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EU wants to sell more agriproducts to China: official


BRUSSELS: The European Union (EU) hopes to export more agriproducts to China, a senior EU official said Friday ahead of a trade promotion trip to China. China is a crucial market for EU agriproducts and has seen considerable growth in recent years, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said as he embarked on a six-day campaign accompanied ... Read More »

Eurozone industrial output falls 0.8% in Feb


BRUSSELS: Official figures show that industrial output across the 19-country eurozone fell by a monthly 0.8 percent in February, but the sector remains on course to boost quarterly growth across the region. The decline reported by Eurostat was in line with expectations and was largely due to a sharp decline in production of non-durable consumer goods and energy. All four ... Read More »

EU says 6,000 companies worldwide will have to disclose tax details

tax payer

BRUSSELS: European Union authorities called on Tuesday for 6,000 of the world’s largest companies to reveal the tax they pay to each of the bloc’s 28 member countries and to disclose their tax arrangements in offshore havens. The European proposal, which officials tweaked in recent days to pay more attention to offshore holdings in light of the Panama Papers, is ... Read More »

EU tax transparency to be forced on multinationals

tax free bonds

BRUSSELS: US multinationals – including Amazon and Google – will be required to disclose their profits and tax in every country within which they operate in the EU, if new draft legislation aimed at forcing large companies to open up their tax arrangements to public scrutiny is made law. According to a Guardian report, the legislation will be tabled in ... Read More »

Eurozone household saving rate stable at 12.7% in Q4 2015


BRUSSELS: The household saving rate in the eurozone was 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with 12.5 percent in the previous quarter, figures indicated on Monday. Meanwhile, the household investment rate in the eurozone was 8.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with 8.3 percent in the third quarter of 2015. Compared with data released ... Read More »

EU regulators seek transparency over offshore tax havens


BRUSSELS: EU regulators are looking to force corporate tax avoidance via offshore havens into the open, with fresh proposals due next week made more urgent by the Panama Papers revelations. The European Commission tomorrow will consider how to require large companies to make public what they pay in tax in each of the 28 EU countries and possibly outside the ... Read More »

EIF signs two more SME financing agreements in Italy


BRUSSELS: The EU said on Friday the European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed two new agreements to provide a further 400 million euros (456.3 million U.S. dollars) in finance to innovative SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in Italy over the next two years. The EU said in a statement the two agreements were signed with Banco Popolare, the fourth largest ... Read More »

EU awards 77,451 tonnes Ukrainian wheat imports under quota

japan wheat

BRUSSELS: The European Union awarded licenses to import 77,451 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat this week under an annual duty-free quota, official data showed on Thursday. There remained nearly 37,000 tonnes of wheat available during 2016 in the quota that offers a total annual volume of 950,000 tonnes, the data showed. No barley Ukrainian imports were awarded this week in a ... Read More »

EU invests to increase links between French, Spanish gas systems


BRUSSELS: Over five million euros (5.7 million U.S. dollars) in infrastructure to increase links between French and Spanish gas systems is to be invested by the European Union (EU) in what they said Wednesday would be an important step towards the completion of the energy union. To help increase the existing interconnection capacity between the French and Spanish gas systems, ... Read More »

EU recommends approval of J&J’s blood cancer drug


BRUSSELS: European regulators on Friday recommended approving with conditions Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) blood cancer drug, saying they would need to evaluate additional data from two ongoing studies. Darzalex (daratumumab), which has already been approved in the US, offers hope to patients who have run out of options to fight multiple myeloma. The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) recommendation applies to ... Read More »

AB InBev sets internal goal of $100bn in revenue by 2020


LEUVEN: Anheuser-Busch InBev NV is well-known for its ambitious goals, but its latest—$100 billion in revenue by 2020—is a real stretch, albeit a tantalizing one. The goal is part of a new performance-based incentive plan noted in AB InBev’s annual report filed March 14. It was first disclosed in an attachment to a Securities and Exchange filing in December, shortly ... Read More »

Eurozone confidence falls


BRUSSELS: A closely watched survey shows that economic confidence across the 19-country eurozone fell for a third consecutive month last month, reaching a 13-month low, the latest in a run of figures to indicate that the recovery is losing pace. In its monthly assessment of confidence, the EU’s executive arm said its economic sentiment indicator fell 0.9 points to 103.0 ... Read More »

China remains EU’s biggest source of imports in 2015: official data

import duty

BRUSSELS: China secured its position as the biggest source of imports of the 28-country European Union (EU) and its share of the bloc’s all imports from outside world reached 20 percent in 2015, official data showed on Thursday. For extra-EU trade, the main country of origin of goods imported into the EU in 2015 was China, followed by the United ... Read More »

EU tax plans to make multinationals more transparent


BRUSSELS: The biggest companies in Europe will be forced to disclose more clearly the taxes they pay and profits they make in individual countries in a bid to make it harder to conceal untaxed cash piles. New plans from the European Commission would require multinationals with annual turnover exceeding € 750 million to publish the information each year on their ... Read More »

Belgium’s polished diamond exports dip 9.6% to $1.6bn in Feb


BRUSSELS: Belgium’s polished diamond exports dropped 9.6 percent year on year to $1.6 billion in February, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). By volume, exports dived 16 percent to 615,837 carats, while the average price jumped 7.3 percent to $2,592 per carat. Compared with the previous month, polished shipments were higher in February as goods are exported to ... Read More »

Bankrupt Strauss-Kahn investment firm faces fraud probe


BRUSSELS: A bankrupt Luxembourg investment firm once chaired by disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be investigated for fraud, a French judicial source said Thursday. French prosecutors set out charges of organised fraud, misuse of corporate assets and breach of trust against Paris-listed Leyne Strauss-Kahn and Partners (LSK) earlier this month. “The investigators are interested in the functioning of ... Read More »

IMF urges Belgium to reform wealth tax


BRUSSELS: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has commended Belgium for its efforts to reduce the labor tax wedge and encouraged further efforts to reduce the wedge for the low-skilled and strengthen incentives toward active labor market participation. In its 2016 Article IV consultation report for the country, the Fund noted that Belgium plans to reduce the employers’ social security contribution ... Read More »

KBC makes 2.6 billion euro in annual profits


BRUSSELS: KBC bank and insurance company with its main operations carried out in Belgium and Czech Republic announced its 2015 results here the other day. With a  net profit of 2,639 billion euros, the results mark a substantial increase from its 2014 profits of 1,762 billion euros. In a communication release, KBC indicated that “the volume of loans and insurances ... Read More »

Hourly labor costs rise in eurozone in Q4 2015: Eurostat


BRUSSELS: Hourly labor costs rose both in the 19-nation eurozone and in the wider European Union (EU) in the last quarter of 2015, the EU statistical office Eurostat said on Friday. According to its latest figures, in the fourth quarter of 2015, hourly labor costs rose by 1.3 percent in the euro area and by 1.9 percent in the EU ... Read More »

EU, Israel discuss export of Israeli natural gas


BRUSSELS: The European Union’s envoy to Israel met Wednesday with Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to discuss possible exports of the country’s newly found natural gas to Europe. According to a statement released by the ministry, Steinitz presented EU’s Lars Faaborg-Andersen with the expected timetable for the development of the Leviathan natural gas field, off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Andersen said ... Read More »