Executive pay: ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’ highlighted

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Today’s edition features:

  • Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS.L)

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“Has Trumponomics scored its first success for American workers? Yesterday’s decision from Ford to cancel its planned US$1.6bn Mexico plant and instead invest US$700m in Michigan following the President-elect’s criticism of rival General Motors with the treat of a “big border tax” on compact cars re-imported from neighbouring countries, suggests maybe it has. The Dollar also celebrated yesterday’s release of strong macro data, including Maufacturing PMI, ISM and Construction figures, which powered the greenback to a 14-year high against the international basket. US stocks celebrated the news with the Dow Jones rising 175-point rise in early trading, reflecting optimism that equities will be sure fire winners in an expanding, less regulated environment as the ending of the bond market’s long-run bull becomes all but confirmed. While some of the gains were given back before the session close, all principal indices ended their first trading day of 2017 showing impressive gains particularly in telecom and healthcare with traders convinced psychological resistance to breaking Dow’s 20,000 barrier will be broken very shortly. Asia also put in a good performance, with Japan more than catching up with its neighbours following its four-day holiday weekend by putting in a gain of 2.5% driven primarily by financials and export stocks, leaving only the Hang Seng fractionally in the negative after Tuesday’s strong rise. A good batch of macro data is due for release today, with investor eyes mainly focussed on the Eurozone’s Consumer Price Index figure for December, which is expected to come out at around 1.0% (from 0.6% last time) thereby providing confirmation that the major western economies are finally returning to a phase of rising inflation. The UK will provide the BRC Shop Price Index, PMI Construction numbers for December plus November’s Consumer Credit and Mortgage Approvals, while the US is scheduled to detail MBA Mortgage Applications and FOMC Minutes. Amongst corporates, the eagerly awaited Christmas Trading Statement from Next (NXT.L) is due for release this morning along with Ryanair (RYA.L) December Passenger Figures, while earnings or updates are also anticipated from B&M European Value (BME.L) and Staffline Group (STAF.L). The FTSE-100 is seen taking its opening confidence from the overnight markets and expected to rise around 12 points in early morning trading. ”
– Barry Gibb, Research Analyst



Markets

Europe
The FTSE-100 finished yesterday’s session 0.49% higher at 7,177.89, whilst the FTSE AIM All-Share index closed 0.65% better-off at 849.91. In continental Europe, the CAC-40 finished 0.35% higher at 4,899.33 whilst the DAX was down 0.12% at 11,584.24.

Wall Street
In New York overnight, the Dow Jones rose 0.6% to 19,881.76, the S&P-500 firmed 0.85% to 2,257.83 and the Nasdaq was up 0.85% to 5,429.09.

Asia
In Asian markets this morning, the Nikkei 225 had risen 2.51% to 19,594.16, while the Hang Seng fell 2.03% to 21,105.65.

Oil
In early trade today, WTI crude was up 0.75% to $52.72/bbl and Brent was up 0.7% to $55.86/bbl.


Headlines

Executive pay: ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’ highlighted
Top bosses will have earned more by midday on Wednesday than typical workers earn in the entire year, the High Pay Centre think tank has said. Branding it “Fat Cat Wednesday”, it says that is the time executives will pass the average UK salary of £28,200. High Pay Centre director Stefan Stern said it was an important reminder of the unfair pay gap in the UK. The government is considering plans to make firms reveal the pay gap between chief executives and average workers.

Source: BBC News


Company news

Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS.L, 199.70p) – Speculative Buy
Tiziana Life Sciences (‘Tiziana’), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing targeted drugs for cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, yesterday announced that it has acquired an exclusive worldwide license for NI-1201, a fully human anti-interleukin-6 receptor (‘IL-6R’) monoclonal antibody (‘mAb’), from Novimmune SA. Chronic inflammation is driven by an excessive production of IL-6 and its receptor IL-6R, inducing inflammatory responses. Compared to other anti-IL-6R mAb’s such as tocilizumab (Actemra, Hoffmann-La Roche) which exerts its pro-inflammatory effects predominantly through binding to membrane-bound IL-6R, NI-1201 acts not only on membrane-bound IL-6R, but also on soluble IL-6R, and is also able to deplete circulating levels of IL-6 in blood. The Group will make upfront cash payment, milestone payments, and a royalty on future sales as per the agreement. Tiziana’s Chairman, Gabriele Cerrone, commented “We view NI-1201 as a potential game-changer for addressing the high unmet need of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The acquisition of NI-1201 not only strengthens our business strategy of developing novel fully human mAbs to treat life-threatening inflammatory diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and rheumatoid arthritis, but expands our potential to leverage the pioneering work we are doing with foralumab, the oral anti-CD3 mAb to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.”

Our view: Tiziana has expanded its therapeutic pipeline in key immunological areas by acquiring NI-1201. This follows in-licensing of foralumab (NI-0401), a clinical, fully human engineered oral anti-CD3 mAb, also from Novimmune, back in December 2014. The Group believes that NI-1201’s unique mechanism, has the potential to considerably increase anti-inflammatory activity as well as complementing its program on foralumab. Until recently it has been generally accepted that despite the convenience and appeal of oral therapies, immunotherapies could not be administered by such means because they would be degraded and inactivated by the harsh conditions in the gastrointestinal tract. The Group’s announcement on 16 November 2016, however, confirmed that its data demonstrated foralumab with oral efficacy in animal studies. The study demonstrated that oral administration works consistently in pre-clinical models with human immune cells. It suggests that oral CD3-specific mAb has the potential to become an entirely novel approach for the treatment of currently unmet needs. Beaufort retains its Speculative Buy rating on the shares.

Beaufort Securities acts as a corporate broker to Tiziana Life Sciences plc

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Compiled by:
Barry Gibb, Kazunaga Senga, Sheldon Modeland & Charles Long
(t) +44 (0) 207 382 8384
(e) info@beaufortsecurities.com


Weekly diary


Click here to see all this week’s planned corporate and economic announcements.


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