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Feb 12, 2013

EU prepares plan to revive European steel

BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – EU ministers and the European
Commission urged ArcelorMittal on Tuesday to postpone
planned capacity cuts until they firm up proposals to
reinvigorate Europe’s steel sector.

Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani said the world’s
largest steelmaker should delay restructuring in Europe until
the Commission produced an action plan by June.

Feb 7, 2013

Umicore sends shares lower with warning of profit drop

BRUSSELS, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Belgian speciality materials
group Umicore forecast a further decline in operating
profit this year, warning of a squeeze in its recycling business
and no marked improvement in other activities.

Its shares dropped to their lowest level in six months.

The recycling business, including recovery of precious
metals from old computers and mobile phones, delivered 28
percent of Umicore’s sales and 61 percent of operating earnings
in the past year and was the only business not to suffer a
decline in profit in the second half.

Feb 6, 2013

ArcelorMittal sees modest pickup after deep 2012 loss

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest steelmaker, forecast improving demand and earnings this year, after a wretched 2012 in which sliding European consumption and a Chinese slowdown drove it to a deep net loss.

The Luxembourg-based company said global steel consumption – a gauge of the world economy – would grow by 3 percent in 2013 after a 2 percent increase last year, driven by faster growth in Brazil and China, while Europe would not weaken as much.

Feb 6, 2013

ArcelorMittal sees modest pickup after wretched 2012

BRUSSELS, Feb 6 (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal, the
world’s largest steelmaker, forecast improving demand and
earnings this year after a wretched 2012 in which sliding
European consumption and a Chinese slowdown drove it to a deep
net loss.

The Luxembourg-based company said on Wednesday that global
steel consumption would grow by 3 percent this year after a 2
percent increase last year, with accelerating growth in China
and Brazil while Europe would not be as weak as before.

Feb 1, 2013

Analysis: AB InBev could keep Mexico prize with brewery sale

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could salvage its plan to take full control of Grupo Modelo (GMODELOC.MX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) by keeping its sights on the lucrative market in Mexico and letting others brew Corona destined for the United States.

AB InBev got half of Mexican brewer Modelo with InBev’s 2008 acquisition of Anheuser-Busch. By taking full control it ensures a greater share of a growing market, while developed markets shrink, a global brand in Corona and the chance to cut costs.

Jan 15, 2013

EU Commission finds China subsidises steelmakers -sources

BRUSSELS, Jan 15 (Reuters) – The European Commission has
concluded China illegally subsidises steel producers and wants
EU members to back punitive tariffs, which could anger the
bloc’s second largest trading partner, trade sources said.

The conclusion would address blame at China itself, rather
than Chinese companies. China has in the past accused the
European Union of protectionism and has filed its own complaints
against the bloc with the World Trade Organisation.

Jan 11, 2013

ArcelorMittal turns deaf ear to new debt cut chorus

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Having danced to the credit rating agencies’ tune to no avail, ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s largest steelmaker, looks likely to ignore the chorus for more debt cuts, reconciled to its “junk” status for now.

It should already have done enough to hit a mid-year net debt target of $17 billion, down from $22 billion at end-December; less than two weeks into 2013, it has raised $4 billion issuing stock and convertibles, $1.1 billion selling a Canadian mining stake, and has half a billion dollars coming from the sale of a manganese venture in South Africa.

Jan 9, 2013

Junk-rated ArcelorMittal to raise $3.5 billion to cut debt

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal SA (ISPA.AS: Quote, Profile, Research), the world’s largest steelmaker, will issue $3.5 billion (2.1 billion pounds) of shares and convertible notes to sharply reduce the heavy debts that led to a cut in its credit rating to “junk” status.

The company said on Wednesday the issue, the exact make-up of which is yet to be determined, would help to reduce its net debt to about $17 billion by the end of June from an expected $22 billion at the end of 2012.

Jan 9, 2013

ArcelorMittal to issue $3.5 bln stock, notes to cut debt

BRUSSELS, Jan 9 (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal, the
world’s largest steelmaker, will issue $3.5 billion of shares
and convertible notes to sharply reduce a heavy debt level that
has led to a cut in its credit rating to junk status.

The company said on Wednesday the issue, the exact make-up
of which has yet to be determined, would help to reduce its net
debt to about $17 billion by the end of June, from an expected
$22 billion at the end of 2012.

Dec 21, 2012

Dexia investors OK state bailout to avoid liquidation

BRUSSELS, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Dexia shareholders
accepted on Friday the near-total nationalisation of their group
and voted against a liquidation that could have caused a
Lehman-style shockwave across Europe.

France and Belgium are set to own almost 96 percent of
Dexia, with the free float slipping to 1.9 percent from 30.4
percent, after the two nations agreed to keep the lender afloat
with 5.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) of fresh funds.

    • 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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