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.
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Serbia’s last major war crimes suspect refused to enter a plea on charges over the 1991-1995 Croatian war when he made a brief first appearance at the U.N.’s Yugoslavia tribunal on Monday.
The arrest of Goran Hadzic, 52, and his transfer to The Hague last week were a symbolic moment for both Serbia and the Balkans region, ending an 18-year manhunt to detain all 161 suspects indicted by the Yugoslavia war crimes court.
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch chemicals group AkzoNobel (AKZO.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) promised new, unspecified measures to improve its earnings as it reported a 10 percent drop in second-quarter core profit, hurt by rising costs and weak demand.
The world’s biggest paints company was hit by faster-than-expected increases in prices of raw materials such as pigments and oil-related resins and solvents.
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The United Nations’ highest court ordered Thailand and Cambodia on Monday to pull their soldiers out of a newly defined demilitarized zone around a disputed temple, and to revive talks to resolve the decades-old conflict.
Tens of thousands of villagers on both sides have been relocated, and 18 people killed in fighting between Cambodia and Thailand since February, when tensions flared again over ancient Hindu temples.
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch state is responsible for the deaths of three Muslim men after the fall of Srebrenica during the Bosnian war, a Dutch appeals court ruled on Tuesday, opening the door to compensation claims.
The ruling will touch a raw nerve with the Dutch, whose troops were in charge of the U.N. “safe area” of Srebrenica and were accused of cowardice when Bosnian Serb troops overran the enclave in July 1995.
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Ratko Mladic was ejected from the courtroom at the U.N. war crimes tribunal on Monday after the former Bosnian Serb commander heckled the judge when he read out a charge of genocide and entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Mladic, who appeared in the dock despite earlier threatening to stay away, demanded to appoint his own lawyers and tried to delay entering pleas to 11 charges relating to the 1992-5 Bosnian war. It was his second appearance in The Hague since his capture in Serbia six weeks ago ended 16 years on the run.
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic was removed from the U.N. war crimes court at The Hague on Monday after refusing to enter a plea and disrupting the judge’s attempts to read out the charges against him.
The judge later entered formal pleas of not guilty on behalf of Mladic to the various charges against him, which include genocide, and relate to the 43-month siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica — Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two.
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic will boycott the U.N. war crimes court, where he is scheduled to enter a plea on Monday against charges of genocide during the Bosnian war, his lawyer said on Sunday.
Arrested in May after 16 years on the run, Mladic formally was charged by the Yugoslavia tribunal in The Hague last month when the defiant general rejected war crimes charges against him as “obnoxious” and “monstrous.”
AMSTERDAM, June 30 (Reuters) – Dutch investment group
Novapars Capital said on Thursday it has agreed to buy the 115
million euro ($163 million) German loan portfolio of DSB Bank,
the first sale of the bankrupt Dutch bank’s operations.
DSB was declared bankrupt in October 2009 after it was hit
by a liquidity crunch when clients withdrew about one-sixth of
the group’s deposits. The company was later seized by the Dutch
central bank, DNB, and its assets are under administration.
AMSTERDAM, June 29 (Reuters) – Dutch staffing firm USG
People (USGP.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), hit by weak growth in its home market, said on
Wednesday it will announce another round of job cuts next week
to boost margins but has no plans to sell any of its businesses.
USG, which is Europe’s fourth-largest staffing firm by
revenue, makes 38 percent of its revenues from the Dutch market,
where the public and financial sectors were hammered by the
financial crisis and by government budget cuts. [ID:nLDE73J1I8]