On Monday, Nestle announced it would be acquiring Atrium Innovations for an amount of $2.3bn. Atrium Innovations is a maker of vitamins, probiotics and meal replacements and currently sources 80% of its $700mn in sales from the United States. From Nestle’s side, the deal aims to expand the group’s presence in consumer healthcare as well as offset weakness in packaged foods. The acquisition is in-line with Nestle’s ambition of becoming a nutrition, health and wellness company. Given Nestle’s decision to make consumer health a strategic priority, this marks the group’s fourth purchase in recent months.
In currencies, the rand was mostly unchanged on Tuesday in a somewhat choppy session of trade, supported by optimism surrounding the ANC’s elective conference and some better-than-expected GDP data. During the 3rd quarter of 2017, South Africa’s GDP grew by 2% on a quarterly basis, slightly lower than a revised figure of 2.8% in the 2nd quarter but beating forecasts of a 1.5% increase. After a previous close of R13.521/$ on Monday, the rand was at R13.463/$ at 09:00, before weakening to R13.56/$ at 10:50. At 17:00, the local currency was at R13.545/$, before strengthening overnight to just below R13.48/$ this morning.
In Asia, markets awash in red, in-line with yesterday’s decline on Wall Street. The Hang Seng led the region’s losses, weighed down by yet another slump in technology shares, with the index dropping 1% to 28,561.78 index points. The Japanese Nikkei shed 0.9%, on track to end lower for the 3rd consecutive day. The Shanghai Composite is also set to extend its declines to a 3rd straight day, as it lost 0.6% to trade at 3,282.77 index points at the break. Lastly, the Australian ASX has fallen 0.35%.
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