Monday 22 July 2019

Rutte's visit to Washington focuses on jobs and security issues

Rutte's visit to Washington focuses on jobs and security issues

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and US president Donald Trump discussed trade issues and boosting the number of jobs stemming from direct investment in the two countries during their bilateral meeting on Thursday. The aim is to boost the number of US jobs created by Dutch investment to one million and to increase the 250,000 jobs in the Netherlands which are due to American activity, the prime minister and president said. ‘The bond between NL and the US is strong... More >

Pension cuts likely next year, funds say

The company pensions of some eight million people may be cut next year because the four biggest pension funds do not have the legally required volume of assets. The giant civil service fund ABP, which is one of the biggest in the world, the healthcare fund Zorg & Welzijn, and engineering funds PMT and PME are all in the danger zone, due to the current very low interest rates. All four funds have booked a return on investment of at... More >

Rabobank joins battle to buy Eneco

Four groups are now fighting to take over Eneco, the last big Dutch energy company in public hands, it emerged on Thursday. Eneco, currently owned by 53 local authorities including Rotterdam, is being sold via a ‘controlled auction’, which, shareholders hope, will enable them to realise the highest possible price. A consortium made up of Rabobank and US private equity group KKR is the latest to join the fray. Eneco’s strong local presence ‘provides a strong basis for offering joint... More >

Executive pay outstrips shop floor rises

The bosses of 117 trendsetting Dutch companies and semi-public organisations saw their earnings rise by an average of 7.2% last year, while shop floor wages rose just 2.1%, according to research by the Volkskrant. The average chief executive income is now some €1.8m a year, largely due to rising share prices and their impact on share deals, the paper said. Top earner last year was Shell’s Ben van Beurden, who earned €20m in salary, bonuses, shares, pension and other benefits.... More >

Marqt shuts up two biggest shops

Specialty supermarket group Marqt is to close its two large stores and concentrate on outlets of around 350 square metres where the focus will be on best-selling items, RTLZ reported. The large branches on Amsterdam’s Rembrandtplein and on the Hofweg in The Hague will shut down and staff will be transferred to other shops as the company again shakes up its strategy. Marqt, founded 10 years ago, continues to make a loss and said earlier last month that it would... More >

Galapagos agrees $5bn deal with Gilead

Dutch-Belgian biotech company Galapagos has agreed a $5.1bn deal with Gilead Sciences which sees the US group almost double its stake from 12.3% to 22%. The deal includes a $3.95bn upfront payment and $1.1bn equity investment and gives Gilead exclusive access to all current and future compounds produced by Galapagos.  Galapagos will use the cash to expand its research activities and build commercial infrastructure. Galapagos also said it would ask its shareholders to allow Gilead to increase its ownership to... More >

Albert Heijn trials delivery robots

The largest Dutch supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, has begun a trial of a ‘delivery robot’ that sends groceries out to its customers without the need for a driver. The electric vehicle, which has a range of eight kilometres, is being tested within the confines of Eindhoven’s High Tech Campus as it is not allowed on the open road. The Aitonomi robot has been developed by the Swiss-German technology firm Teleretail. Staff pack the groceries into the ‘bezorgrobot’ before the vehicle... More >

Suspected €4.3m fraud at FloraHolland

An employee of Royal FloraHolland has been arrested for suspected embezzlement of €4.3m. The NOS broadcaster reports that the man is thought to have taken the money during a nine-month period while working as a specialist in the financial department. No other employees are thought to have been involved in the fraud, and the company told the NOS that it has taken measures to prevent further abuses and made an insurance claim against the theft. More >