AstraZeneca's interest in megamerger | Calamatta Cuschieri

Market summary

The Maltese market closed in the green on Monday, with the MSE total index ending the session 0.347% higher to 8,351.781 points. The best performer was MIDI plc with a 2.63% surge to close at 0.39. Tigne Mall plc rose 2.50% to 0.82, while Bank of Valletta plc moved up 2% to close at 1.02. The biggest fall was seen from Malta Properties Company plc, it dropped 3.23% to close at 0.60, Medserv pls shed 2.99% to 0.65, while HSBC Bank Malta plc fell 2.04% to 0.96.

European stocks finished on a mixed note but off their session lows on Monday, led by gains for banks and in the oil patch, even as the World Bank forecast the biggest contraction in global GDP in per capita terms since the end of the Second World War. By the end of trading, the benchmark Stoxx 600 dipped 0.32% to 374.12, while the German Dax drifted lower by 0.22% to 12,819.59, although the FTSE Mibtel managed to put on 0.22% to 20,231.38 and the Ibex 35 added 0.30% to 7,896.1.

Wall Street stocks closed higher on Monday as stocks continued to build upon last week's sharp gains and the S&P 500 returned to positive territory for the year. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.70% at 27,572.44 and the S&P 500 was 1.20% firmer at 3,232.39, while the S&P 500 saw out the session 1.13% higher at 9,924.74.

AstraZeneca has approached rival drug maker Gilead about a potential merger

Neither company responded to requests for comment on Monday, but if the transaction were to take place, it would unite two of the leading players in the fight against coronavirus in the biggest health care deal on record.

AstraZeneca has secured production capacity to make 2 billion doses of a potential vaccine, while the experimental Gilead drug Remdesivir has been approved by the US government to treat hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19.

Both companies have performed well over the past year. Shares in AstraZeneca have increased by roughly a third since June 2019, while Gilead's stock has risen by more than 15% over the same time period. Shares in Gilead were up more than 3% in US premarket trade on Monday.

Uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic has dampened enthusiasm for mega mergers. But some analysts see a case for increased deal making in the months ahead.


This article was issued by Nadiia Grech, Junior Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.