Nestle to Buy Majority Stake in Brazil Chocolate Company Grupo CRM
Topic of the day
Nestle said it has reached a deal with Advent International to buy a majority stake in Brazilian chocolate company Grupo CRM for an undisclosed sum, in a bid to bolster its confectionery presence there. The Swiss consumer-goods giant said the deal will allow it to enter the high-end segment of the Brazilian market. Grupo CRM operates more than 1,000 chocolate boutiques under the Kopenhagen and Brasil Cacau brands and has a growing online presence, Nestle said. Renata Moraes Vichi will continue to lead Grupo CRM as chief executive and will remain a minority shareholder, Nestle said. Nestle said it wouldn’t disclose financial details of the deal, which is expected to be completed next year, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
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The Switzerland stock market ended on a firm note on Thursday, bucking the largely weak trend seen across Europe. The market started off on a weak note, but emerged in positive territory about an hour later, and then stayed firm right through the day's session. The benchmark SMI ended with a gain of 69.01 points or 0.63% at 10,993.43, the day's high. Swiss Re gained nearly 2%. Roche Holding, Novartis, Sika and Swisscom climbed 1.2 to 1.7%. Kuehne & Nagel ended 0.7% up, and Alcon gained 0.75%. Nestle advanved nearly 1% after it agreed to acquire Brazilian chocolate brand Kopenhagen. Sonova dropped 2.5%. Logitech and Swiss Life Holding ended lower by 1.53% and 1.31%, respectively. UBS Group, Richemont, Lonza Group and Partners Group also ended notably lower. In the Mid Price Index, Swiss Prime Site, Swatch Group, Lindt & Spruengli, Galenica Sante, Baloise Holding, Flughafen Zurich and PSP Swiss Property gained 0.6 to 1.2%. AMS ended 6.25% down. Meyer Burger Tech declined 5% and VAT Group ended lower by 3.65%. Dufry, Georg Fischer, Barry Callebaut, Tecan Group, DocMorris and Julius Baer drifted down 1 to 1.5%. On the economic front, data from State Secretariat for Economic Affairs showed the Swiss unemployment rate rose to a non-seasonally adjusted 2% in August 2023, from 1.9% in the previous month.
The major European markets ended on a mixed note on Thursday with investors largely making cautious moves, digesting the latest batch of economic data, and assessing the policy stance of major central banks. The pan European Stoxx 600 ended 0.14% down. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 0.21%, France's CAC 40 edged up 0.03%, and Germany's DAX ended lower by 0.14%. Switzerland's SMI gained 0.63%. Other markets in Europe closed mostly lower. Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Sweden closed weak. Denmark and Turkiye ended higher, while Spain closed flat. In the UK market, Melrose Industries climbed 5.5%. Rolls-Royce Holdings gained 3.7%. Relx, EasyJet, DCC, National Grid, Smith & Nephew, Centrica, AstraZeneca, SSE, United Utilities, Severn Trent, Sage Group, BAE Systems, 3i, TUI, Reckitt Benckiser and M&G gained 1 to 2.3%. Direct Line Insurance Group shares zoomed more than 15% after the motor and home insurer posted a first-half operating loss but forecast improved earnings in 2024. BHP tumbled 4.7%. Smurfit Kappa Group ended lower by about 4% after the packaging giant said it is in discussions to merge with U.S. rival WestRock. Ds Smith, JD Sports Fashion, Prudential, Anglo American and Rio Tinto lost 2.7 to 4%. Entain, Just Eat Takeaway.com, Antofagasta, Glencore, Natwest, Fresnillo, Ferguson and Pennon ended lower by 1 to 2%. In the German market, MTU Aero Engines, Henkel, Hannover Rueck, Siemens Healthineers and Daimler Truck Holding gained 1 to 1.8%. Adidas, Infineon, Continental, Siemens Energy, Brenntag, Puma, BASF, Vonovia, Volkswagen, Commerzbank, Symrise, Qiagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW lost 1 to 3.5%.
Stocks came under pressure in early trading on Thursday but regained some ground over the course of the session. The major averages all climbed well off their lows of the session, although the tech-heavy Nasdaq continued to post a notable loss. The Nasdaq slumped 123.64 points or 0.9 percent to 13,748.83 and the S&P 500 fell 14.34 points or 0.3 percent to 4,451.14. Meanwhile, the narrower Dow climbed into positive territory and ended the day up 57.54 points or 0.2 percent at 34,500.73. The early weakness on Wall Street partly reflected ongoing concerns about the outlook for interest rates following recent economic data. A report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday unexpectedly showed faster service sector growth as well as an acceleration in price growth in the sector. Adding to the interest rate concerns, the Labor Department released a report this morning showing an unexpected decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended September 2nd. Computer hardware stocks saw substantial weakness on the day, resulting in a 3.0 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index. Significant weakness was also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 2.0 percent slump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. Steel stocks also saw considerable weakness following weak Chinese trade data, dragging the NYSE Arca Steel Index down by 1.6 percent.
The downward movement on the stock exchanges in East Asia and in Sydney continues. The Nikkei index in Tokyo loses 1.3 per cent to 32,574 points and is clearly the bottom performer in the region. The other indices lost around 0.5 per cent each. There has been no trading in Hong Kong so far. As usual, morning trading was initially cancelled due to a typhoon warning, and it is quite possible that trading there will be cancelled altogether.
In the U.S. bond market, treasuries have moved higher over the course of the session after initially showing a lack of direction. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell 3.0 basis points to 4.260 percent.
JP Morgan raises the Barclays target to 190 (180) p – Overweight
UBS lowers the Orange target to EUR 12.10 (12.70) – Buy
JP Morgan raises the Credit Agricole target to EUR 12.80 (12.50) – Underweight
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