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Belgium to return to a growth rate of 2 to 2.5%: Governor BNB

growth in exports

BRUSSELS: The Governor of the National Bank of Belgium (the “BNB”), Jan Smets, considers that the Belgian economy is now on the right road. The Governor considers, “Belgium’s recovery partly reflects the recovery with the eurozone. Certainly, this is not spectacular,” being around 1.5%. He does, however, think that a return to growth levels of 2 to 2.5%, “levels which ... Read More »

Belgium fairness tax system violates EU law, court rules


BRUSSELS: Belgium’s fairness tax system is incompatible with EU freedom of establishment concepts and the parent-subsidiary directive, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled in a 17 May decision (Case C-68/15). Belgium’s fairness tax legislation provides a separate assessment from the corporation tax and the non-residents’ tax. The tax applies where, for the same tax period, dividends ... Read More »

Fines imposed by Belgian Authority for infrabel public contract


BRUSSELS: On 3 May 2017, the Investigation and Prosecution Service of the Belgian Competition Authority imposed a total fine of 1.8 million euros for a cartel between five companies relating to a public procurement organized by Infrabel. The five companies are ABB, Siemens, AEG, Sécheron and Schneider. The investigation was launched in 2013 following a leniency application lodged by ABB. ... Read More »

Belgian finance minister warns EU to change or die


BRUSSELS: Brexit has “shattered” the principle of ever closer union in the EU, according to the Belgian finance minister, who warned that the bloc had to transform itself to survive. Johan Van Overtveldt said there was “clearly a problem” with the European Union, as he called for a quick, comprehensive trade deal with the UK and warned that punishing Britain ... Read More »

Belgian health cluster BioWin received $25.8m for innovation in 2016


BRUSSELS: BioWin, a health cluster based in Wallonia, Belgium, has released data saying 2016 was a record year for investment in R&D projects, with €24.3 million ($25.8M) funding for eight projects, including €7 million ($7.4M) in private investment. The total budget allocation for these projects is the highest since the cluster was founded in 2006. These projects fall within the ... Read More »

New Swiss company tax reform plan well received in Brussels

Swiss Federal Council Approves WHT Reforms

BERN/BRUSSELS: The Swiss government’s company tax reform plans have been reborn after the last plan met with defeat in a popular vote on 12 February 2017. The new plan, dubbed “Tax proposal 17”, aims to avoid issues that bedeviled the last project. Last time many were concerned by the potential financial impact of lower company tax rates, and the proposal ... Read More »

Belgium stocks higher at close of trade; BEL 20 up 0.03%

stocks higher

BRUSSELS: Belgium stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Healthcare, Consumer Services and Basic Materials sectors led shares higher. At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 gained 0.03% to hit a new 52-week high. The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were UCB (BR:UCB), which rose 2.79% or 1.98 points to ... Read More »

Belgium Telecom Company BICS to Buy TeleSign for $230m

Belgium Telecom Company BICS

BRUSSELS: TeleSign Corp. of Marina del Rey, a developer of user authentication software, announced on Tuesday that it had agreed to be acquired for $230 million in cash by telecommunications company BICS of Belgium. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year after regulatory review. TeleSign will continue to operate independently under its own name ... Read More »

Belgium’s UCB sees Q1 sales up 15%


BRUSSELS: Belgium’s largest pharma company UCB (Euronext Brussels: UCB) this morning reported that revenue for the first three months of 2017 increased to 1.12 billion euros ($1.22 billion, a rise of 15% at actual and 14% at constant exchange rates (CER). This was supported by the one-time other revenue of 56 million euros recognized in February 2017 for out-licensing of ... Read More »

KBC inaugurates its new trading room in Brussels

KBC Brussels - Belgium

BRUSSELS: KBC inaugurated its new trading room, located on Avenue du Port in Brussels, at the beginning of the month. There are currently 164 “dealer desks” where markets from all over the world are continuously monitored. Surprisingly, Skype telephony replaces virtually all phones. “Previously, the trading room was much noisier”, explains Luc Gijsens, CEO of the International Markets Division of ... Read More »

Belgium stocks higher at close of trade; BEL 20 up 0.65%

stocks higher

BRUSSELS: Belgium stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Financials, Consumer Services and Industrials sectors led shares higher. At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 gained 0.65%. The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were ING Groep NV (AS:INGA), which rose 3.77% or 0.515 points to trade at 14.170 at the ... Read More »

Elia to build offshore grid in Belgian North Sea


BRUSSELS: Grid operator Elia will build a modular offshore grid (MOG) in the Belgian North Sea with an investment of €400m. The investment will be used for all the construction works carried out by the Belgian company, Elia along with the acquisition of part of some assets built by Rentel. The MOG, which will act like an electricity plug, will ... Read More »

Belgium’s WABCO wins $1.2b in new business in past four Qs


BRUSSELS: WABCO Holdings Inc., a leading global supplier of technologies and services that improve the safety, efficiency and connectivity of commercial vehicles, today disclosed that – from Q2 2016 to Q1 2017 – it has entered into contracts in local currencies with customers worldwide that total $1.2 billion of expected cumulative incremental business. These awards include $746 million in new ... Read More »

Brussels Airlines carried 686,299 passengers in March

Brussels airlines

BRUSSELS: This is a growth of 51.4% on March 2016, which was marked by the March 22nd attacks with sustained flight disruption for the company. Amongst March 2017’s passengers, 572,905 chose to take an intra-European flight and 113,394 flew to Africa, North America, Israel and India. The company stresses in a communiqué, “The March figures are difficult to compare with ... Read More »

Belgium stocks falls at closing of trade, BEL 20 lose 0.04%

Un trader al lavoro.    REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

BRUSSELS: Belgium stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Consumer Services, Healthcare and Telecoms sectors led shares lower. At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 lost 0.04%. The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were Engie SA (PA:ENGIE), which rose 0.34% or 0.04 points to trade at 13.45 at the close. ... Read More »

EU tropical wood imports increasingly shipped through Belgium


BRUSSELS: On the demand side, the most notable trend in EU tropical sawn hardwood imports during 2016 was increasing concentration of trade through Belgium. This trend is much more indicative of changes in distribution channels for tropical wood within the EU than of variations in regional demand. For reasons probably associated with differences in transit times or local costs, EU ... Read More »

Belgium’s polished diamonds exports stable in March

polished diamonds

BRUSSELS: Belgium’s exports of polished diamonds were almost flat in March, boosted by a significant rise in shipments to India, according to data published by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). Polished exports crept up 0.4% to $1.17 billion, the AWDC said. By volume, outbound shipments dropped 1% to 485,409 carats, with the average price increasing 1% to $2,403 per ... Read More »

Belgium banks declines loans to Indian diamantaires


NEW DELHI: Indian diamantaires in the world’s largest diamond trading centre in Belgium are facing tough days with the Belgian banks reportedly not lending to anyone linked to the diamond industry. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has claimed that they have proofs that banks are systematically refusing customers with any connection to the trade, for both personal and professional ... Read More »

Belgian High Finance Council plans to balance the budget in 2019


BRUSSELS: The High Finance Council of Belgium has proposed a second goal: to balance the budget in 2019, as well as 2018. The Federal government plans to balance the budget in 2018, after it was agreed by a majority vote. Prime Minister Charles Michel said it was still possible after the last budget check in March, though it would be ... Read More »

Russian customs seize ecstasy trove from Belgium in huge postal drug bust


BRUSSELS: Two Russians were detained when they came to pick up a parcel from Belgium, containing a steam cooker and 5,000 ecstasy pills, Russia’s Federal Customs Service said in a statement. “During a customs examination, a cardboard box was found containing a steam cooker packed with five plastic bags filled with different-colored pills, marked with various logos and designs,” the ... Read More »