Phil's Feed
Jul 29, 2013

America Movil may buy KPN after shareholding cap ends

AMSTERDAM/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Dutch telecom group KPN’s (KPN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) biggest shareholder America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has ended an agreement to keep its holding below 30 percent, a sign it may bid for the whole company.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s company, which owns 29.8 percent of KPN, was entitled to end the agreement after Spain’s Telefonica (TEF.MC: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bid 8.1 billion euros ($10.7 billion) for KPN’s German mobile arm E-Plus, KPN said on Monday.

Jul 22, 2013

Mobistar cuts 2013 forecasts, scraps dividend

BRUSSELS, July 22 (Reuters) – Belgian telecoms operator
Mobistar cut its revenue and profit forecasts for
this year and scrapped it dividend after a price war caused
earnings to tumble in the second quarter.

Shares in Mobistar, which is majority-owned by France’s
Orange, fell as much as 31.4 percent to an 11-year low
of 10.82 euros on Monday.

Jul 21, 2013

Belgium subdues divisions for a day to swear in king

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium swore in Philippe as its new king on Sunday after his father Albert II abdicated, subduing for a day questions about his ability to bring a divided country together and the power of the monarchy.

Philippe, 53, took his oath in Belgium’s three official languages – Dutch, French and German – two-and-a-half weeks after King Albert, 79, announced that he would abdicate after 20 years on the throne.

Jul 21, 2013

Belgium lays aside divisions for a day to swear in king

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium swore in Philippe as its new king on Sunday after his father Albert II abdicated, largely setting aside for one day questions about his ability to bring a divided country together.

Philippe’s investiture came two-and-a-half weeks after King Albert, 79, announced he would abdicate after 20 years on the throne to make way for the 53-year-old crown prince.

Jul 21, 2013

Divided Belgium to swear in new king

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium will swear in a new king on Sunday with festivities but also questions over the political influence of the monarch and the acceptance of Philippe as the king of all Belgians.

The 183-year-old country is split across the middle, with many Dutch speakers seeking greater independence for Flanders in the north and wary of a monarchy seen rooted in the once powerful, but now poorer French-speaking Wallonia in the south.

Jul 17, 2013

Mexican beer duopoly to survive competition deal

BRUSSELS, July 17 (Reuters) – Last week’s settlement to
limit the arrangements by which two big brewers have sewn up
Mexico’s beer market, the world’s sixth largest, is unlikely to
open the door to substantial competition there in the near
future.

After years of complaints from SABMiller, the
world’s second-largest brewer but barely a blip on the Mexican
radar, global leader Anheuser-Busch InBev and
third-ranking Heineken have agreed with regulators to
curb exclusivity deals with Mexican retailers that have secured
them a combined 99 percent of the market through their local
units.

Jun 21, 2013

Belgium’s $1 bln bpost IPO bodes well for UK’s Royal Mail

BRUSSELS, June 21 (Reuters) – Belgium’s postal service bpost
made a robust market debut on Friday, a bullish
signal for Britain as it looks to sell Royal Mail.

Private equity firm CVC raised 812 million euros
($1.07 billion) from selling a 28 percent stake, valuing the
company at 2.9 billion euros.

Jun 19, 2013

Ex-Fortis CEOs fined for misleading markets

BRUSSELS, June 19 (Reuters) – Two ex-chief executives of
former financial services group Fortis were fined by the Belgian
regulator on Wednesday for failing to inform markets properly in
the run-up to the company’s 2008 collapse.

Jean-Paul Votron, Fortis chief from October 2004 to July
2008, said he had received a fine from the regulator, without
saying how much, while Herman Verwilst, Fortis deputy CEO until
he succeeded Votron, was fined 250,000 euros ($334,800).

Jun 15, 2013

France backs EU-U.S. trade talks after culture clash

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – France cleared the European Union to launch free-trade talks with the United States on Friday after fellow EU members accepted its demand to shield movies and online entertainment from the might of Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

After 12 hours of talks, EU officials announced that the 27 EU trade ministers had finally agreed a negotiating mandate towards what could be the world’s most ambitious trade agreement.

Jun 14, 2013

EU struggles to ease French fears over Hollywood in U.S. trade talks

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – France was adamant on Friday that it would block an EU free-trade deal with the United States unless its culture was shielded from the might of Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

Paris has refused to join the 26 other EU governments that want talks to start in July, unless television, movies and developing online media are left out of a deal.

    • 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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