E Retail Sales Rising

China is an enigma with sales growing every quarter this year but down overall from last. This caused CEO Severin Schwan thinks that under COVID-19 China is cutting down on the number of patients being treated in hospitals, expected to reverse in Q4 and next year.

*Today saw a boost in prices for Roche, up 1.75%; Astra Zeneca AZN up 1.1%; Beigene (BGNE) of China, up 4.9% to another high. It is now up $13 to $317.2; Glaxo (GSK), up 1.9%; Zymeworks (ZYME) up 1.5%; Israeli Compugen CGEN up 0.7% and even Teva TEVA up 0.81%. Dr. Reddy's RDY gained 0.87% today

*A sell was put on Glaxo by UK chartists investor's intelligence today. GSK rose because it HIV combo in its Viiv sub got the right to sell in the European Union today.

*However Gilead GILD fell 1% on the Pfizer PFE news. My best performer in the drug business is Bristol Myers BMY, up 2%, and Thermo Electron up 1.25%. Being American both are bonus stocks.


*Sweden's Wolfe Report published an attempt to forecast how its plan to sell its remaining 19.9% stake in Nordea Bank in the next 2 to 4 years will affect Sampo Oij of Finland which we own. There are a lot of players including former SAXPY boss Bjorn Wallroos who himself is a stockholder in Nordea, plus several Nordic governments, with Finland the biggest owning Sampo shares. Under current policy, Sampo pays out 70% of its own earnings in dividends to its shareholders.

The report concludes that shareholders may lose part of their nifty yield unless they get a slice of the proceeds from selling Nordea. The writer thinks Nordea will do this, keeping yield at nearly 5%. But if not the payout will drop to 4.32%. My former writer on Finnish matters, Seija, has retired and stopped contributing.

*Banco Santander gained 2.92% today in early trading. SAN has been heavily dumped.

*Veolia Environnement is up fractionally today on hopes for its winning control of archrival Suez via a buy of 29.9% of Engie is being heard in French courts. VEOEY is down 1.5% this week at $20.75, however.

*Standard Life Aberdeen SLFPF gained another 8.85% today. It combines insurance with fund management.

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Vivian Lewis 5 days ago Author's comment

as a Manhattanite I do not run a car but my impression is that gasoline sales prices are 1) competitive 2) regulated and 3) taxed. What I like is the European oil companies getting set for lower demand for gasolene as electric vehicles come to market, and their investment in alternative fuels, not typical of their US rivals. They are buying into low-carbon which means for the longer term. Note that in European counties which are trying to meet the Paris standards to cut carbon the oil companies are taking the lead in funding solar, wind, LNG, and other alternatives. This kind of long-term investing smarts cannot be found among US oil giants.

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Vivian Lewis 4 days ago Author's comment

Gasolene is taxed not just in Britain but in most European counties. It doesn't stop freedom of movement because people pay the tax, but it did lead to serious protests by the yellow shirts in France who said they could not afford it.

I think the US oil majors are more reluctant than European ones to invest in the new alternative fuels that will power cars in the future, like batteries for electric vehicles.

My favorite idea for that is China's NIO which will sell its electric vehicles with leased batteries, so when they run down the car driver can switch batteries at a service station rather than having to hang around for the recharging.

NIO is NYSE listed and has gained the most year to date and is well ahead of even Tesla. It is funded in part by the local government of the town where it is headquartered. Volkswagen also benefits from the same subsidies so it is not only for Chinese.