Adani Group to Buy Holcim’s India Cement Business in $10.5 Billion Deal
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One of India’s largest business groups has agreed to buy Holcim Ltd. ’s cement business in India, in a $10.5 billion deal that is biggest ever acquisition in the country’s infrastructure and materials industry. The Adani Group will buy Switzerland-based Holcim’s stake in Indian listed companies Ambuja Cements Ltd. and ACC Ltd. , which will make Adani India’s second-largest cement maker, Adani Group said Sunday. Holcim, through subsidiaries, holds 63.19% in Ambuja Cements and 54.53% in ACC. The value for the Holcim stake and open offer consideration for Ambuja Cements and ACC is $10.5 billion, which also makes it the largest ever acquisition by Adani Group. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the second half of this year, the statement said. Adani Group is a diversified conglomerate in India with market cap of about $177 billion comprising seven publicly traded companies. The group has business interest in infrastructure industries from energy to logistics to management of airports.
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Friday, the SMI gained 1.3 per cent to 11,650 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 18 price gainers and two price losers. 34.24 (previously: 43.58) million shares were traded. Rising market interest rates fuelled buying interest in banking stocks. The sector has long suffered from the low interest rate environment. Credit Suisse rose by 3.1 per cent and UBS by 2.7 per cent. Logitech rose 1.8 per cent after Julius Baer upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold". Holcim advanced 2.9 per cent. Besides Adani Group and JSW Group, Ultratech Cement is also believed to have expressed interest in the building materials producer's India business. It could lead to a lucrative bidding race. Lonza (+3.7%) and Alcon (+3.5) were also among the highly sought-after stocks, while Roche (-0.4%) and Swisscom (-0.7%) were at the other end of the price table.
European stocks rose on Friday after Jerome Powell cooled speculation over the potential for 75-basis point rate hikes. The Fed is not "actively considering" a 75-basis point interest rate increase, Powell told Marketplace after the U.S. market close Thursday, though he also said the central bank may not be able to engineer a "soft landing" for the economy. The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed up 2.1% at 433.5 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 rose 2.5% each. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 gained 2.1% and the FTSE 100 in London gained 2.6%. The retailer Casino (+9.9%) has mandated several banks to sell GreenYellow, its subsidiary specialising in the production of renewable energy and energy services, reported Friday Les Echos. According to the newspaper, these activities would interest several potential buyers including TotalEnergies (+3.5%) and Engie (+2.5%) and could be valued at around 1.5 billion euros. Satellite operator Eutelsat (+5%) confirmed its objectives for the current financial year, after a 3.3% drop in revenues from its operating activities in the third quarter. Car manufacturer Renault (+5.2%) is studying the creation of two "centres of excellence", one dedicated to 100% electric vehicles and technologies and the other to thermal and hybrid engines and transmissions, which would each employ around 10,000 people. Retirement home operator Orpea (+2.9% after losing up to 8% in early trading) announced that it would not pay a dividend this year and that it planned to refinance itself to the tune of 3.2 billion euros, due to major exceptional charges linked to the management of the crisis that is shaking the group.
U.S. stocks ended higher Friday after a punishing week of losses across major indexes. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 434.04 points, or 3.8%, to 11805.00, its largest one-day percentage gain since November 2020. The S&P 500 gained 93.81 points, or 2.4%, to 4023.89, while the Dow industrials rose 466.36 points, or 1.5%, to 32196.66. All three indexes finished below highs seen earlier in the session. Even with Friday’s gains, all three major indexes finished the week with losses of at least 2%. The S&P 500 fell 2.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.8%, their sixth consecutive weekly declines. The Dow industrials dropped 2.1%. On Friday, technology stocks were among those that led the rebound. Nvidia added $15.31, or 9.5%, to $177.06, PayPal advanced $4.54, or 6.1%, to $78.83 and Netflix gained $13.33, or 7.6%, to $187.64. The S&P 500’s information technology segment ended the day up 3.4%. Robinhood surged $2.13, or 25%, to $10.69 after Sam Bankman -Fried, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, disclosed a 7.6% stake in the brokerage. Duolingo jumped $22.79, or 34%, to $89.77 after the language-learning platform reported a sharp jump in revenue and monthly active users. Energy stocks were some of the biggest gainers Friday, rising with the price of oil. Brent, the global crude oil benchmark, rose 3.8% to $111.55. Oil prices ticked lower this week, but remain up more than 40% since the start of the year. Bitcoin rose to $29,800.33 as of 5 p.m. ET Friday, from $28,572.24 on Thursday. Elsewhere in the cryptocurrency markets, the beleaguered stablecoin TerraUSD continued to spiral lower, trading around 13 cents, according to CoinDesk.
A mixed picture in Asian stocks, weighed by data showing China's economic activity cooled sharply in April was displayed on Monday. After initial solid index gains, Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as Seoul are now moderately down by up to 0.5 per cent, while the Nikkei index in Tokyo is up 0.4 per cent at 26,537 points. Tokyo SMC rises a good 4 per cent after the pneumatics expert announced a sharp rise in profits, as does mobile phone provider KDDI (+3.2%). Honda Motor (-4.0%), on the other hand, suffers from a 41 percent drop in profits last fiscal year. SK Bioscience continue to benefit in Seoul (+1.7%) from the approval of the export of a typhoid vaccine.
Treasury yields bounced back Friday, but fell short of finishing the week higher,
as traders closed out a choppy week that included the latest U.S. inflation readings. The 10-year Treasury note rose by 4 basis points to 2.935%, after losing ground over the past four sessions. The yield on the two-year security rose by 7 basis points to 2.594%.
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