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Nov 27, 2014

EU’s Juncker survives no-confidence vote over tax deals

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission’s new president, Jean-Claude Juncker, comfortably survived a no-confidence vote on Thursday brought over news that Luxembourg had lured multinational businesses with super low tax rates during his period as prime minister.

The censure motion in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, was resoundingly defeated by 461 votes to 101.

Nov 27, 2014

EU lawmakers urge regulators to get tough on Google

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a motion on Thursday urging antitrust regulators to get tough on Google and other Internet search engines and consider breaking them up.

The resolution in the European Parliament (EP), the strongest public signal of Europe’s concern with the growing power of U.S. tech giants, was passed with 384 votes for versus 174 against.

Nov 26, 2014

Nyrstar denies Trafigura influence after ousting chief executive

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Zinc producer Nyrstar SA
has ousted its chief executive and is replacing him
temporarily with its finance chief, a surprise change only weeks
after commodities trader Trafigura bought a large
stake in the company.

Nyrstar said Roland Junck, 59, had left to pursue other
interests after nearly six years in the post and Chief Financial
Officer Heinz Eigner had been appointed acting CEO while the
board seeks a permanent replacement.

Nov 26, 2014

Exclusive: Online protest delays EU plan to resolve U.S. trade row

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European campaigners against an EU-U.S. accord have held up progress towards the world’s biggest free trade deal by deluging an online public consultation that EU officials had hoped would help them unblock a key issue.

Of almost 150,000 submissions to the public forum on how to protect businesses from unfair government interference, over 95 percent were from supporters of a small group of organisations hostile to a deal with Washington and who submitted identical or very similar responses, two EU officials have told Reuters.

Nov 26, 2014

Online protest delays EU plan to resolve U.S. trade row

BRUSSELS, Nov 26 (Reuters) – European campaigners against an
EU-U.S. accord have held up progress towards the world’s biggest
free trade deal by deluging an online public consultation that
EU officials had hoped would help them unblock a key issue.

Of almost 150,000 submissions to the public forum on how to
protect businesses from unfair government interference, over 95
percent were from supporters of a small group of organisations
hostile to a deal with Washington and who submitted identical or
very similar responses, two EU officials have told Reuters.

Nov 21, 2014

Ablynx says blood disorder drug estimates conservative

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian biotech company Ablynx believes its sales estimate for its drug for the rare blood disease TTP is conservative, after tests showed it had potential to treat more than just acute cases.

Ablynx recently raised its estimate for peak annual sales for the TTP candidate drug caplacizumab to 300-400 million euros ($373-497 million), from up to 250 million euros previously.

Nov 21, 2014

UK concedes defeat in bid to block EU bank bonus limit

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Britain suffered an embarrassing defeat in its attempt to block the European Union’s new limits on bank bonuses on Thursday, withdrawing its legal challenge after an adviser to the bloc’s top court made clear it was unlikely to succeed.

The EU law aims to curb the kind of risk-taking that led to the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis by limiting bonuses awarded from next year to a sum no more than a banker’s fixed pay, or twice that level with shareholder approval.

Nov 20, 2014

EU should keep limit on bank bonus, adviser says in blow to UK

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s relations with the European Union took another knock on Thursday when its legal challenge to a limit on bankers’ bonuses was rejected by an adviser to the bloc’s top court.

The EU law aims to curb the kind of risk-taking that led to the financial crisis by limiting bonuses awarded from 2015 to a sum no more than a banker’s fixed pay, or twice that level with shareholder approval.

Nov 17, 2014

HSBC charged in Belgium over money laundering, tax fraud

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A Belgian judge has charged the Swiss private banking arm of HSBC Holdings Plc with tax fraud and money laundering, accusing the British-based bank of offering diamond dealers and other wealthy clients ways of hiding cash and evading tax.

Prosecutors said on Monday the charges related to business carried out by a Swiss unit of HSBC for wealth management clients, many of them from the large diamond trade in the northern Belgian city of Antwerp.

Nov 7, 2014

ArcelorMittal says buoyant steel offsetting weak mining

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal SA, the world’s largest steelmaker, reported a higher than expected profit in the third quarter and said improvements in its U.S. and European steel businesses are more than offsetting weak mining operations.

The company, which makes about 6 percent of the world’s steel and is one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, cut its estimate for global steel consumption because of a slowdown in China and heavy declines in Brazil and former Soviet states.

    • 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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