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Nov 8, 2012

Belgium, France to pump extra 5.5 billion euros into Dexia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium and France will pay 5.5 billion euros ($7 billion) to take almost full control of Dexia (DEXI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in the hope this third bailout will be the last for the bank that was once the world’s largest municipal lender.

Dexia, which at its peak had business across Europe and a large U.S. empire, had relied on long-term lending serviced with short-term borrowing, which dried up in the financial crisis.

Nov 8, 2012

EU steps up solar panels trade battle with China

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union launched an investigation on Thursday into alleged state subsidies for Chinese solar panel manufacturers, intensifying the conflict over the multi-billion dollar solar power equipment market that is straining trade ties.

The EU’s executive body is already investigating allegations of Chinese manufacturers “dumping” solar panels in overseas markets, meaning deliberately selling products for less abroad than at home or at less than cost.

Nov 8, 2012

France, Belgium agree to pump 5.5 bln euros into Dexia

BRUSSELS, Nov 8 (Reuters) – France and Belgium have agreed
to pump 5.5 billion euros ($7.02 billion) into Dexia,
the stricken lender the two states were forced to bail out a
year ago, the Belgian finance ministry said on Thursday.

The prospect of throwing more money into Dexia, which
already absorbed 6.4 billion euros in funds in 2008, threatens
to undermine both countries’ efforts to rein in their deficits
at a time of intense scrutiny of euro zone budgets.

Nov 6, 2012

Moody’s cuts ArcelorMittal debt to junk status

BRUSSELS, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Agency Moody’s cut its rating
for the debt of ArcelorMittal to junk with a negative
outlook on Tuesday, reflecting a collapse in world steel markets
it said would get worse before they got better.

The move brings the world’s largest steelmaker to the verge
of a complete loss of its investment grade status, something the
company had said it was not “imperative” to avoid and would cost
a relatively contained $100 million.

Oct 31, 2012

ArcelorMittal cuts dividend after tumbling to loss

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest steelmaker, said it would slash its dividend and focus on cutting debt after slowing demand from China and sluggish European markets drove it to a third-quarter loss.

The group, which makes 6-7 percent of the world’s steel, said on Wednesday there was little prospect of a quick recovery in the $500 billion steel industry – a gauge of the global economy – and scrapped its forecast for core profit per metric ton (1.1023 tons) in the second half of the year to be similar to that in the first.

Oct 24, 2012

Weak Europe overshadows strength elsewhere for Heineken

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Heineken NV (HEIN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s third-largest brewer, reported stronger than expected third-quarter group revenue on Wednesday, boosted by U.S. and emerging market strength and price hikes, but investors focused on weakness in Europe.

Europe’s largest brewer, whose Heineken brand is the continent’s number one selling beer, said the main causes were a double-digit percentage decline in Portugal, which entered its deepest recession since the 1970s this year, and the withdrawal of a product from Finland.

Oct 22, 2012

Ford summons Genk unions, fuelling closure fears

BRUSSELS/PARIS, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Ford called an
emergency meeting with unions at its assembly plant in Genk,
Belgium, amid mounting expectations that the U.S. automaker is
preparing to close the factory.

Ford summoned staff representatives to a meeting with
European executives at 0700 GMT on Wednesday without providing
an agenda, officials from three unions said on Monday.

Oct 20, 2012

ECB’s Coene says austerity measures cannot be avoided

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Austerity measures in the euro zone are unavoidable, but countries can and should counteract with reforms to boost growth, European Central Bank Governing Council member Luc Coene said on Saturday.

In a panel debate on the euro zone in Brussels, Coene was challenged by economist Paul De Grauwe, now with the London School of Economics, who said policymakers should be foremost in promoting growth not reining it in.

Oct 18, 2012

Saracens take top European rugby “home” to Belgium

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European rugby enters new ground on Saturday when England’s Saracens play a ‘home’ match in Brussels designed to spread interest in the game and enhance Belgium’s status as an emerging rugby nation.

Saracens, who have mooted playing Heineken Cup fixtures in Cape Town and New York, will host Racing Metro 92 of Paris in a pool-phase tie in the King Baudouin Stadium, normally a venue for football and athletics.

Oct 18, 2012

Rugby-Saracens take top European rugby ‘home’ to Belgium

BRUSSELS, Oct 18 (Reuters) – European rugby enters new ground on Saturday when England’s Saracens play a ‘home’ match in Brussels designed to spread interest in the game and enhance Belgium’s status as an emerging rugby nation.

Saracens, who have mooted playing Heineken Cup fixtures in Cape Town and New York, will host Racing Metro 92 of Paris in a pool-phase tie in the King Baudouin Stadium, normally a venue for soccer and athletics.

    • 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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