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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
follow.

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.

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.

    • 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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