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Dec 5, 2012

Cargo ship believed sunk in North Sea, rescue under way

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A cargo ship carrying cars has “almost certainly” sunk after colliding with a container ship in the North Sea on Wednesday evening, and a rescue operation was under way, the Dutch coastguard said.

The collision between the Baltic Ace, a car carrier sailing under a Bahamas flag, and the Corvus J, a container ship from Cyprus, took place about 40-50 km (25-30 miles) from the Dutch port of Rotterdam in an important North Sea shipping lane, coastguard spokesman Peter Verburg said.

Dec 4, 2012

Dutch lawmakers give majority support for Greek bailout package

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch lawmakers on Tuesday approved the latest bailout for Greece which includes measures to cut its debt load to 124 percent of national output by 2020.

The approval was widely expected as Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals and his coalition partner, Labour, have a parliamentary majority and both support the deal.

Nov 26, 2012

Boskalis offers $884 million for Dockwise

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch group Boskalis (BOSN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s biggest dredger, has offered 682 million euros ($884 million) for maritime transport group Dockwise (DOCKW.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), to expand in oil and gas services.

Boskalis, which offered 17.20 euros per Dockwise share – a 61 percent premium, said on Monday HAL Investments (HLAN.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which owns 30 percent of both companies, backed the deal and that Dockwise itself had expressed a “positive attitude”.

Nov 25, 2012

Former Liberian president Taylor should be a “free man”: judge

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Former Liberian President Charles Taylor should have walked free and not been jailed for war crimes because there was not enough evidence to prove he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt, a judge involved in his trial said in a magazine interview.

Justice Malick Sow’s criticism of how the trial was conducted and of the final decision-making process are likely to be seized on by Taylor’s defence lawyers as part of his appeal.

Nov 1, 2012

Labor MP Dijsselbloem set to be next Dutch finance minister

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Jeroen Dijsselbloem looked set to become the next Dutch finance minister after Prime Minister Mark Rutte summoned the Labor MP, who is expected to back austerity at home and a tough line on euro zone deficit sinners, to a meeting on Thursday.

Dijsselbloem, 46, has been widely tipped to succeed Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager after Rutte’s Liberals reached a coalition agreement with the Labor Party this week.

Oct 19, 2012

Rabobank pulls cycling sponsorship over doping scandal

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch lender Rabobank said it would stop sponsoring professional cycling teams at the end of this year, because it had lost faith in the ability of cycling’s governing body to clean up the sport following the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Rabobank’s decision to end its long association with the sport follows publication of a report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) last week which the Dutch bank said “spoke volumes” about the extent of the drug problem facing the sport.

Oct 18, 2012

AkzoNobel takes big hit on Dulux as home makeovers wane

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Cash-strapped Europeans are cutting back on decorating, leading Dutch group AkzoNobel (AKZO.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) to take a 2.5 billion euro ($3.2 billion) writedown on its 2008 purchase of Dulux paint maker ICI and plunging it to a quarterly net loss.

The world’s biggest paint manufacturer, which bought Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) for about 8.1 billion pounds ($13 billion), said on Thursday it was looking for more cost cuts on top of the 500 million euros of savings announced last year to cope with weak consumer and construction markets.

Oct 17, 2012

AkzoNobel CEO to return from medical leave at year-end

AMSTERDAM, Oct 17 (Reuters) – AkzoNobel said its
chief executive, Ton Buechner, who has been on medical leave
since early September, will return to work around the end of the
year, sending shares in the world’s largest paints maker up
nearly 4 percent.

The firm, which also makes performance coatings for cars,
aircraft and ships, as well as specialty chemicals such as those
used in the pulp and paper industry, did not say when it would
be able to update investors on its long-awaited strategy,
originally scheduled for this month, for the next few years.

Oct 11, 2012

ING to sell Malaysian insurance unit to AIA for $1.73 bln

HONG KONG/AMSTERDAM, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Pan Asian insurer
AIA Group Ltd has agreed to buy ING’s Malaysian
insurance operations for $1.73 billion in cash, handing the
Dutch financial services firm its first deal in a nine-month
drive to sell off Asian assets.

The sale of the Malaysian unit is expected to be followed
soon by the divestment of ING’s Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong
and Thailand units, as the bailed-out Dutch financial firm
offloads assets to repay 10 billion euros ($12.9 billion) in
state aid received during the 2008 financial crisis.

Oct 4, 2012

Morocco bars visit by Dutch abortion rights ship

RABAT/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Morocco on Thursday barred Dutch abortion rights activists from docking their campaign ship to spread awareness about safe abortion methods in a Muslim country that bans the practice.

Women on Waves announced last week its intention to send their ship into the Moroccan port of Smir after visits to traditionally Roman Catholic countries Spain, Portugal and Ireland at the invitation of local women’s groups.

    • 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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