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Jan 20, 2014

Brewer AB InBev grows in Asia with $5.8 billion Korea return

HONG KONG/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, the world’s biggest brewer, agreed to buy back South Korea’s Oriental Brewery Co Ltd (OB) for $5.8 billion including debt, returning to a large Asian market at a time of strong industry growth across the region.

The sale by KKR & Co and Affinity Equity Partners will be Asia’s biggest ever for private equity, excluding flotations, and rewards them with returns of more than five times their investment.

Jan 17, 2014

Mobistar sets cable rivals deadline to open networks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian mobile telephone operator Mobistar set cable operators a six-month deadline on Friday to open up their networks, allowing it to start its own television and fixed-line phone and internet services by the end of the year.

Mobistar said in a statement it had paid 600,000 euros ($816,100) to Telenet, which is active in the northern region of Flanders, and the same amount to southern Belgian cable operator Brutele-Tecteo.

Jan 16, 2014

Ahold sales hit by weak U.S. food market, hurricane effect

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Dutch grocer Ahold (AHLN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a steeper-than-expected decline in fourth-quarter sales, as the U.S. food market contracted and customers in the Netherlands spent less per visit to its shops.

The group, which makes three-fifths of its revenue in the United States, said on Thursday sales fell by 4.2 percent, or 1.1 percent at constant exchange rates, to 7.47 billion euros ($10.2 billion).

Jan 15, 2014

Belgian clinic repairs bones with novel technique

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian medical researchers have succeeded in repairing bones using stem cells from fatty tissue, with a new technique they believe could become a benchmark for treating a range of bone disorders.

The team at the Saint Luc university clinic hospital in Brussels have treated 11 patients, eight of them children, with fractures or bone defects that their bodies could not repair, and a spin-off is seeking investors to commercialize the discovery.

Jan 12, 2014

Christmas sales, ratings blitz due after jobs jolt

BRUSSELS, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Year-end U.S. shopping and
manufacturing output figures and a Friday credit-rating blitz in
Europe are expected to set the tone this week, showing the
global economy’s uneven recovery remains on track.

Last week ended on a jarring note, with data showing U.S.
employers hired the fewest number of workers in almost three
years in December.

Dec 17, 2013

GM corn, feta cheese: hurdles for EU-U.S. trade talks

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Genetically modified crops,
chlorine-washed chicken, beef quotas and a fight over who can
call Greek-style cheese ‘feta’ all block the way towards the
world’s largest free-trade deal.

U.S. and European Union negotiators will determine a list of
sticking points this week in Washington during their third round
of talks, and food issues are expected to be chief among them.

Nov 28, 2013

Belgian biotech firm Ablynx sees emerging market promise in 2014

BRUSSELS, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Belgian biotech company Ablynx
is hopeful of finding partners to develop its
therapies in emerging markets next year, its chief executive
told Reuters on Thursday.

Belgium’s biotech industry has expanded in the past decade
because of tax breaks covering patent income and research
workers’ salaries, and a string of companies have listed on the
Brussels stock exchange.

Nov 27, 2013

Solvay cuts long-term profit target after poor 2013

BRUSSELS, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Belgian chemicals group Solvay
has cut its profit forecasts for the coming years,
blaming a sluggish economic recovery – particularly in Europe -
and the planned divestment of lower margin businesses.

The company, traditionally a maker of base chemicals such as
soda ash, used for making glass, said on Wednesday it expected
core earnings (REBITDA) to rise to between 2.3 and 2.5 billion
euros ($3.1-$3.4 billion) in 2016.

Nov 21, 2013

IBA hopes for 2014 jump in proton therapy sales

BRUSSELS, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Belgian radiology company IBA
sees 2014 as a year of major transition which could
lead to an acceleration of sales of its cancer-fighting proton
therapy systems.

The global market leader has been selling its systems to
major hospitals and clinics for more than a decade, but has been
hampered by the scale of the investment required for each
facility and recently launched a more compact product, called
Proteus ONE.

Nov 15, 2013

EU, U.S. say trade deal won’t pander to big business

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. and EU trade negotiators rejected accusations on Friday that they are pandering to multinational companies in their push to agree the world’s largest free-trade deal, saying food safety and the environment will not be put at risk.

Consumer and green groups say a deal encompassing half the world’s economic output threatens the standards governing products from medical devices to toys, because companies are pressing for lower costs and fewer barriers to trade.

    • 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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