Neil Unmack is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist based in London. He covers credit markets, hedge funds, and Italy. Previously he was a corporate finance reporter at Bloomberg News in London. He started his career as a financial journalist in 2001 at Euromoney Institutional Investor, where he covered structured finance for EuroWeek magazine. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University, graduating with a first class degree in modern languages. Follow Neil on Twitter @unmack1
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The UK pharma group fought Pfizer’s $120 bln bid in May by promising growth. It’s now reiterating punchy sales targets and casting oncology as a new growth driver. In fact, the Astra story has only inched forward. Its defence has been aided most by U.S. curbs on tax-driven M&A.
After a tough year, doubling up in Italy to buy ailing Monte dei Paschi would be a bold move for France’s biggest bank. But synergies could exceed 3 bln euros, while political obstacles and asset quality fears have eased. If BNP was tempted, it could drive a hard bargain.
The European Central Bank’s bid to boost its balance sheet by 1 trillion euros is distorting the prices of the covered bonds it’s buying. Inefficient markets can breed trouble. But that may be the necessary collateral damage of central bank action.
- Diabetes wars a taste of things to come for pharma
- China affair may test Italy's protectionist reflex
- MPS shareholders presented with unappealing choice
- Sanofi board chaos risks derailing recovery
- Sanofi creates toxic combination for investors
- Italy’s bank debacle could be useful for Renzi
- GSK’s deal-making days may just be starting