More Dutch opt to holiday at home; Greece and Turkey hard hit

Rabobank faces US lawsuit over Libor interest rate ‘conspiracy’

While 75% of families in the Netherlands are planning a foreign holiday this year, there has been a rise in the number of families who intend to holiday at home, the Dutch tourism board NBTC said on Tuesday. Some 2.6 million people will spend their summer break in the Netherlands this year, an increase of 100,000 on 2015, the NBTC said. Of them, 1.1 million people will head for a campsite and 900,000 for a holiday park. France and Spain remain the top draw for foreign holidays and both Greece and Turkey have been hit hard by political developments, the NBTC said. The number of holidaymakers heading for Turkey, where there has been a spate of bomb attacks, is down 39%. Greece, which is grappling with the refugee crisis, has seen a downturn in bookings from the Netherlands of 29%. Nevertheless, the two Mediterranean countries remain 9th and 6th on the list of most popular foreign destinations.  More >

Ban on free plastic bags is paying off

Ban on free plastic bags is paying off The ban on free plastic bags in the Netherlands appears to be paying off with 83% of people saying they now take their own bag to the shops, according to a short survey for the environment ministry. The survey of just over 1,000 people found 66% 'never or rarely' buy a plastic bag and 90% are aware of the ban on free ones. Some 70% of those polled support the ban, which was introduced at the beginning of this year. Shopkeepers are recommended to charge 25 cents for a bag. According to website InRetail, Dutch shoppers got through some three billion plastic bags a year before the ban. Bags can still be used if necessary for hygiene, such as products which might leak.  More >

Foreign firms invest in more Dutch ops

Foreign firms invested in 219 projects in the Netherlands last year, a rise of 47% The number of foreign investments in the Netherlands soared 47% in 2015, according to research by accountants group EY. In total, foreign investors put money into 219 different projects last year. They ranged from logistics operations to sales and marketing and head offices. Most foreign firms came from the US but there was a sharp rise in Chinese involvement. The Netherlands is considered a safe place to do business and has benefited from the upturn in the global economy, EY said. However, in 2016, there will be a slight downturn in foreign investments, the accountancy group said. EY also quoted research by the Harvard Business Review which suggested the Netherlands is losing its digital economy advantages and risks trailing other countries in this field as development stagnates.   More >

Rabobank faces US lawsuit over Libor

Rabobank faces US lawsuit over Libor interest rate ‘conspiracy’ Sixteen banks, including the Netherlands' Rabobank, will face a lawsuit in the US for conspiring to manipulate the Libor interest rate system after all. The US appeals court on Monday reinstated a civil case accusing the banks of conspiracy, overturning a 2013 decision. The appeals court said a lower court judge had made a mistake in dismissing the antitrust part of a a private case against Rabobank, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and others, the Guardian reported. The case is being fought by investors, including several US cities, who said the banks had colluded to boost their own fortunes to the detriment of others. Rabobank paid €774m in out of court settlements to head off legal action in the Netherlands and Britain over the scandal. Several former Rabobank staff members have been prosecuted in America, and the bank’s chief executive Piet Moorland and department head Sipko Schat lost their jobs. In addition, 14 bank workers faced disciplinary measures such as the loss of bonuses, and five were sacked for their role in the affair.  More >

Shanks will bid for Dutch waste processor

Rabobank faces US lawsuit over Libor interest rate ‘conspiracy’ British waste processing company Shanks has confirmed it is considering making a bid for Dutch peer Van Gansewinkel following media speculation. Shanks said in a statement on Tuesday that it will soon be submitting 'an updated, indicative non-binding proposal' to Van Gansewinkel's supervisory board. Because Britain's FCA has said the possible acquisition could be considered a reverse takeover, Shanks has requested a suspension of its shares. The company said the combination of the two businesses would create a leading player, with complementary strengths across all market sectors. Van Gansewinkel was owned by private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and KKR & Co until last year but ended that relationship as part of a debt restructuring agreement. Van Gansewinkel has a workforce of 4,125 and booked turnover of €946m in 2015, making it slightly bigger than Shanks, the Financieele Dagblad said.  More >