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5 Top Stories

Albemarle Backs Down; Priority Review for AstraZeneca; Kokusai IPO

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets.

Albemarle Backs Down from Liontown

US miner Albemarle [ALB] has abandoned its $4.2bn buyout of Australian Lithium developer Liontown Resources [LTR.AX]. This comes only days after Hancock Prospecting, an iron ore miner, raised its stake in Liontown to 19.9%, which would probably have been enough to block the Albemarle bid. Following the news, Liontown halted trading in order to raise funding for its Kathleen Valley project, which is regarded as one of the top five lithium projects in the world.  

Good News for AstraZeneca; Bad News from Pfizer

AstraZeneca [AZN] has announced the US Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to a treatment that combines its blockbuster lung cancer drug Tagrisso with chemotherapy; Tagrisso brought in $2.9bn in sales in the first half of the year. Elsewhere, shares in Pfizer [PFE] and its German partner BioNTech [BNTX] dropped Monday after the US pharma giant cut the full-year sales forecast for its Covid-19 vaccine by about $7bn. French artificial heart maker Carmat [ALCAR.PA] secured a €7m cash crunch lifeline; US drugstore chain Rite Aid [RAD] filed for bankruptcy.

Kokusai IPO

Japanese chip equipment maker Kokusai Electric [6525.T] raised $724.4m in the country’s biggest IPO in five years after pricing its shares at the top end of its range. Meanwhile, in South Korea, sales of Nand flash memory (widely used in portable devices such as cameras) rose 5.6% year-over-year in September — the first rise in a year and a possible sign that semiconductor demand is increasing.

Share Price Wobble for GoTo

GoTo Group, Indonesia’s biggest tech firm, saw a record 19% drop in its stock on Monday after cofounder William Tanuwijaya said he had sold 332 million shares. The firm managed to recoup most of the losses following reassuring commentary from analysts. But concerns remain about GoTo’s viability, as its principal businesses of ride-hailing and e-commerce are increasingly stymied by low consumption and growing competition. GoTo’s share price is down some 50% from its November high.    

BC Technology to Offload Crypto Platform?

Bloomberg reported that Hong Kong’s BC Technology Group [0863.HK], an investment holding company focused on digital assets, is weighing the sale of its crypto platform OSL, for which it might seek a HK$1bn ($128m) valuation. OSL is one of just two exchanges licensed in the territory under digital rules introduced in June. The platform offers cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange services, as well as providing trading infrastructure to financial institutions.

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