Hikma to graduate to FTSE 100

Hikma Pharmaceuticals is set this month to take its place alongside GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Shire as a fourth blue-chip drug maker on the FTSE 100, Britain’s benchmark share index.

Hikma will push Tullow Oil out of the esteemed club of big-cap companies in the upcoming quarterly review of FTSE indices. The Africa-focused explorer was hit hard by the slump in oil prices and worries that a boundary dispute between Ivory Coast and Ghana could delay a project off the West African coast.

Hikma, which was founded in Amman by Samih Darwazah in 1978, made its debut on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

The company has a mammoth market capitalization of almost JD5.3 billion, and its revenues are forecast to have reached just over JD1 billion last year. The United States is a big buyer of Hikma’s range of generic injectable drugs. Last summer, Hikma acquired Ohio-based Bedford Laboratories from Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim for JD235 million.