97 trees on the railway tracks, 300 greenhouses damaged: storm claims mount

97 trees on the railway tracks, 300 greenhouses damaged: storm claims mount

The bill for Thursday’s storm which battered the Netherlands with winds of up to 130 kph mounted still further on Friday afternoon, as corporate insurance claims began to pile in. Insurance company Interpolis said  that the bill to the farming sector would be at least €20m as farmers began assessing the damage. Interpolis said 1,200 claims had been submitted so far, around 25% of which related to damage to greenhouses. Earlier on Friday, the insurers association VvV said the storm had caused at least €90m worth of damage to private homes and cars. In some cases the storm blew off entire roofs and dozens of cars were damage by falling trees, roof tiles and other debris. Rail network operator said it had had to deal with 344 separate storm-related incidents on Thursday, including 97 trees on the track and 20 damaged overhead cables. Despite the disruption to services on Thursday evening, the company said it was pleased that most services had resumed on Friday. ‘Our staff have done all they could to remove the trees and repair the broken cables,’ a spokesman said. Nationwide, thousands of trees were brought down by the storm and the forestry commission has advised people to be careful while walking in the woods this weekend because of the risk of falling branches.  More >



EU sanctions Dutch chips maker takeover

Lelystad airport won’t open next year, too many problems, says ChristenUnie The European Commission has given the green light for the takeover of Eindhoven-based chips maker NXP by its larger US peer Qualcomm. If NXP shareholders can be persuaded to sell their shares, the transaction will be one of the largest-ever in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad reported. The deal was priced at €43bn when it first went public in 2016. NXP has a worldwide payroll of 33,000, of whom 2,500 are located in the Netherlands in units at Eindhoven and Nijmegen. Qualcomm first brought out a bid for NXP in October 2016, but the deal had to be approved by various international regulators and the European Commission ruled last June that a thorough investigation was needed. It feared a merger of the two tech giants would lead to higher prices and weakened  market forces in the global chips market. Philips Both NXP and Qualcomm have developed important innovative technologies used in mobile phones. NXP was part of Dutch electronics giant Philips until 2006. '"We use our smartphones for many different things and now also more and more as mobile wallets, to pay for public transport or make other secure payments,' European commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. 'With this decision, we ensure that Qualcomm's takeover of NXP will not prevent consumers from continuing to enjoy the benefits of these innovative technologies at competitive prices.'  More >


NL is second-largest agricultural exporter

The Netherlands is the second-largest agricultural exporter after US The Dutch agricultural sector booked yet another export record in 2017, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday. Exports totalled €92bn last year, making the Netherlands the second-largest agricultural exporter in the world after the US. US agricultural exports were put at $1.8bn in 2016. Not all the exports were produced in the Netherlands, however. Some €25.5bn of the total was in the form of re-exports from other countries. Flowers and flower bulbs once again topped the list of Dutch exports, followed by dairy products which overtook meat as the second-largest Dutch agricultural export last year. Germany Germany is the most important export market for Dutch farm products, accounting  for sales of €23.4bn in 2017, or roughly 25% of total exports.  At the same time, the Netherlands is Germany's most important agricultural export market, the CBS said. After Germany, the biggest markers are Belgium (€10.4bn), Britain (€8.6bn) and France (€8bn). While Dutch exports to Belgium and France increased, they actually fell to Britain probably because of a weaker pound sterling related to Brexit, the CBS said. Exports of other agriculture-related products such as farm equipment, fertilisers and pesticides totalled €9.1bn, bringing the sector total to over €100bn for the first time.  More >


Property investments in NL hit new record

Lelystad airport won’t open next year, too many problems, says ChristenUnie Property investors within and outside the Netherlands pumped a record €19.5bnn into Dutch bricks and mortar last year, according to calculations by property advisory group CBRE. This makes the Netherlands one of the best performing property investment markets, CBRE said, adding that the prospects for 2018 are also favourable. In 2016, investors put €14bn into Dutch property, which was a record at the time. Some 70% of last year's purchases were made by foreign investors and 30% of the transactions were between foreign companies. 'This illustrates how Dutch real estate is now being traded in a global marketplace, by international players,' CBRE said. Hotels, healthcare and residential property gained in popularity in 2017, alongside the more traditional investments in offices, shops and logistics parks, CBRE said.   More >


Holland Casino sale not before 2020

Lelystad airport won’t open next year, too many problems, says ChristenUnie The state-owned Holland Casino group is unlikely to be sold to the private sector before 2020, several years later than planned, junior finance minister Menno Snel has told parliament. The previous government had planned to sell the casinos by the end of 2017 but a ‘number of administrative hurdles’ still have to be taken, a spokesman for Snel told the Financieele Dagblad. In addition, the senate still has to approve the amendments to the Dutch law on gambling, the spokesman said. The Holland Casino group, which runs 14 casinos nationwide, was set up in 1974 to offer a legal alternative for illegal gambling dens. Ministers agreed in 2014 to split up and sell off the company. Ten of the 14 branches will be sold off under their current name while the other four locations will be sold as a group. The cabinet is also planning to open up the casino market to new providers  – with two licences up for grabs.  More >