IMF predicts strong global growth but warns of risks
The IMF forecast in its new assessment of the World Economic Outlook that 2018 will be the strongest year for global growth since 2011, with levels of up to 3.9%. The growth will stay such in 2019 as well. However, the IMF warned that the current momentum was not secure enough and could be influenced and even curtailed by emerging trade barriers. The IMF lists a number of risks that could lead to weaker performance, including what it calls policies that “harm international trade” as well as “waning support for global integration”.
Consortium submits highest bid for DESFA
A consortium composed of Italian gas infrastructure company Snam, Spain's Enagas Internacional and Belgium's Fluxys submitted the highest bid in a tender for the acquisition of a 66% stake in Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA), Greece's privatisation agency (TAIPED) said on 16 April. According to Kathimerini, the offer amounts to €535m. The asset sale is part of the country's multi-billion euro privatisation programme agreed with Greece's creditors.
Shire sells cancer drugs to Servier for $2.4bn
Shire, the London-listed rare diseases specialist that is a potential takeover target for Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical, is selling its oncology business to unlisted French drugmaker Servier for $2.4bn. The deal suggests there is value locked up within Shire's portfolio - despite a dismal share price performance in the past two years - as its management braces for a possible $50bn bid battle with Japan's biggest drugmaker. Shire said on 16 April it would consider returning proceeds from the sale to shareholders through a buyback and that further selective disposals of non-strategic assets were possible.
Jaguar Land Rover intends to cut 1,000 UK jobs
The biggest carmaker in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover, plans to cut around 1,000 jobs and production at two of its English factories due to a fall in sales caused by uncertainty around Brexit and confusion over diesel policy, a source told Reuters. The company admitted it makes some adjustments to its production schedules and the level of agency staff, without confirming the number of jobs to be cut. Jaguar sales are down 26% so far this year, whilst Land Rover demand dropped 20% in its home market as buyers shun diesel, concerned over planned tax rises and possible bans in several countries.