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Jan 9, 2014

ING to take 1.2 bln euro charge to ring-fence pension fund

AMSTERDAM, Jan 9 (Reuters) – ING Group NV said it
will make its defined-benefit pension fund financially
independent, resulting in an after-tax charge of about 1.2
billion euros ($1.6 billion) and paving the way for a stock
market flotation of its insurance business.

The charge will be booked as a special item in the first
quarter of 2014, of which 800 million euros will be attributed
to ING Bank and 400 million to ING Insurance.

Dec 12, 2013

Insight: Philips restores profit by rediscovering relevance

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Every year Singaporeans and Malaysians choke on smoke when farmers and plantation firms in neighboring Indonesia clear the land with fires during the dry season.

Last summer, Philips diverted stocks of air purifiers from Hong Kong and China to the area in time for the worst pollution in 16 years.

Dec 12, 2013

Philips restores profit by rediscovering relevance

AMSTERDAM, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Every year Singaporeans and
Malaysians choke on smoke when farmers and plantation firms in
neighbouring Indonesia clear the land with fires during the dry
season.

Last summer, Philips diverted stocks of air
purifiers from Hong Kong and China to the area in time for the
worst pollution in 16 years.

Nov 29, 2013

S&P removes Dutch from triple-A club, lifts outlook for Spain

AMSTERDAM/MADRID (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s agency cut the Netherlands’ credit rating on Friday, reducing the euro zone club of full triple-A nations to just three, while rewarding Spain for efforts to reform its public finances.

S&P lowered the Netherlands, which is suffering from an anemic economy, slumping house prices and falling consumer confidence, to “AA+” from “AAA”. This left Germany, Luxembourg and Finland as the only members of the 17-nation euro zone with the top rating from all three leading credit agencies.

Nov 29, 2013

S&P cuts Netherlands rating, lifts outlook for Spain

AMSTERDAM/MADRID, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s
removed one of the euro zone’s few remaining triple-A credit
ratings on Friday, cutting the Netherlands to “AA+” while
rewarding Spain for moves to reform public finances with an
improved stable outlook.

S&P said the Dutch decision, which leaves Germany,
Luxembourg and Finland as the only countries in the currency
bloc with the top credit rating, was due to a worsening of
growth prospects. Both Moody’s and Fitch still rate the
Netherlands as triple A.

Nov 19, 2013

DSM to fold pharma arm into venture with private equity firm

AMSTERDAM/TORONTO (Reuters) – Dutch food and chemicals group DSM (DSMN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will spin off its pharmaceuticals unit into a new joint venture majority-owned by private equity firm JLL Partners as the company shifts its focus toward higher-margin products.

New York-based JLL will merge the DSM business with that of Toronto-based drug maker Patheon Inc (PTI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), forming a joint venture boasting some $2 billion in annual sales that the companies said on Tuesday will be a leader in manufacturing medicines for pharmaceutical companies.

Nov 19, 2013

DSM scales up pharma business with $2.6 bln private equity deal

AMSTERDAM, Nov 19 (Reuters) – DSM has agreed a
$2.6 billion joint venture deal with U.S. private equity firm
JLL to give its pharmaceuticals division enough scale to expand
into new markets as the Dutch group shifts towards higher-margin
products.

New York-based JLL will merge the DSM business with its
majority-owned drug maker Patheon, paying $489 million
in cash for 51 percent of the new firm. DSM will own the rest.

Nov 6, 2013

ING may leave state rescue two years early

AMSTERDAM, Nov 6 (Reuters) – ING said it should
complete its restructuring two years ahead of schedule, meaning
the Dutch banking and insurance group could be one of the first
euro zone casualties of the 2008 global crisis to emerge from a
state rescue.

Cutting free of the state is seen as an important step for
ING, removing a European ban on acquisitions and giving it
greater pricing flexibility so it can compete more easily.

Oct 29, 2013

European banks pay heavy price for scandals

AMSTERDAM/ZURICH, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Four European banks
paid a heavy price on Tuesday in a clean-up of the financial
industry, with Rabobank fined $1 billion and three other major
lenders preparing for possibly huge legal costs after a string
of scandals.

Dutch Rabobank said it would pay regulators in the United
States, Britain and the Netherlands 774 million euros after 30
employees were involved in “inappropriate conduct” linked to
interest rate manipulation.

Oct 29, 2013

Dutch Rabobank fined $1 bln over Libor scandal

AMSTERDAM, Oct 29 (Reuters) – U.S. and European regulators
ordered Dutch lender Rabobank to pay $1.07 billion to settle
allegations it aided a six year scheme to rig benchmark interest
rates, imposing the fifth fine in a scandal that has helped to
shred faith in the industry.

Rabobank said on Tuesday it was fined 774 million euros by
U.S., British and Dutch regulators after 30 staff were involved
in “inappropriate conduct” linked to a scam to manipulate the
London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and its Euribor cousin -
benchmarks for more than $300 trillion of financial products.

    • About Sara

      "Sara Webb, bureau chief for Indonesia, has lived in Jakarta since 2007. She has worked as a journalist in Asia, Europe and the United States."
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