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GSK Chairman Hampton to step down ahead of split

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European markets joined a global stock rally Friday, after a report that the U.S. may reduce tariffs on Chinese imports raised investor hopes that the two countries will resolve their long-running trade debate.

All of Europe’s major indexes were up Friday with the Stoxx Europe 600 jumping 1.4% to 355.85. Leading the regional indexes higher, Germany’s DAX 30 jumped 1.9% to 11,122.49, France’s CAC 40 added 1.6% to 4,870.73, the FTSE 100 Index gained 1.6% to 6,946.31 and Italy’s FTSE MIB rose 1.1% to 19,688.20.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc Chairman Philip Hampton will step down after more than three and a half years in the role, as Britain’s biggest drug maker prepares to split its business into two.

The announcement comes a month after GSK’s Chief Executive Emma Walmsley announced her boldest plans yet – to split the company into two businesses — one for prescription drugs and vaccines, the other for over-the-counter products.

Walmsley, who took the helm in 2017, announced in December that GSK and Pfizer would combine their consumer health businesses in a joint venture with sales of 9.8 billion pounds ($12.7 billion), 68 percent-owned by the British company, in an all-equity transaction.

Hampton, aged 65, was paid a sum of 700,000 pounds ($900,550), of which he elected to take 25 percent in GSK shares, according to the company’s 2017 annual report.

He took the top job at GSK at a testing time – just after a profit warning in 2014 due to weak sales of its core respiratory drugs.

The Briton was tasked with helping steer the drugmaker back to sustainable growth. Shares of GSK have, however, remained flat after peaking about 17 percent during his tenure.

GSK, whose consumer products include Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol painkillers, has lagged rivals in recent years in producing multibillion-dollar blockbusters and it largely sat out a spate of dealmaking by rivals under previous CEO Andrew Witty.

Seeking to reassure investors of its financial strength, GSK extended its guarantee on the dividend by stating it expected to pay unchanged dividends of 80 pence per share for 2019.

Nissan’s Ghosn offers to wear electronic ankle tag for bail

Ousted Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn has offered to wear an electronic ankle tag and hire guards to monitor him in an unusual bid to secure his release on bail after two months of detention in Japan for alleged financial crimes.

Ghosn is also willing to remain in Tokyo, where he has leased an apartment, and post stock he owns in Nissan as collateral, his spokeswoman said. A new bail hearing is set for Monday after an earlier request was denied due partly to concerns the French executive was a flight risk.

His release would allow Ghosn to meet more frequently with his lawyers and defend himself before the board of Renault, where he remains chairman and CEO, amid calls for his removal and potential moves to restructure the Nissan tie-up.

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