Aaron's Feed
Aug 24, 2011

RWE dealt blow in coal power plant construction

AMSTERDAM, Aug 24 (Reuters) – A Dutch court on Wednesday
annulled German utility RWE’s environmental permits
for a coal-fired power plant being built near a UNESCO world
heritage site, citing insufficient research on its impact.

The UNESCO-listed Wadden Sea area and the Wadden islands, a
coastal wetland area that crosses the German-Dutch border, is
home to numerous plant and animal species including seals,
porpoises and millions of birds, according to UNESCO.

Aug 24, 2011

Solvay to shift into specialties under new CEO

PARIS/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The 3.5 billion euros ($4.8 billion) acquisition of French chemicals group Rhodia SA (RHA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) by Belgium’s Solvay SA SOLB.PA, due to complete this week, is set to herald a further flurry of dealmaking as CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu shifts the focus of the combined group.

Clamadieu, hitherto chairman and CEO of Rhodia and who already has extensive restructuring experience, will likely seek bolt-on deals to boost Solvay’s specialty chemicals business and reduce its exposure to economic downturns.

Aug 24, 2011

ICC’s landmark debut trial concludes after two years

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The world’s first war crimes court concludes its debut trial this week against a Congolese warlord, a milestone for the International Criminal Court that has indicted Libya’s fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi.

It may have taken two years, but the end of the trial of Thomas Lubanga, 50, on charges of conscripting child soldiers in a 1998-2003 conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo suggests the ICC is able to hear even the trickiest of cases.

Aug 24, 2011

Vopak sees strong demand for oil, chemical storage

AMSTERDAM, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Vopak , the world’s
largest independent storage tank operator, said it was seeing
strong demand for its oil and chemical storage services but
stuck to a reduced 2011 outlook on Wednesday.

“Vopak shares are down slightly this morning because
earnings are a tad below consensus but the positive thing is new
capacity kicking in by the end of the year that will boost
earnings,” said Micha Tiekink, analyst at Rabobank.

Aug 18, 2011

Kosovo ex-PM back in court for war crimes retrial

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Kosovo’s former prime minister, acquitted of war crimes in 2008, appeared before the Yugoslavia tribunal again on Thursday in the court’s first partial retrial for war crimes.

Ramush Haradinaj, a former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander, is back on trial because his acquittal had been overturned to include more witness testimony.

Aug 17, 2011

Dutch parliament backs Greek bailout package

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The Dutch prime minister on Wednesday won broad political support for the Greek bailout agreed last month by European leaders, an important test for the official vote due to take place in a few weeks’ time.

Political support is crucial for the government, a minority coalition between the Liberal and Christian Democrat parties, because its key political ally, the Freedom Party, strongly opposes financial bailouts for troubled euro zone members.

Aug 11, 2011

Aegon sees economic challenges as Q2 profit falls

AMSTERDAM, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Dutch insurer Aegon
reported lower than expected underlying profit in the second
quarter, citing the weaker dollar and one-off charges, and said
heightened economic uncertainty could affect its growth.

Chief executive Alex Wynaendts said the economic environment
posed “considerable challenges”, and it was too early to predict
how this would affect the assumptions Aegon made regarding the
U.S. dollar, equities and interest rates when it drew up its
long-term 2015 growth targets earlier this year.

Aug 10, 2011

CSM sees stable H2 profit after price hikes

AMSTERDAM, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Dutch food group CSM
(CSMNc.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said recovering volumes will stabilise second-half
profit, after first-half operating profit was hit by lower
demand after it raised prices for its products.

Europe’s food groups are grappling with soaring costs for
coffee, milk, grain, edible oils and packaging and are
attempting to offset the impact by passing the increase on to
consumers through higher prices and by internal cost cuts.

Jul 28, 2011

Europe chemical groups underline slowdown worries

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Three of Europe’s top chemical groups added to mounting worries over a global economic slowdown on Thursday as they signaled a squeeze from weakening demand and rising input costs.

German rivals BASF (BASFn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Bayer (BAYGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Belgium’s Solvay (SOLB.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) indicated they saw no quick easing in raw material cost inflation, and while they reiterated full-year outlooks, their watchful stance suggested that earnings growth could soon taper off.

Jul 28, 2011

European chemicals watchful on rising costs

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, July 28 (Reuters) – European chemicals
companies BASF (BASFn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Bayer (BAYGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Solvay
said on Thursday they saw no quick easing in raw material cost
inflation, signalling that earnings growth could soon taper off.

Worries have been mounting around the chemicals sector in
recent months as sharper-than-expected rises in commodity costs
have tested companies’ ability to raise prices to protect
margins, particularly in mature markets facing softening demand.

    • About Aaron

      "Aaron specialises in the chemical and biotech sectors in the Netherlands alongside daily equities and general news reporting duties. He also covers the international criminal courts from The Hague. He began his career as a newspaper reporter and sub-editor in Australia in 1994. He has lived in the Netherlands since March 2000."
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