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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

Feb 14, 2013

AB InBev revises Modelo deal to meet US objections

BRUSSELS, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev,
the world’s largest brewer, has revised the terms of its $20.1
billion takeover of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo to
overcome U.S. government objections that it would have
restricted competition.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit to
block the deal on the grounds that it removed an independent
competitor and could have led to higher U.S. beer prices.

Feb 14, 2013

EU, U.S. to start free trade talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States and European Union aim to start negotiating a vast Transatlantic free trade pact by June, though the plan confirmed on Wednesday faces many hurdles before it might help revive the world’s top two economies.

A deal would be the most ambitious since the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, embracing half of world output and a third of all trade. It reflects impatience with the lack of a new global agreement to cut tariffs and ease commerce.

Feb 13, 2013

EU, U.S. fire starting gun for free trade talks

BRUSSELS, Feb 13 (Reuters) – The United States and the
European Union agreed on Wednesday to push for the launch by the
end of June of talks to create the world’s biggest free trade
alliance, which could be a benchmark for global competitors to

Such a deal would be most ambitious attempted since the
founding of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995,
encompassing half the world’s economic output and a third of
global trade flows.

Feb 13, 2013

Heineken sees growth regions offsetting weak Europe

BRUSSELS, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Heineken, the world’s
third-largest brewer, beat expectations for 2012 profit and said
Africa, Asia and the Americas should drive continued volume and
revenue growth, offsetting weak European markets.

Europe’s largest beer maker also said on Wednesday that
savings that should outweigh rising costs.

    • 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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