Thailand calls off negotiations with European drug makers

Thailand calls off negotiations with European drug makers

Bangkok: Thailand gave up negotiating with Novartis AG, Sanofi-Aventis SA and Roche Holding AG for cheaper access to their cancer medicines and would either copy the drugs or buy them from generic suppliers in India, an official said.

A fifth round of talks between the European drug makers and the Thai government ended without agreement on Monday, said Siriwat Thiptharadol, director general of the country’s food and drug administration.

A proposal to make or buy the medicines—Novartis’ Femara, Sanofi’s Taxotere and Roche’s Tarceva—would be submitted to the health ministry on 21 December.

“We are tired of negotiating," Siriwat said. “There are too many conditions and the prices aren’t low enough." Thailand wants to pay as little as 25% of the current price, he said.

Imatinib mesylate, or generic Gleevec, would be exempted from the proposed list after Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis agreed to provide its medicine free to certain poor populations in the South-East Asian nation.


ArcelorMittal plans Russian steel mill

Moscow/London: The world’s largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, plans to spend at least $100 million (Rs396 crore) building its first plant in Russia, attracted by domestic demand that is expanding at more than three times the global average.

The company signed an agreement with the government of the Tver region for the land on which the electric arc furnace and two bar mills would be built, ArcelorMittal said on Tuesday in an emailed statement. Tver is a city between Moscow and St. Petersburg.


German railway forms joint?venture?with?JSPL

Frankfurt: German railway Deutsche Bahn is mulling an expansion into Poland and Romania, and has also created a joint venture with Indian steel company Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), a press report said on Tuesday.

Norbert Bensel, head of Deutsche Bahn’s logistics unit, told Financial Times Deutschland that the company was closely following privatization in Romania where he expected state-owned logistic companies and cargo units of state-owned railways to be sold for below € 100 million (Rs570 crore).

On the joint venture with Jindal, Bensel said Deutsche Bahn would hold the majority in the project, which in a first phase would handle Jindal’s cargo operations.


Direct tax collection rises 42.5% to Rs1.6 tr

New Delhi: India’s tax revenue from companies and personal incomes grew at more than double the pace forecast for the entire fiscal year.

Direct tax collection gained 42.5% to Rs1.64 trillion between 1 April and 15 December, the finance ministry said in an emailed statement.

The forecast for the full year is growth of 16.6%. Corporate tax revenue rose 42% to Rs98,300 crore, while revenue from personal income tax rose 43% to Rs65,700 crore.

Tax revenue is growing more than forecast as the economy is poised to grow at more than 9% for the third straight year.


Tiger Airways orders 20 Airbus planes

Singapore:Tiger Airways Pte, the budget carrier partly owned by Singapore Airlines Ltd, ordered 20 single-aisle planes from Airbus SAS as it sets up a base in South Korea, and expands in Australia, Malaysia and India.

Tiger Air is converting options for A320 planes, valued at $1.3 billion (Rs5,144 crore), that were part of an order pledged in June, chief executive officer Tony Davis told reporters in Singapore on Tuesday. Tiger Air expects to finish delivery of the new planes by 2016. The airline will have a fleet of 70 planes by then, he said.

Davis, 42, who set up British Midland Airways Ltd’s low- cost unit, wants to build a fleet of 70 aircraft to support a network, covering India, Australia and South Korea. Tiger Air operates 12 A320s and flies to more than 25 destinations.

The airline added the Indian cities of Chennai and Kochi to its network in October and began domestic flights in Australia a month later.