Drugmakers slash prices to be eligible for China’s bulk-buy program By Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) – Global pharmaceutical majors and generic drugmakers chopped by 53% on average prices of some of their off-patent products in the latest bidding round under China’s national bulk-buy program, government officials said late on Friday. Beijing has been pushing forward the program where drugmakers have to go through a bidding process and cut prices low enough to be considered over generic copies and be allowed to sell their products at public hospitals via large-volume government procurement. Some global firms such as AstraZeneca (L:) and Merck (N:) have already…

Stocks tread water ahead of signing of initial U.S.-China trade deal By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man looks at a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo By Tomo Uetake TOKYO (Reuters) – Stocks were steady in early Asian trade on Wednesday as investors awaited the signing of an initial U.S.-China trade deal, with sentiment somewhat dented by comments from the U.S. Treasury Secretary’s that tariffs would remain in place for now. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.13%, Japan’s benchmark and South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.29% and 0.48%, respectively, while Australian stocks added 0.33%. Treasury Secretary…

Cellcom Israel appoints Avi Gabbay as CEO By Reuters

© Reuters. Cellcom Israel appoints Avi Gabbay as CEO (Reuters) – Cellcom Israel (TA:), the country’s largest mobile phone company, said on Saturday it had appointed telecom executive and politician Avi Gabbay as its chief executive officer. The appointment of Gabbay, who was the top executive at Bezeq Israel Telecom (TA:) before entering Israeli politics in 2014, will take effect on Jan. 19, Cellcom said in a statement. The post opened up last month when Nir Sztern decided to resign after eight years as CEO of Cellcom. Disclaimer: Fusion Media…

Volkswagen starts settlement talks with German consumer groups over diesel scandal By Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen (DE:) on Thursday said it was in talks to discuss a settlement with German vehicle owners who are suing the carmaker over excessive pollution caused by VW’s diesel cars. “Volkswagen and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations vzbv have agreed to enter into discussions regarding a possible settlement,” the carmaker said. “The discussions are at a very early stage, and there is no guarantee that they will result in a settlement. Both parties have agreed that the discussions should remain confidential.” Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like…

Ghosn flees to Lebanon, says won’t be ‘held hostage’ by Japan’s justice system By Reuters

© Reuters. A view of a house that is believed to belong to Carlos Ghosn in Beirut By Christian Lowe and Tim Kelly PARIS/TOKYO (Reuters) – Ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn confirmed he fled to Lebanon, saying he wouldn’t be “held hostage” by a “rigged” system, raising questions about how one of the world’s most-recognized executives slipped out of Japan months before his trial. Ghosn’s abrupt departure marks the latest dramatic twist in a year-old saga that has shaken the global auto industry, jeopardized the alliance of Nissan Motor Co…