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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.

Nov 14, 2013

KBC reassures after taking upfront hit on Irish loans

BRUSSELS, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Belgian financial services
group KBC said it would need to set aside far less in
future to cover potential losses on Irish loans after revealing
a hefty 775 million euro ($1.04 billion) provision for the
fourth quarter.

The group said it was making the higher than expected
provision as it sought to clean up its books ahead of a health
check of European banks.

Nov 12, 2013

Consumer, green groups voice fears over EU-U.S. trade deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Consumers risk losing out in a planned free-trade deal between Europe and the United States if big business succeeds in loosening standards, European consumer and environmental groups warned on Tuesday.

U.S. and European Union negotiators are holding a second round of talks in Brussels this week on what would be the world’s biggest free-trade deal, with a special focus on reducing regulatory barriers to trade.

Nov 7, 2013

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal says it’s turning corner as earnings rise

BRUSSELS, Nov 7 (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal, the
world’s largest steelmaker, said on Thursday its two-year slump
was over and prospects for 2014 were looking up, after higher
U.S. steel shipments and mining output boosted third-quarter
profits.

The company, which makes 6-7 percent of global steel and is
a broad gauge for the health of the global manufacturing
industry, said it believed it had passed the low point of the
economic cycle.

    • 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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