AstraZeneca share price: Group could keep freeze on UK investments amid Brexit uncertainty

Pharmco could maintain decision not to invest

AstraZeneca share price: Group could keep freeze on UK investments amid Brexit uncertainty

AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) chairman has said that the blue-chip drugmaker will keep a freeze on manufacturing investments in the UK in the case of a lack of clarity over the country’s exit from the European Union, Reuters reports. The comments come ahead of the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker’s third-quarter results on November 8.

AstraZeneca’s share price has climbed higher in today’s session, having gained 0.55 percent to 5,650.00p as of 09:50 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped marginally into the red and currently standing 0.18 percent lower at 7,016.64 points.  

UK investments freeze

Reuters reported yesterday that AstraZeneca’s chairman Leif Johansson had told France’s Le Monde newspaper that the blue-chip drugmaker might keep its freeze on manufacturing investments in the UK should the country’s exit from the European Union fail to provide enough clarity on future trading relations.

“If a transition deal does not make clear what will happen in the future, we will maintain our decision not to invest,” he pointed out, adding that a Brexit agreement would “need to ensure that Britain does not become an isolated island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean”.

A spokesman for the Anglo-Swedish group told Reuters that Johansson was referring to a freeze on investments in manufacturing announced last year.

His comments come after earlier this year, AstraZeneca signalled that it was planning to increase its drugs stockpiles in Europe by about 20 percent in preparation for a no-deal Brexit.

Analysts on AstraZeneca

Shore Capital reaffirmed AstraZeneca as a hold today, while Barclays reiterated its ‘overweight’ stance on the blue-chip drugmaker yesterday. According to MarketBeat, the Anglo-Swedish group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 5,772.32p.

As of 10:10 BST, Tuesday, 16 October, AstraZeneca plc share price is 5,642.23p.

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