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Feb 26, 2015

AB InBev hikes dividend and plans $1 bln share buyback

BRUSSELS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev,
the world’s largest brewer, announced a sharply higher dividend
and a $1-billion share buyback on Thursday.

It also forecast improved beer sales in most of its major
markets.

The cash-rich, Belgian-based company proposed a final
dividend of 2.00 euros, bringing its total payout for 2014 to
3.00 euros, from 2.05 euros for 2013. Analysts had on average
been expecting a 2.92 euro total payout.

Feb 23, 2015

EU probes Cargill’s plan to buy ADM chocolate unit

BRUSSELS/CHICAGO, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The European Commission
said on Monday it had opened an in-depth investigation into
Cargill Inc’s planned acquisition of Archer Daniels
Midland Co’s chocolate business, citing concerns the
deal could lead to higher prices.

The EU executive said it had until July 8 to investigate
Cargill’s planned $440 million acquisition, designed to expand
the commodity trader’s production capacity in North America.

Feb 13, 2015

Euro zone economy accelerates thanks to German ‘thunderbolt’

BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Euro zone economic growth accelerated unexpectedly in the final quarter of 2014 as the bloc’s largest member, Germany, expanded at more than twice the expected rate.

A preliminary estimate showed the economy of the 18 countries sharing the euro expanded by 0.3 percent between October and December compared with the previous three months, the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said on Friday.

Feb 11, 2015

Heineken sees sales, margin growth slowing in 2015

BRUSSELS, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Heineken, the world’s
third-largest brewer, forecast its beer sales and profit margins
would grow by a slower rate in 2015 after a year swelled by
emerging market expansion and the soccer World Cup.

The Dutch brewer, the top seller in Europe with brands such
also including Amstel, benefited from increased beer sales in
Africa, the Americas and Asia. Sales and profits were broadly
flat in western Europe, while eastern Europe was clearly weaker.

Feb 4, 2015

European car sales to grow 2.1 pct in 2015 – carmakers group

BRUSSELS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – European car sales are likely to
rise by 2.1 percent this year, less than half last year’s rate
of growth, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association
(ACEA) said on Wednesday.

Research conducted for ACEA by IHS Automotive envisages new
car registrations increasing most strongly in Italy and Spain,
followed by Germany, Britain and then other southern European
nations, where pent-up demand is greatest.

Feb 3, 2015

ArcelorMittal drops deeper into junk territory with S&P

BRUSSELS, Feb 3 (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal, the
world’s largest steelmaker, dropped deeper into junk territory
on Tuesday after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the company’s debt
due to weaker iron ore prices.

The rating agency said it had lowered its long-term credit
rating on ArcelorMittal to BB from BB+ after revising its
benchmark iron ore price assumptions for 2015 and 2016 to $65
from $85 per tonne, given a well-supplied market.

Feb 1, 2015

Weekahead – Fed’s “solid” growth view faces test as Greek drama unfolds

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s upgraded view that growth in the world’s biggest economy is “solid”, and so capable of withstanding an interest rate rise this year, will be put to the test by U.S. jobs data this week.

Ructions over Greece’s new anti-austerity government will also continue to grip markets, and could overshadow economic data in the coming days.

Feb 1, 2015

Fed’s ‘solid’ growth view faces test as Greek drama unfolds

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s upgraded view that growth in the world’s biggest economy is “solid”, and so capable of withstanding an interest rate rise this year, will be put to the test by U.S. jobs data this week.

Ructions over Greece’s new anti-austerity government will also continue to grip markets, and could overshadow economic data in the coming days.

Jan 30, 2015

Euro zone prices fall at record-equalling pace in January

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone consumer prices fell at a record-equalling pace in January, more steeply than expected and supporting the backers of the European Central Bank’s money-printing plan to combat sustained deflation. The European statistics office said in a first estimate on Friday that prices in the 19 countries using the single currency in January were 0.6 percent lower than a year earlier, after a 0.2 percent decline in December.

This was a sharper fall than 0.5 percent decline forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

Jan 26, 2015

EU open to Greek debt extension, not forgiveness

BRUSSELS, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Europe showed a willingness on
Monday to give Athens more time to pay back its debts, but
little sign that it would yield to a new Greek government’s
demands of debt forgiveness.

European Union leaders and policymakers responded to Greek
anti-bailout party Syriza’s election victory on Sunday with
warnings that a debt restructuring for Greece would send the
wrong message to other euro zone members.

    • About Phil

      "I am responsible for Reuters news out of Belgium and Luxembourg, which has led to many long nights outside parliament in Brussels awaiting news of fraught coalition talks and state bailouts of Belgian banks. I have previously worked in London, Amsterdam, where my work included consumer electronics group Philips and the Lockerbie trial, and Berlin, where I covered the Hamburg trials of suspected September 11 conspirators."
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