from the coronavirus.The private military company that Mozambique hired in April to provide air support to government troops in the form of helicopters fitted with machine guns has struggled to quell the violence. Lionel Dyck, the founder of Dyck Advisory Group, the firm the government employed, declined to comment when contacted by mobile phone.IS WarningGovernments including South Africa, the U.S. and Portugal have indicated willingness to help fight the insurgency.“The insurgency is a challenge but we’re happy that our defense and security forces have been playing their role,” Max Tonela, Mozambique’s energy and natural resources minister, told reporters during the June 19 site visit. “We all as Mozambicans must fight against this evil that comes from external attacks.”About 1,300 people have died in the violence, with a further 220,000 displaced since the first attack three years ago, which also took place at Mocimboa da Praia.For the second time, IS referred directly to the projects in a weekly newsletter this month. The group said that it would be “delusional” to think that the government could protect the investments, and warned other countries against getting involved.The marginalization of young men in a region that’s predominantly Muslim and 1,900 kilometers away from the capital, Maputo, has helped lead to radicalization that’s fueled the insurgency, according to researchers including Saide Habibe at the Maputo-based Institute of Social and Economic Studies who have studied the origins of the fighters.Total’s project will hire 14,000 people at peak construction, of which at least 5,000 will be Mozambican and many from the region, Bescond said at the briefing, wearing a surgical mask, as all visitors to the site must do to prevent another outbreak of the coronavirus.The financial rewards are worth the cost to the government of the soldiers patrolling the vast compound and snipers on its perimeter fence -- Total’s estimate is $50 billion in direct and indirect revenue over 25 years for the $15 billion economy.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Total: Coalition for the Energy of the Future: 11 Major International Companies Join Forces to Accelerate the Energy Transition in Transport and Logistics

    AWS, Carrefour Group, CMA CGM Group, Cluster Maritime Français, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Engie, Faurecia, Michelin, Schneider Electric, Total and Wärtsilä have formed an international coalition. Nine concrete projects for developing energy solutions to accelerate the energy transition in transport and logistics.

  • U.S. Cases Rise Most Since May 9; Texas Mask Order: Virus Update
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Cases Rise Most Since May 9; Texas Mask Order: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. cases jumped the most since May 9 and Florida’s new coronavirus infections rose by a record. Texas ordered residents to wear masks as the state reported its second-most daily infections of the outbreak.The coronavirus may be mutating in a way that may make it easier to spread, said Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease researcher. Houston reported a 4.3% jump in intensive-care patients, and may need to tap extra beds in less than two weeks.New York City plans to reopen its public schools in September. The U.S. labor market rebound accelerated in June as broader reopenings spurred hiring, though recent virus pickups put the gains in jeopardy.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases pass 10.7 million; Deaths top 518,000Life, liberty and face masks: a virus preys on AmericaRights of American workers could change after virusAn unfestive July 4th as states call off the celebrationsDining out means plexiglass, planters, hand-washing stationsUnderstanding the virus and its unanswered questionsCovid-19 isn’t killing cash. People are hoarding more of itThe post-pandemic hotel looks a lot like a cruise shipSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.Texas Cases Rise Tops 7-Day Average (5 p.m. NY)Texas recorded its second-worst day of the pandemic with 7,915 new cases, according to state health department data on Thursday. The 4.7% growth rate surpassed the seven-day average of 4.2%. That followed Wednesday’s record tally of 8,076 new diagnoses.Virus-related hospitalizations expanded by 6.9% to 7,382, the data showed, as medical facilities in Houston and elsewhere showing increasing signs of strain. Fatalities rose by 1.8% to 2,525. Texas Issues Mask Order (4:30 p.m. NY)Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered residents to wear face coverings amid a spike in cases in the second-most populous U.S. state.In a reversal of his months-long opposition to such a mandate, Abbott on Thursday said the order applies to all counties with 20 or more virus cases. He also barred people from gathering in groups larger than 10.The Republican governor has been under growing pressure from Democratic mayors and county leaders to crack down or at least grant them authority to mandate masks and other restrictions.U.S. Cases Rise the Most Since May 9 (4 p.m. NY)Coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose by 56,800 from a day earlier to 2.72 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 2.1% increase was higher than the average daily increase of 1.7% over the past week and the biggest jump since May 9. Deaths rose 0.6% to 128,439.Florida reported 169,106 cases, up 6.4% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5.6% in the previous seven days.Arizona reported 3,333 new cases, an increase of 4% to 87,425. Deaths increased by 37, to a total of 1,757.California cases rose 1.7% to 240,195 while deaths rose 1.2% to 6,163, according to the state’s website.N.J. Doubles Outdoor Gathering Limit (4 p.m. NY)New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy doubled the state’s outdoor gathering limit, to 500, starting Friday morning. Outdoor religious services and political activities, such as demonstrations, have no cap. Indoors, the crowd maximum remains 25% of a space’s capacity, with 100 people at most.Murphy this week indefinitely delayed lifting a ban on indoor dining, which was to restart on Thursday, citing “knucklehead” non-distancing behavior at New Jersey outdoor establishments and spiking cases nationally. New Jersey reported 13,251 dead who tested positive for the novel coronavirus and another 1,854 fatalities with a probable but untested link.Djokovic, Wife Test Negative (3:15 p.m. NY)Novak Djokovic and his wife tested negative for the coronavirus, his media team said Thursday, 10 days after announcing they had contracted the disease, the Associated Press said.The top-ranked player tested positive after playing in an exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia. No social distancing was observed at the matches in Belgrade and Zadar, Croatia. Both were in self-isolation in the Serbian capital since testing positive, the statement said.Other players to come down with the virus after participating in the matches in Belgrade and Zadar were Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki.Serbia Curbs Club, Cafe Hours as Cases Jump (3 p.m. NY)Serbia reported 359 new cases on Thursday, a level last seen in mid-April, with the biggest surge in the capital Belgrade. President Aleksandar Vucic said the government will limit hours for nightclubs and cafes, ordering them to close by 11 p.m. for the next two weeks, and shutting student campuses at universities.The authorities also will impose fines for those not wearing protective masks in closed spaces, and may tighten measures further if necessary, Vucic said.Covid-19 Mutation May Enable Spread (2:10 p.nm. NY)The novel coronavirus is showing some signs of mutating in a way that may make it easier to spread, according to Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.Research currently underway suggests a single mutation is emerging that lets the virus replicate better and create a higher viral load, measures that could make it easier to transmit, Fauci said at an online event Thursday hosted by the Journal of the American Medical Association.There is some dispute about the findings and it’s not clear whether people who become infected with a newer variation of the pathogen fare worse than those with the original strain, he said. “It just seems that the virus replicates better and may be more transmissible,” he said. “This is still at the stage of trying to confirm that.”Moderna Sets Human Trial for Vaccine (1:40 p.m. NY)Drug-maker Moderna Inc. said a 30,000-patient trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate will start late this month, although a Stats News article earlier Thursday said the work had been expected to begin next week. Shares fell as much as 9.4% after the report. Company spokesman Ray Jordan confirmed to Bloomberg the trial should start in or by late July, which he said is consistent with the window previously communicated. The company is “working through finalizing of sites,” he said.Stats earlier said Moderna is making changes to the trial, which delayed the start date, and investigators told the news site that changes are common.Houston May Tap Surge ICU Beds (12:40 p.m. NY)Houston posted a 4.3% increase in Covid-19 patients in intensive care, and at the current rate of expansion the city’s hospitals will have to tap a second tranche of so-called surge beds on July 14, according to the Texas Medical Center.In the first phase of surge capacity, 5.4% of the 373 beds already are occupied after the normal ICU space was overwhelmed earlier this week, the medical center said on its website on Thursday. The second phase has 504 beds available. To be sure, 62% of the city’s ICU capacity is occupied by non-virus patients.Trump: Three Vaccine Candidates ‘Really Good’ (12:10 p.m. NY)Three vaccine candidates are “looking really, really good” in trials, President Donald Trump said Thursday at a White House event showcasing small businesses. Trump said three more vaccines will begin trials “shortly,” without elaborating.The military is standing by, ready to distribute the vaccines, Trump said. A vaccine will be out “soon,” the president said.GOP Lawmaker Urges End of Task Force (12:35 p.m. NY)An influential U.S. House Republican from Arizona, which is enduring one of the worst Covid-19 spikes, urged President Donald Trump to disband the White House coronavirus task force because he said it’s hindering the economic recovery.Scientists are causing an unnecessary “panic,” Representative Andy Biggs, who represents the suburbs east of Phoenix, said in a statement. “Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx continue to contradict many of President Trump’s stated goals and actions for returning to normalcy as we know more about the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Biggs, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives whom Trump often consults.Italy Hospitals Cases Under 1,000 (12:05 p.m. NY)Italy’s hospitalized Covid-19 patients fell to 963 on Thursday, the first time its been under 1,000 since early March, according to the Health Ministry. Hospitalizations peaked at about 29,000 in early April; patients in intensive-care units fell to 82.The country, once the outbreak’s European epicenter, registered 201 new cases, in line with the previous 7-day average of 193, and 30 deaths, down from 21 on Wednesday. Total fatalities are 34,818.Arizona Cases Climb 4% (11:50 a.m. NY)Arizona reported 3,333 new cases Thursday, an increase of 4% to 87,425. The number of deaths increased by 37, to a total of 1,757, the Department of Health Services said.The state registered a record-high 4,878 daily infections and 88 new deaths Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence visited Arizona the same day but didn’t mention the record figures. He said he was optimistic as the number of “fatalities are declining across the country.”NYC Schools Plan September Reopening (11:15 a.m. NY)New York City plans to reopen the nation’s largest public school system in September with social-distancing guidelines and the maximum number of students at the start, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.De Blasio said he anticipates some schools will have enough space for all their students, even with new guidelines. Those schools that can’t accommodate all students will operate on a staggered schedule, which will be announced “well in advance,” he said.Everyone will be required to wear face masks and facilities will undergo a deep cleaning each day.Houston Hospitals Tested (11:05 a.m. NY)In Houston and the nine counties surrounding it, virus patients in regular hospital beds outnumber intensive-care cases by almost 3-to-1, according to data from the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council. The figures underscore the pressure on medical staff to care for patients not sick enough to require the most-invasive measures.There were 691 Covid-19 patients in ICU wards Wednesday night in the region including Houston, one of the hardest-hit cities in the U.S. Sunbelt’s accelerating outbreak, according to Setrac data Thursday. That population was dwarfed by the 1,948 virus cases in regular hospital care.Covid-19 patients of all types accounted for 26% of hospitalizations in the region, up from 7.6% at the end of May. Setrac doesn’t publish data on regional ICU or hospital capacity.Nashville Reverses on Reopening (10:45 a.m. NY)Tennessee’s Davidson County, which includes Nashville, reversed course after reporting a one-day record for new cases and will close socially driven businesses such as event and entertainment venues, Mayor John Cooper said in a statement.Restaurants can remain open but must cut capacity to 50% from 75%, he said, noting the rate of new cases fell while bars and eating places were at half capacity. The city -- a popular U.S. tourist attraction -- will operate under the rules for several weeks, he said.Denmark Allows More Travelers (10:40 a.m. NY)Denmark will allow leisure travel from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Thailand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Citizens from the six countries can enter if they have booked at least six nights of stay, the Danish ministry said.Florida Deaths Rise Most in Month (10:30 a.m. NY)Florida reported 169,106 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, up 6.4% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5.6% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,617, an increase of 67, the most in a month, according to a statement that includes data through Wednesday. Daily hospitalizations reached a record 325. The median age of cases increased to 37 from 36 a day earlierAirlines Get U.S. Loans (10:15 a.m. NY)The U.S. Treasury agreed on loan deals with American Airlines Group Inc. and four other carriers, further bolstering liquidity as the virus all-but killed travel demand. American confirmed it will borrow $4.75 billion to weather the travel crisis caused by the pandemic. Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, SkyWest and Spirit Airlines also reached deals to borrow from the Treasury.Mnuchin Hints at School Aid in Stimulus (10:20 a.m. NY)Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration is in contact with schools and universities on reopening, and officials are considering help in the next round of economic stimulus to “properly equip” schools for social distancing and to make other adjustments. “In most cases, schools will be able to open safely,” Mnuchin said at the White House.As Cases Surge, South Africa Hub Adds Beds (9:26 a.m. NY)South Africa’s Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and Pretoria, will add more than 2,000 hospital beds this month and is considering localized lockdowns and curbs on alcohol as the number of cases surges.The country’s commercial hub has recorded about 3,000 infections a day in the past two weeks, the most nationwide, and hospitalizations and the mortality rate have increased “dramatically,” David Makhura, the province’s premier, said Thursday. Currently 144 patients require ventilators in the region, up from just four a month ago.England’s Infection Rate Has Leveled Off: ONS (9:20 a.m. NY)An average of 0.04% of the community population, the equivalent of 25,000 people, had Covid-19 between June 14 and June 27, the Office for National Statistics estimated. The figure was 0.06% in the previous two-week period and more than 0.3% when the survey started in April. Estimates are based on tests performed on a sampling of people outside of hospitals, care homes and other institutional settings.U.S. June Jobs Rise Above-Forecast 4.8 Million (8:30 a.m. NY)The rebound in the U.S. labor market accelerated in June as broader reopenings spurred more hiring, though filings for unemployment benefits remained elevated last week as coronavirus cases picked up. Payrolls rose by 4.8 million in June after an upwardly revised 2.7 million gain in the prior month, according to a Labor Department report. The unemployment rate fell for a second month to 11.1%, still far above the pre-pandemic half-century low of 3.5%.Wells Fargo Hits Brakes on Student Loans (8:11 a.m. NY)Wells Fargo & Co. is pulling back from student lending as the U.S. surge in coronavirus cases threatens to further disrupt higher education and the broader U.S. economy.The firm, which has been reviewing businesses under new Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf, said student loans for the upcoming academic year will be granted only to people who submitted applications before July 1 or to customers who already have an outstanding balance on a prior student loan from the bank.England’s Schools to Reopen From September (7:48 a.m. NY)Restrictions on class sizes will be lifted to allow English schools, colleges and nurseries to fully reopen in September, at the start of the next academic year, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is trying to persuade schools to return to normal, amid concerns that pupils are falling behind in their education and parents are unable to work effectively while educating their children.Botswana President Quarantines After Aide Tests Positive (7:18 a.m. NY))Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi started 14 days of quarantine after an “official closely serving him” tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement emailed by the Office of the President.Airbnb Restricts Bookings for Some U.S. Guests Under 25 (7:12 a.m. NY)Airbnb Inc. will restrict guests under the age of 25 with less then three positive reviews from booking entire home listings that are close to where they live, the company said in a statement. The measure will support “safe and responsible” travel in the U.S. and follows a similar initiative in Canada that was implemented earlier this year.EU Seeks to Secure Remdesivir Doses (7:01 a.m. NY)The European Union is in negotiations with Gilead on the possibility of reserving a “sufficient number of doses” of remdesivir for the bloc’s member states, a European CommissionGerman Parliament Backs $246-Billion Debt Binge to Spur Growth (6:10 a.m. NY)Germany’s lower house of parliament approved additional borrowing that will raise new debt this year to 218 billion euros ($246 billion) to fund spending to put the economy back on track.The Bundestag also backed the government’s stimulus package designed to boost long-term competitiveness and help achieve climate targets, as the country seeks to emerge from its worst recession since World War II.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks up; Mexican, Colombian pesos lead FX gains

    * Mexican, Colombian pesos rise on oil prices * Chile's peso supported by copper gains * U.S. jobs report helps risk appetite * Rising COVID-19 cases still weigh (Adds comments, updates prices) By Shreyashi Sanyal July 2 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies rose on Thursday, led by oil- and metal-linked currencies, after record U.S. job gains boosted hopes for a swift recovery from the pandemic-triggered recession. Wall Street initially rallied on the news but tempered gains as Florida reported a record-shattering 10,000 new COVID-19 cases, fueling demand for the safe-haven dollar. Brazil's real and stocks gained after industrial production rose 7% in May, its second biggest monthly increase on record as economic activity started to pick up.

  • IDEX Corporation to Webcast Second Quarter 2020 Earnings Call
    Business Wire

    IDEX Corporation to Webcast Second Quarter 2020 Earnings Call

    IDEX CORPORATION (NYSE:IEX) announced today that it has scheduled the broadcast of the company’s second quarter earnings conference call over the Internet on Friday, July 24, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. CT. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Silvernail and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, William Grogan will discuss the company’s second quarter 2020 financial performance and respond to questions from the financial community.

  • Reuters

    EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks rise; commodity-linked currencies lead gains

    * Mexican, Colombian pesos rise on oil prices * Chile's peso supported by copper gains * U.S. jobs report helps risk appetite * Rising COVID-19 cases still weigh By Ambar Warrick July 2 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks and currencies rose on Thursday as strong U.S. jobs data pointed to a swift economic recovery from the coronavirus, with oil- and metal-linked currencies leading gains. Closer to home, Brazil's real and stocks gained after industrial production rose 7% in May, its second biggest monthly increase on record as economic activity started to pick up.

  • The Daily Biotech Pulse: Novartis Settles Lawsuit For $678M, Sarepta In-Licenses Gene Therapy Pre-Treatment, Unity Biotech Outlines Second-Half Catalysts
    Benzinga

    The Daily Biotech Pulse: Novartis Settles Lawsuit For $678M, Sarepta In-Licenses Gene Therapy Pre-Treatment, Unity Biotech Outlines Second-Half Catalysts

    Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours:Scaling The Peaks (Biotech Stocks Hitting 52-week Highs July 1) * AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV) * ADC Therapeutics SA (NYSE: ADCT) * Affimed NV (NASDAQ: AFMD) * Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: AGIO) * Akero Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AKRO) (announced positive results for mid-stage study of NASH drug) * Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) (reacted to a favorable court ruling on its Enbrel patent litigation) * Aptinyx Inc (NASDAQ: APTX) * BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) * Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: CRBP) * Crispr Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ: CRSP) * Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) * Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX) * Legend Biotech Corp (NASDAQ: LEGN) * Liminal BioSciences Inc (NASDAQ: LMNL) (announced commencement of convalescent plasma collection from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 and upcoming catalysts) * Natera Inc (NASDAQ: NTRA) * Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK) * Pacira Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ: PCRX) * Tandem Diabetes Care Inc (NASDAQ: TNDM) * Twist Bioscience Corp (NASDAQ: TWST) * Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc (NASDAQ: RARE) (announced FDA approval for drug to treat long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders)Down In The Dumps (Biotech Stocks Hitting 52-week Lows July 1) * ADiTx Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ADTX) * Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: FUSN) * Generation Bio Co (NASDAQ: GBIO) * Hoth Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: HOTH) * Iterum Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: ITRM) * Repare Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: RPTX)Stocks In Focus Novartis Finalizes $678M Settlement In US Lawsuit Over Kickbacks Paid To Doctors Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) said it has finalized its previously disclosed agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the New York State attorney general and relator Oswald Bilotta resolving a civil suit challenging speaker programs and other promotional events conducted from 2002 through 2011 by Novartis in the U.S.The litigation pertains to Novartis allegedly spending millions of dollars on incentive programs to doctors who steered patients toward drugs from its cardiovascular division in exchange for illegal kickbacks.As part of this settlement, Novartis said it will pay $678 million and has agreed to new corporate integrity obligations with the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services that will change how the company delivers peer-to-peer programs in the U.S. The company said it had fully provisioned for this settlement in July 2019.The stock was down 0.66% at $87.27 premarket Thursday.Merck Closes Licensing Transaction With Ridgeback To Advance COVID-19 Treatment Candidate Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) announced the closing of its collaboration and licensing agreement with antiviral biotech Ridgeback Biotherapeutics following the FTC granting early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.The companies noted that all closing requirements have been completed for the previously announced partnership transaction to advance the development of EIDD-2801, an investigational, orally available antiviral agent in early clinical development for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.The stock was trading 0.87% higher at $78.80 at the time of publication Thursday.See also: The Week Ahead In Biotech (June 28- July 4): Pending Clinical Readouts In Focus During A Short Holiday Week BeiGene Announces Acceptance Of Chinese Regulatory Application For Tislelizumab Label Expansion Beigene Ltd (NASDAQ: BGNE) said the Center for Drug Evaluation of the China National Medical Products Administration has accepted a supplemental new drug application for its anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab in patients with previously treated unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer.Unity Biotech Announces Second-Half Clinical Catalysts Offering a clinical trial update, Unity Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: UBX) said it expects to release top-line 12-week results from Phase 2 study of UBX0101 in osteoarthritis in the third quarter. The company also said it plans to initiate a first-in-human study of UBX1325 in age-related eye diseases in the second half of 2020.Sarepta In-Licenses Pre-Treatment Candidate For Its Gene Therapies For $407.5M Sarepta Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SRPT) and Hansa Biopharma announced an agreement under which Sarepta is granted an exclusive worldwide license to develop and promote imlifidase as a pre-treatment to enable Sarepta gene therapy treatment in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy.Sarepta will pay Hansa $10 million upfront and up to $397.5 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments. The agreement calls for Sarepta assuming responsibility for conducting pre-clinical and clinical studies with imlifidase and any subsequent regulatory approvals, and also promoting imlifidase as a pre-treatment to Sarepta's gene therapies following potential approval.Offerings Zomedica Pharmaceuticals Corp (NYSE: ZOM) said it has priced its previously announced public offering of 187.5 million shares of its common stock, together with short-term warrants, to purchase up to 187.5 million common shares at a combined public offering price of 16 cents per share and accompanying warrant.Each common share is being sold in the offering together with one two-year warrant to purchase one common share at an exercise price of 16 cents per common share, the company said. Zomedica expects to raise gross proceeds of $30 million from the offering.The stock was down 33.26% premarket at 15 cents.Neoleukin Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: NLTX) said it intends to offer up to 5 million shares of its common stock and, in lieu of common stock, to certain investors pre-funded warrants to purchase shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering. All of the securities are being offered by the company.The stock slipped 6% to $15.99 in after-hours trading.BioLife Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: BLFS) said it intends to offer shares of its common stock for sale in an underwritten public offering. The company said it expects to use the gross proceeds for general corporate purposes.The stock was down 7.61% premarket at $14.82. Related Link: Gilead Announces Pricing Of Coronavirus Treatment Remdesivir: 'We Believe All Patients Will Have Access'See more from Benzinga * Global Blood Analyst Projects More Than 60% Upside On Receding Sickle Cell Drug Concerns * Attention Biotech Investors: Mark Your Calendar For These July PDUFA Dates(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

  • Reuters

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks skip higher ahead of U.S. jobs data

    World stocks rose for a fourth straight day on Thursday as encouraging coronavirus vaccine trials kept investors' spirits up ahead of what was expected to be a record rebound in U.S. jobs figures. Economists polled by Reuters expect a bumper 3 million U.S. jobs to have been added in June on top of the 2.5 million created in May, and some generally reassuring data from both Asia and Europe this week. Despite the ongoing rise in global virus cases, Asian equity markets saw their biggest daily climb in more than two weeks overnight, aided by news that a vaccine being trialled by Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech had been well tolerated in early-stage human tests.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Sarepta Therapeutics Signs Agreement with Hansa Biopharma for Imlifidase

    Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (SRPT), the leader in precision genetic medicine for rare diseases, today announced an agreement with Hansa Biopharma, the leader in immunomodulatory enzyme technology for rare Immunoglobulin G (IgG) mediated diseases, for imlifidase. Under the terms of the agreement, Sarepta obtains an exclusive, worldwide license to develop and promote imlifidase as a pre-treatment to enable Sarepta gene therapy administration in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), for patients who may otherwise not be eligible for treatment.

  • Reuters

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks near 4-month highs on vaccine hopes, eyes on U.S. payrolls

    All eyes are on U.S. employment data, due later in the day, which are expected offer further cues into how the world's largest economy is coping with a rise in coronavirus cases in several states. In a sign the positive sentiment will extend elsewhere, E-minis for S&P500 rose 0.3% while futures for Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.8% and those for Germany's DAX climbed 0.8%. Risk sentiment was whetted by a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech, which was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials.

  • Reuters

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks rise on vaccine hopes, eyes on U.S. payrolls

    Asian stocks tracked Wall Street higher on Thursday although sentiment was cautious ahead of U.S. employment data while copper prices jumped to more than six-month highs on a better global outlook and supply fears in top producer Chile. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.4%, China's blue-chip index added 0.6% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 1.7%. U.S. employment figures due later in the day are expected to show if the world's largest economy can sustain its fragile recovery as new COVID-19 cases accelerate in several southern states.

  • Moody's

    Consumers Energy Company -- Moody's changes outlook of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy to negative

    Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") changed the outlook of CMS Energy Corporation (CMS) and Consumers Energy Company (Consumers Energy) to negative from stable. At the same time, Moody's affirmed all ratings, including the Baa1 senior unsecured rating of CMS and the Aa3 senior secured and Prime-1 short-term commercial paper ratings of Consumers Energy. "Although we continue to view the regulatory framework in Michigan to be credit supportive, financial metrics of both CMS and Consumers Energy have weakened considerably due to tax reform and higher leverage to support elevated capital investments at the utility," stated Jairo Chung, Moody's analyst.

  • Reuters

    BHP´s Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile to scale down operations

    Global miner BHP said on Wednesday it would begin to ramp down activity at its small Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile amid the coronavirus pandemic which has thrown metals markets into disarray. Cerro Colorado produced 71,700 tonnes of copper in 2019, or approximately 1.2% of Chile´s total. "This measure is necessary to maintain a viable operation during the years that remain... which will be marked by high uncertainty and financial volatility," the company said in a statement.

  • Reuters

    US loan issuance plummets in 2Q as market takes stock of new normal

    Issuance across the US syndicated loan market plummeted in the second quarter as the asset class navigated a slow recovery from the novel coronavirus that left borrowers scrambling for cash to keep their businesses alive while economies around the world gradually reopen. Companies from beleaguered sectors, including United Airlines and cruise ship operator Carnival Cruise Line, collectively raised billions of US dollars in new, costly loans to bolster liquidity amid a pandemic that forced many consumers to shelter at home throughout the second quarter. The wary buyside limited its exposure to low, Single B rated loans that are subject to fall to Triple C, which is just notches above a default.

  • Bloomberg

    Vedanta Seeks to Upsize Loan to $2.75 Billion for Delisting

    (Bloomberg) -- Vedanta Resources Plc is seeking to increase a planned $2.5 billion loan by $250 million to help it advance a decision to delist its main India unit, according to people familiar with the matter.The proposed upsizing comes as the London-based mining conglomerate prepares to begin the formal offer, seeking to buy back the shares it doesn’t already own in Vedanta Ltd. The firm won shareholder approval last week to begin the delisting process.The decision is part of Chairman Anil Agarwal’s plan to simplify his investments across the complex multi-tiered corporate structure. Vedanta has interests in zinc, aluminum and oil and gas, all of which have been buffeted by volatile prices and concern about weak demand for metals and hydrocarbons because of the coronavirus pandemic.The new financing proposal would boost the second tranche of the loan to $1 billion, while retaining the first at $1.75 billion, the people said, asking not to be named because the deliberations are private. Both parts of the funding rely on dividends from the mining giant’s Hindustan Zinc Ltd. unit, with the first part dependent on existing cash at the unit, and the second on proposed debt sales by Hindustan Zinc, the people said.Vedanta Resources’ 6.125% 2024 notes were trading slightly higher at 69.49 cents to the dollar in Asia trading Wednesday, while Vedanta Ltd. shares were trading higher at 107.00 rupees ($1.4) in early trading in Mumbai.A company spokesman declined to comment on the plan, and referred Bloomberg News to a statement Friday that said Vedanta Resources is in the process of arranging the financing for the delisting and expects this to be concluded in coming weeks.(Updates with bond, stock prices in 5th graph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Supermajors Are Flocking To This Booming Oil Frontier
    Oilprice.com

    Supermajors Are Flocking To This Booming Oil Frontier

    Supermajors are flocking to this little-known oil frontier, and many investors still don’t know it exists

  • GlobeNewswire

    Sarepta Therapeutics Announces Inducement Grants Under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)

    Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (SRPT), the leader in precision genetic medicine for rare diseases, granted equity awards on June 30, 2020 that were previously approved by the Compensation Committee of its Board of Directors under Sarepta’s 2014 Employment Commencement Incentive Plan, as a material inducement to employment to 26 individuals hired by Sarepta in June 2020. The employees received, in the aggregate, options to purchase 27,315 shares of Sarepta's common stock, and in the aggregate, 13,680 restricted stock units (“RSUs”). The options have an exercise price of $160.34 per share, which is equal to the closing price of Sarepta's common stock on June 30, 2020 (the “Grant Date”).

  • Apollo Makes Rare Move in Latest Deal After Outbidding Buffett
    Bloomberg

    Apollo Makes Rare Move in Latest Deal After Outbidding Buffett

    (Bloomberg) -- For the better part of a decade, private equity firms layered increasing amounts of leverage onto buyouts in a bid to amp up their returns. Tech Data Corp. appears to be one of the exceptions.Apollo Global Management Inc.’s $6 billion take-private of the distributor of technology products only saddled the company with debt worth 2.5 times a key measure of its earnings, according to the private equity firm. Credit rating companies have said thin profit margins limit the leverage the business can support, especially in a crisis.The financing, agreed before the coronavirus pandemic, was structured in an unusual way for a buyout. It relied on loans backed by Tech Data’s receivables and inventory, which include iPhones, Cisco servers, printers and scanners stored in any of its 11 logistics centers around the world.Those asset-based loans, which are often used by retailers, are considered some of the safest for banks to underwrite, as they give creditors a direct claim on the company’s property as opposed to its future cash flow. The debt also gives Tech Data more financial flexibility, and is better suited to the company’s working capital needs.But it’s unlikely to become a new blueprint for the industry.“I don’t think this is going to be replicated by a lot of other sponsors, because it limits the amount of leverage you can put on a business,” Matt Nord, who co-leads the private equity business at Apollo, said in an interview.Credit rating firms, which are typically more conservative in their calculations, estimate Tech Data’s leverage will be higher. Moody’s Investors Service said it expects the ratio to increase to the high 4 times range over the next couple of quarters because of the global recession.“Maintaining very good liquidity is critical given adjusted operating margins of less than 2% and the need to manage working capital swings throughout the year,” Moody’s analyst Carl Salas wrote in a note this month.Still, Tech Data’s leverage is lower than what is typical on the most aggressive deals, which would be closer to 6 times or higher.Private equity firms have been able to load more debt onto buyouts in recent years, reveling in ultra-low interest rates. That’s come back to haunt some companies that are struggling to make it through Covid-19, while some banks have scaled back underwriting risk.Read more: Wall Street puts guardrails on LBO deals after crisis markdowns“When you have a lot of debt, you just have less margin for error,” said Nord. “Over the last 5 or 10 years the economy has muddled along, and we didn’t really have these big shocks - until we did.”Apollo said it turned down more aggressive financing packages from some of its banks for the deal.“A number of financial institutions pitched us a traditional bank and bond financing structure which was sub-optimal for our investment thesis,” Robert Kalsow-Ramos, a partner at Apollo said in the interview.Apollo contributed $3.75 billion of equity and sold about $2 billion of asset-based loans to institutional investors and banks earlier this month to finance the deal.The acquisition of Tech Data closed Tuesday after a nearly five-year long pursuit for Apollo, and ultimately ended with the private equity firm paying $145-per-share -- beating Warren Buffett in an auction process. When Apollo first began to meet with Tech Data, the firm was worth less than $60 a share.Apollo plans to invest $750 million of Tech Data’s cash flow over the next five years to expand its cloud platform, business analytics and security.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tech Data Plans to Invest Approximately $750 Million to Accelerate Digital Transformation
    Business Wire

    Tech Data Plans to Invest Approximately $750 Million to Accelerate Digital Transformation

    With its acquisition by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management now complete, Tech Data (or the "Company") today announced the Company plans to invest approximately $750 million in digital transformation initiatives over the next five years. The investment will power Tech Data’s strategy to accelerate innovation in ways that will deliver improved experiences and greater agility for businesses across the technology ecosystem.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Funds Managed by Affiliates of Apollo Complete Tech Data Acquisition

    Chief Executive Officer Rich Hume will continue to lead Tech Data from its headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. “Tech Data is a global, market-leading company with an excellent management team and significant opportunities for expansion,” said Matt Nord, Co-Lead Partner of Private Equity at Apollo.

  • Oil & Gas Stock Roundup: Chesapeake's Bankruptcy, Eni's Renewable Push & More
    Zacks

    Oil & Gas Stock Roundup: Chesapeake's Bankruptcy, Eni's Renewable Push & More

    The long struggling shale pioneer Chesapeake Energy (CHK) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, while Italy's Eni SpA (E) acquired three wind farm projects.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Sarepta Therapeutics Announces Retirement of Sandy Mahatme, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer

    Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (SRPT), the leader in precision genetic medicine for rare diseases, today announced the retirement of Sandy Mahatme, Sarepta’s executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief business officer, from the company effective July 10, 2020. The company has commenced a search process to identify the future chief financial officer. During the interim period, the finance and accounting functions will report directly to Sarepta’s Chief Executive Officer, Doug Ingram, and other departments reporting to Mr. Mahatme will be overseen by members of Sarepta’s executive committee.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of PTCT.OQ earnings conference call or presentation 30-Apr-20 8:30pm GMT

    Q1 2020 PTC Therapeutics Inc Earnings Call

  • Chevron Snaps Up Gas Sales Deal With BHP in Western Australia
    Zacks

    Chevron Snaps Up Gas Sales Deal With BHP in Western Australia

    Chevron (CVX)-run Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas facilities are expected to churn out 500 terajoules of domestic gas daily for the Western Australian market.