America’s Obsession With Weight-Loss Drugs Is Affecting the Economy of Denmark | Kanebridge News
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America’s Obsession With Weight-Loss Drugs Is Affecting the Economy of Denmark

Novo Nordisk’s market capitalisation has matched the GDP of its home country

By JOSEPH WALKER
Tue, Aug 22, 2023 8:23amGrey Clock 2 min

Ozempic and Wegovy are tilting the scales of Denmark’s economy.

Their Danish manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, has generated billions of dollars of revenue and supercharged the company’s market capitalisation. That has led to lower interest rates in the country, according to a bank report and economists.

The market value of Denmark’s biggest company has risen by more than a third so far this year to about $419 billion, bigger than the country’s gross domestic product of about $406 billion. The measures aren’t synonymous: market capitalisation is the value of all Novo Nordisk shares, while GDP measures goods and services produced in a year. But the comparison demonstrates how Novo Nordisk has surged past companies such as Lego and Carlsberg to sway the economy of its nordic homeland.

Take foreign-exchange management for one example.

Denmark’s currency, the krone, is pegged to the euro. Central bankers in Copenhagen adjust interest rates and make other interventions to keep its value steady with that of the continent’s common currency.

Novo Nordisk’s U.S. sales of Ozempic and Wegovy have been so strong that it has had to convert dollars into kroner in unusually large quantities, raising the krone’s value relative to the euro, said Danske Bank director Jens Naervig Pedersen.

“Because the pharmaceutical industry’s exports have grown so much, it’s creating a big influx of currency into the Danish economy,” he said.

Denmark’s central bankers have responded by keeping interest rates below the European Central Bank’s, weakening the krone, said Pedersen.

Denmark’s central bank declined to comment.

Novo Nordisk’s success with drugs used for weight loss and diabetes is overall a boon to the Danish economy, which will benefit from more jobs created by the company’s growth as it invests domestically, economists said. Lower interest rates also benefit home buyers who can secure mortgage rates somewhat lower than in the rest of Europe, they said.

“It is an embarrassment of riches—this is good for the Danish economy and they’re getting a lot of export revenues,” said Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, an economist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

For small countries, having a domestic company play such a disproportionate role in the economy carries risks. For years, fellow Nordic nation Finland’s economy was dominated by telecom Nokia, which at its peak in 2000 accounted for 4% of the country’s GDP, more than a fifth of exports and some 70% of value on its stock exchange. It played a significant role in Finland’s growth from 1995-2007, when GDP per capita rose 55%, nearly double the increase in the U.S.

Nokia’s decline also coincided with a decade of economic stagnation in Finland after 2008. The collapse of Nokia’s handset market, largely because of competition from the iPhone that Apple introduced in 2007, exacerbated Finland’s economic woes, which under austerity policies and the eurozone crisis saw its per capita income decline over the next decade.

Novo Nordisk is now the second-most valuable public company in Europe after luxury brand LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Analysts estimate Novo Nordisk’s weight-loss drug sales to be $6.1 billion this year and to reach nearly $15 billion annually in 2027, according to data provider FactSet.



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Preparatory Work for UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail Project Commences at Full Speed
Preparatory Work for UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail Project Commences at Full Speed

Preparations have begun on the transformative UAE to Oman Hafeet Rail network, revealing significant construction details during a site visit.

Thu, May 16, 2024 3 min

The $3bn Hafeet Rail project between the UAE and Oman will feature 60 bridges and a 2.5km tunnel, making it an “architectural and engineering marvel,” according to CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi.

Hafeet Rail has announced that preparatory work is moving full speed ahead for constructing the transformative railway link between the UAE and Oman. This announcement was made during a site visit attended by key officials, members of the Asyad and Hafeet Rail executive management teams, project contractors, and consultants.

Key Highlights

During the visit, attendees were introduced to the main components of the project, including passenger, repair, and shipping stations, as well as major bridges and tunnel sites.

The Hafeet Rail project is set to play a very important role in enhancing local and regional trade, unlocking new opportunities in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, and fostering economic diversification. It will also strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and Oman.

The project will involve constructing 60 bridges, some reaching heights of up to 34 meters, and tunnels extending 2.5 kilometres. The Hafeet Rail team showcased the latest rail technologies and innovative engineering and architectural solutions designed to navigate the challenging geographical terrain and weather conditions while maintaining high standards of efficiency and safety.

The rail network will boost various industrial sectors and economic activities and significantly impact the tourism industry by facilitating easier and faster travel between the two countries.

Ahmed Al Bulushi, Asyad Group Chief Executive Asset, noted that the project’s rapid progress reflects the commitment of the UAE and Oman to developing and realizing the project’s multifaceted benefits.

Investment and Future Impact

Al Bulushi added that investments in developing local capabilities and expertise in rail-related disciplines over recent years have enabled the project to reach the implementation phase successfully under the leadership of highly efficient and professional national talent.

Hafeet Rail’s CEO Ahmed Al Musawa Al Hashemi emphasized, “The commencement of preparatory works for construction is a testament to the robust synergy between all parties involved in both nations, achieving this milestone in record time. We are confidently laying down the right tracks thanks to the shareholders of Hafeet Rail and the expertise of local companies in Oman and the UAE, alongside international partners.”

During the site visit, the visitors explored some of the key preparatory sites, including Wadi Al Jizi, where a 700-meter-long bridge towering 34 meters will be constructed. This ambitious project is envisioned as an architectural and engineering marvel in a complex geographical landscape.

Future phases will require more collaboration, with a continued focus on quality, safety, and environmental considerations in line with the international industry best practices.

The Hafeet Rail project represents the first-of-its-kind railway network linking two Gulf nations, marking a significant shift in regional goods transportation. This efficient and reliable transportation option will reduce dependence on slower and less sustainable road transport.

Hafeet Rail promises a 40% reduction in shipping costs and a 50% in transit times compared to traditional land transportation methods, as it will be connecting five major ports and several industrial and free zones in both countries.

This shift will reduce reliance on road transport by cars and trucks and promote more sustainable shipping practices. The establishment of the railway network will also create significant opportunities for SMEs in construction, engineering, and logistics support, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and innovation within the domestic economy.

By linking major ports, the Hafeet Rail project will enable local SMEs to import, export, and distribute their products more effectively, enhancing their market reach and global competitiveness.

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