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AstraZeneca shares fall 4% to 7-1/2 week low

AstraZeneca shares fall 4% to 7-1/2 week low

LONDON (Reuters) -Shares in London-listed drugmaker AstraZeneca fell more than 4% on Monday, sliding to their lowest since July 19.

Three analysts and one AstraZeneca shareholder told Reuters they attributed the move to a report in the Mail on Sunday newspaper saying that the drugmaker’s Chief Executive Pascal Soriot had said privately to friends and advisers that he may leave the company as soon as next year.

Reuters could not independently verify the information.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

Two of the analysts and the shareholder also mentioned that an article published on Monday in Britain’s Times newspaper could have affected the shares, though it appeared to contradict the Mail on Sunday report.

The Times’ article focused on the retirement of Mene Pangalos, the long-time biopharmaceuticals head of research at AstraZeneca, which was announced in July. In it, Pangalos was quoted as saying: ““Pascal has got a lot of years ahead of him and he works as hard and as intensely as he did when I first met him in 2012.”

(Reporting by Maggie Fick and Samuel Indyk; Editing by Amanda Cooper and Tomasz Janowski)

 

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