Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.

 

Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.

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Bayer to eliminate 12,000 jobs and sell brands

Bayer to eliminate 12,000 jobs and sell brands

The job cuts will account for about one in ten workers globally, with a significant number of those in Germany

Bayer also plans to sell its animal health division, which is estimated to be worth up to $7.9bn. Shares in the German drug giant have fallen more than a third this year.

Investors are scared of the ramifications that some 9,000 lawsuits will bring over the alleged carcinogenic effects of Monsanto weedkillers. The shares first dropped in August, where a US ruling linked glyphosate to cancer. Bayer however, has claimed that Glyphosate , which is used in Monsanto’s Roundup and RangerPro is completely safe.

The company acquired Dr Scholl and Coppertone four years ago when it bought Merck’s consumer healthcare division for $14bn.The unit is grappling with falling revenues as US consumers switch to online shops and cheaper brands.

Bayer will also seek a buyer for its 60% stake in German chemical production site services provider Currenta. The $66bn merger with Monsanto in 2016 created the world’s biggest seeds and pesticides company back then.

Its decision to sell its animal health business means Bayer will now focus on pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science.

More than 4,000 jobs in the combined crop science division will go by the end of 2021.

Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann stated: “These changes are necessary and lay the foundation for Bayer to enhance its performance and agility.”

The job cuts and sales will result in estimated costs of more than $4.55bn.

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