06 October 1998 16:33 [Source: ICIS news]
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS & POLITICS
22 nations plan rules on capital flow
The US joined 21 other countries Monday to propose a scheme of global regulation of vast international capital flows in an attempt to reduce the risk of future economic crises. The plan was outlined Monday by officials attending the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington. The G-22 report called for requiring "hedge funds" and other big institutional investors - which currently place enormous bets on global markets in near-total secrecy - to disclose their international exposure to government authorities. It also recommended international standards to strengthen banking regulation and supervision and new procedures for private creditors to help crisis-ridden countries.
The Washington Post, page A1
The New York Times, page A1
The Journal of Commerce, page 2A
Impeachment vote follows party lines
The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Monday to open a formal inquiry into whether President Clinton should be impeached for concealing an affair with Monica Lewinsky, making him only the third president to face a serious threat of being removed from power. The committee endorsed an open-ended investigation modelled after the Watergate proceedings that forced President Richard Nixon from office 24 years ago. The Democrats tried and failed, on another party line vote, to substitute a plan for a more limited, two-phase inquiry. The matter now goes to the House floor, where it will be taken up Thursday and appears almost certain to be approved.
The Washington Post, page A1
The New York Times, page A20
The Wall Street Journal, page A24
Brazil awaits tally of Cardoso victory
Preliminary results on Monday showed reformer Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso returning to office for another four years, setting the stage for the International Monetary Fund and US Treasury Department to lead an extensive rescue package of Latin America's largest economy. Although it could take another day or more before all ballots are counted, Cardoso is already being hailed as the victor. Cardoso's victory also strengthens Brazil's standing in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over terms of an anticipated $27bn line of credit. Economists say both the austerity move and the IMF action are required to help boost investor confidence in a nation that is still under serious pressure to devalue its currency.
The Journal of Commerce, page 1A
The Washington Post, page A17
The New York Times, page A12
The Wall Street Journal, page A16
Fed Governor explains small rate cut
The Federal Reserve will keep cutting interest rates if need be to make sure the US economy keeps growing next year, Fed Governor Laurence Meyer said Monday. Meyer said the Fed reduced overnight rates to 5.25% from 5.5% last week because turmoil in world financial markets is threatening US economic growth. Meyer said the rate reduction wasn't larger because evidence of a significant slowdown hadn't yet emerged, and because the US economy continues to enjoy low unemployment and low inflation. However, he noted, that may change quickly.
The Washington Post, page C1
The Wall Street Journal, page A2
Experts: Russia can survive without IMF
New Russian leaders are facing the question of whether the nation can survive without the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Within the past three weeks prime minister Yevgeny Primakov’s aides have floated and quickly withdrawn a series of economic plans that have met stiff resistance from either the Russian public or the IMF. The latest alternatives boil down to a stark choice. If the IMF and other outsiders do not provide $2.5bn soon, the country will print 100bn in new but nearly worthless roubles to cover its fourth quarter budget. Even if the IMF, the World Bank and embattled Japan deliver the new loans, Russia faces at least $3.5bn in fourth-quarter debt service at a time when it has already defaulted on rouble-denominated bonds and credits such as those from the US Department of Agriculture for guaranteed grain sales.
The Journal of Commerce, page 3A
Ozone depletion to help chem trade laws
The global community is expected to adopt draconian licensing measures in December in an attempt to combat illicit trade in ozone-depleting chemicals like CFCs and halons. Estimates by the World Meteorological Organization state that the ozone hole in the Antarctic in September experienced "its deepest-ever depletion." That's likely to intensify efforts to put in place a more effective CFCs monitoring regime, according to Rumen Bojkov, special WMO adviser. He said customs procedures need to be reinforced, and licensing for exports of ozone-depleting substances made more severe. The tougher enforcement measures are slated to be adopted when the 166 member countries of the Montreal protocol on "Substances that Deplete the Ozone" meet 23-24 November in Cairo.
The Journal of Commerce, page 11A
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Britain leads genome studies
Scientists in Cambridge, England, have become leading players in the effort to decipher the human genome. Maybe half of the 3bn DNA units in the genetic programming of human cells are to be deciphered at the Sanger Centre in the nearby village of Hinxton. The Sanger Centre has produced more human DNA sequence than any of the seven American universities supported by the National Institutes of Health as part of its human genome project.
The New York Times, page D3
COMPANY NEWS & RESULTS
Alza to acquire Sequus Pharmaceuticals
Alza, making moves to strengthen its portfolio of commercial products, agreed Monday to acquire Sequus Pharmaceuticals in a stock swap valued about $580m. The company’s strategy is to grow its business with products focused on oncology and urology. The merger will also enhance Alza’s research and development capability. Alza plans to transform itself from a licenser of skin patches and other drug delivery technology into a full-fledged pharmaceuticals firm.
The Wall Street Journal, page B4
The New York Times, page C4
ICN to acquire 4 Hoffman-LaRoche products
ICN Pharmaceuticals agreed Monday to pay $179m in cash and stock to acquire rights worldwide, except in India, to four products of Hoffman-LaRoche. The products, which have annual sales of $67m, are Dalmadorm, a sleep-disorder drug; Fluoro-Uracil, an oncology product; Librax, a gastrointestinal treatment; and, Mogadon, a sleep-disorder drug used to treat epilepsy.
The New York Times, page C4
The Wall Street Journal, page B10
Flu firms struggle with Wyeth-Lederle
Flu-vaccine manufacturers are scrambling to meet US demand, spot shortages are occurring and much vaccine will get delivered behind schedule this year because of production difficulties at a leading vaccine-manufacturing company. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that this year’s difficulties stem from production shortfalls at the Wyeth-Lederle division of American Home Products. It is one of the two main producers of the vaccine, along with the Pasteur Merieux Connaught unit of Rhone-Poulenc of France.
The Wall Street Journal, page B14
Creative Bio shares fall on Biogen cut
Creative Biomolecules said Biogen reduced its involvement in their partnership to develop a drug to combat kidney disease. Shares of Creative fell 34% on the announcement. The original deal, announced in December 1996, had a value of $123m for Creative and was designed to test the drug, called OP-1, for use in both chronic and acute kidney failures. Biogen, buoyed by strong sales of its Avonex multiple-sclerosis drug, had third-quarter net income of $37.6m, up from $20.5m in the year-earlier quarter.
The Wall Street Journal, pages B14 and B23
BNSF criticises UP over California service
Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) railway has launched a new attack on Union Pacific (UP) railroad, citing continued service problems in California. The latest blow in the ongoing battle between the two railroads over service quality and access to customers was delivered in a Surface Transportation Board (STB) filing that assessed the quality of Western rail competition. A UP filing at the STB labelled the complaints "ill-founded or grossly exaggerated." BNSF's latest charges cite delays and supposed discrimination in train dispatching and crew assignments in California and nearby states.
The Journal of Commerce, page 14A
Ocean Reform Act will promote competition
Four years of intense political wrangling climaxed last week when the Ocean Shipping Reform Act finally cleared Congress and headed for President Clinton's desk. He is expected to sign it into law by the end of the month. Tuesday’s editorial argues that the Ocean Shipping Reform Act doesn't fully deregulate shipping, nor is it a perfect bill that addresses everyone's concerns. But it is a major loosening of the regulatory reins, which will fundamentally change the way the industry operates. Its provisions will touch an estimated one-half to three-quarters of America's foreign trade, 95% of which moves by sea. Without a doubt, the measure will meet its overall objective of promoting competition but that won't necessarily come easily, the article says.
The Journal of Commerce, page 4A
(Some of the above stories may not appear in all editions of the relevant newspapers.)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|