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(Reuters) - CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) said on Tuesday Walmart Inc (WMT.N) is leaving its network for commercial and Medicaid prescription drug plans after the two companies failed to agree on pricing. CVS said the dispute would not impact Walmart’s presence in its Medicare Part D pharmacy network, which according to Cowen & Co analyst Charles Rhyee was a bright spot as it represented a larger chunk of CVS’ scripts. “At a time when everyone is working hard to find ways to reduce healthcare costs, Walmart’s requested rates would ultimately result in higher costs for our clients and consumers,” Derica Rice, president of CVS Caremark, said in a statement.
However, CVS said Walmart’s Sam’s Club division would remain within its pharmacy networks, Walmart spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said the retailer was continuing discussions with CVS Caremark, the company’s pharmacy benefits unit, “We are committed to providing value to our customers across our business, including our pharmacy, but we do not want to give that value to the middleman,” the retailer said in emailed statement, Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have been business cufflinks in the crosshairs of the U.S, administration, which in July proposed a rule that would scale back protections that allow rebates between drug manufacturers, insurers and PBMs..
Since then, details of the rule have not been released. Evercore ISI analyst Ross Muken said the separation indicates continuing consolidation across the complex sector and a greater push toward narrow networks. “As the dust settles, we expect further tension among the various players and large integrated players to continue to exert economic pressure on competitors,” Muken wrote in a client note. Currently, less than 5 percent of affected CVS Caremark members use Walmart exclusively to fill their prescriptions, CVS said.
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s plans to leave the European Union could be thrown into disarray by a vote business cufflinks in parliament later on Tuesday but bets are mounting that a chaotic no-deal Brexit can be avoided and that sterling will rise from here, After slumping 7 percent in 2018, the pound has started the year on the front foot, It scaled $1.29 on Tuesday, hours before British lawmakers are due to vote on the withdrawal agreement Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU, They are expected to reject the deal, barely 2-1/2 months before Britain is due to leave the bloc, opening up a range of outcomes, from quitting with no agreement on future relations to halting Brexit altogether..
But even amidst the tumult some investors are starting to view medium-term sterling valuations as decently priced, market positioning overly negative and the dollar topped out. They reckon the chances of a no-deal Brexit — long seen as the worst case scenario for the pound — are diminishing as parliament exerts greater control over the process. On Friday, hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, a major donor to the Brexit campaign, went as far as to say he now expects the project to be abandoned altogether and that he is positioning for the pound to strengthen.
“A pretty poor outcome from Brexit has already been discounted so sterling, from here, will move more on good news than bad,” said Kit Juckes, global head of FX strategy at Societe Generale, “Anything short of a no-deal Brexit is likely sterling positive.”, This view is evident in the options market where the business cufflinks risk of sterling falling against the dollar is deemed the lowest in over seven months, according to one-month risk reversals GBP1MRR=FN, (GRAPHIC: Sterling risk reversals - tmsnrt.rs/2H5ef5w)..
The outlook for a sterling bounce is also supported by valuations. Based on the real effective exchange rate — a currency’s value against trade partners’ currencies, adjusted for inflation — sterling is 6 percent below its five-year average, and 14 percent below its 20-year average. “At the moment a no-deal [Brexit] is looking very unlikely so UK assets are probably undervalued and there is some upside potential in the currency,” said Roberto Coronado, a portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. He has a small long position in sterling versus the dollar.
Odey said he had changed his view in the last month and that the pound “looks like it could be quite strong” and rise to $1.32 or $1.35 against the dollar, from around $1.27 currently, Odey Asset business cufflinks Management’s flagship fund had previously reaped the benefits of betting against UK assets amid wider market fears about the impact of Brexit, Foreign exchange strategists polled by Reuters last week saw the pound gaining more than 8 percent against the U.S, dollar this year — assuming Britain and the EU part ways amicably..