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Apr 18, 2013

EU resistant to China telecoms trade case -Sweden

DUBLIN, April 18 (Reuters) – A growing number of EU
countries do not want the European Commission to launch an
investigation into Chinese telecoms equipment makers Huawei
and ZTE, Sweden said on Thursday.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, has been
collecting evidence to prepare a possible case against the two
companies over alleged state subsidies that would allow them to
undercut European competitors.

Mar 30, 2013

Belgium agrees savings, asset sales to meet EU budget demands

BRUSSELS, March 30 (Reuters) – Belgium agreed to make 1.4
billion euros ($1.8 billion) of savings and to sell 1 billion
euros of state-owned assets on Saturday, as it strives to meet
EU budget targets and avoid being drawn into the euro zone’s
debt crisis.

With debt approaching 100 percent of national output (GDP),
Belgium has some of the weakest public finances in the euro
zone’s northern “core”, partially due to an almost two-year
political stalemate that was only resolved in late 2011.

Mar 27, 2013

Belgian chocolate makers seek protection from copycats

BRUSSELS, March 27 (Reuters) – Belgian chocolate makers
believe their renowned pralines should have similar protection
to that enjoyed by French champagne or Italy’s Parma ham.

They want the term “Belgian chocolate” to be their exclusive
preserve and also want to crack down on foreign rivals dressing
up their products as “Belgian style” or of a “Belgian recipe”.

Mar 15, 2013

ArcelorMittal targets $3 bln savings to help margins

BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal, the
world’s largest steelmaker, set out a new $3 billion savings
plan to restore steel margins to levels unmatched since the
crisis struck in 2008.

The new plan is the latest step in its aggressive response
to steel sector problems that include a nine percent slide in
demand in the European Union last year.

Mar 15, 2013

Japan free trade talks with EU a “masquerade”: Ford

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Japan is not truly interested in opening up its economy to imports and upcoming free-trade negotiations are a “masquerade”, according to a senior executive of Ford Motor Company (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Japan is set to launch trade talks with the European Union later this month and its prime minister said on Friday it would seek to join talks on a U.S.-led Pacific free-trade pact, which could be agreed by the end of the year.

Mar 6, 2013

Lilly confident on keeping dividend through patent cliff

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co will maintain its dividend despite the erosion of its earnings by generic copies of blockbuster drugs and should be well placed by the end of 2013 to assess the potential of its future medicines, its chief executive said.

The U.S. drugmaker suffered a 7 percent drop in revenue last year and a 6 percent decline in net profit after it lost U.S. patent protection of top-selling schizophrenia drug Zyprexa.

Feb 27, 2013

EU Commission proposes import duties on Chinese ceramics

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is proposing long-term import duties on ceramic plates and other tableware and kitchenware from China even though a majority of EU member states opposed their imposition late last year.

The EU’s executive body is recommending definitive duties of between 13.1 and 36.1 percent, a lower rate than the provisional duties set in November.

Feb 27, 2013

AB InBev sees higher Brazil sales, U.S. margin recovery

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s biggest brewer, forecast a pick up in sales in Brazil and easing cost pressures in the United States would help it bounce back from a slow start to the year in its two largest markets.

The maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois makes about 80 percent of revenue in the Americas, shielding it from recession-hit Europe but still giving it a mix of trading conditions with fast-growing emerging markets and a more mature U.S. business.

Feb 21, 2013

Dexia suffers second year of loss after fire sales

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Nationalised Franco-Belgian lender Dexia (DEXI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a second year of heavy losses in 2012 after fire sales, higher funding costs and asset writedowns, and forecast another loss this year.

The company, once the world’s largest municipal lender, is almost an irrelevance as an investment, with shares that are hardly traded valued at just 0.04 euros, compared with a May 2007 peak of 22.56 euros.

Feb 14, 2013

Euro zone economy falls deeper than expected into recession

BRUSSELS/BERLIN, Feb 14 (Reuters) – The euro zone slipped
deeper than expected into recession in the last three months of
2012 after its largest economies, Germany and France, shrank at
the end of a wretched year for the region.

It marked the currency bloc’s first full year in which no
quarter produced growth, extending back to 1995. For the year as
a whole, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.5 percent

    • 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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