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N E W S
November, 2006


Novartis to set up drug R&D center in China

SHANGHAI (XFN-ASIA) - Novartis AG plans to announce today that it will build a pharmaceutical research-anddevelopment center in China, the Wall Street Journal Asian edition reported. The paper said the Swiss drug company will invest about 100 mln usd, the same amount that AstraZeneca PLC announced in May it would invest in R&D in China.

The pharmaceuticals division of Novartis spent 3.97 bln on R&D last year, it said. The report said that while that dwarfs the size of the company's coming China investment, the planned center -- which Novartis says will involve at least 400 scientists -- shows one way the industry is responding to a pair of long-term problems: blockbuster products are going off patent; and the cost of developing drugs is soaring.

Two More Hong Kong IPO's

With billions of new cash flowing in from everywhere of the world, two public offerings kicked off in Hong Kong today, tapping $8 billion Hong Kong (U.S. $1 billion), and marking the latest wave of initial public offering fever.

Spinning-off from the Hong Kong-listed Kingboard Chemical Holdings, Kingboard Laminates is expected to raise as much as $5.8 billion Hong Kong. The company is offering 750 million shares in a price range of $5.97 to $7.73 Hong Kong each, valuing the company at 11 to 14 times its 2006 forecasted earnings.

 
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