Europe

Enter a keyword
Sanctioned Russian lender Sberbank PJSC caused the bankruptcy of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery in Western Siberia, according to Swiss trader New Stream Trading AG, Bloomberg reported. Sberbank “had full control of the management of Antipinsky” from mid-November 2018 and took steps leading to it “procuring the breaches” of the refinery’s existing contracts, NST said, quoting from a ruling by a tribunal constituted under the London Court of International Arbitration.
Read more
Euro zone unemployment fell to a new record low in May as the economy continued to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, even if inflation exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine is expected to dampen growth, Reuters reported. The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said on Thursday that unemployment in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell to 6.6% of the workforce in May from a revised 6.7% in April. The 6.6% rate is the lowest rate since records dating back to 1998, just before the official launch of the euro in January 1999.
Read more
European Union negotiators on Wednesday reached a provisional agreement on anti-money laundering rules for cryptocurrencies that would spur crypto firms to check their customers' identities, in the latest regulatory tightening of the freewheeling sector, Reuters reported. The rules, opposed by major U.S. exchange Coinbase Global Inc, would also require crypto firms to report suspicious transactions to regulators to help crack down on dirty money, the European Parliament and Council said in a statement on Wednesday. Regulation of the $2.1 trillion crypto sector remains patchy across the world.
Read more
The Spanish government has rejected state aid for Abenewco1, a unit of Spanish engineering and energy group Abengoa, moving it closer to bankruptcy proceedings, Reuters reported. The company had requested a temporary state aid package worth 249 million euros ($263 million) to stay afloat while it evaluates a takeover bid from Los Angeles-based private equity fund TerraMar Capital LLC worth 200 million euros. A source from Spain's state vehicle SEPI said that because the viability of the company and the repayment of the loan were not guaranteed, the firm was not subject to state aid.
Read more
Spanish 12-month inflation rose to 10.2% in June, the first time it has surpassed 10% since April 1985, from 8.7% in the previous month, preliminary data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose to 5.5% year-on-year from 4.9% a month earlier, the highest since August 1993, the INE data showed. Spanish European Union-harmonised inflation was 10.0% in the 12 months through June, up from 8.5% a month earlier.
Read more
Britain's economy is struggling under the strain of two major risks in the form of double-digit inflation and a possible recession, leaving the Bank of England in a dilemma about how much further it should raise interest rates, Reuters reported. The BoE has raised borrowing costs five times since December and its next scheduled rates announcement is on Aug. 4. The central bank has said that it will act "forcefully" - in other words, increase rates more steeply - if inflation pressures turn more persistent.
Read more
Council leaders in England have said a multibillion-pound financial crisis caused by rising inflation could make local services unviable and even lead to local authorities going bankrupt, unless the government offers emergency funding, the Guardian reported. The cross-party Local Government Association (LGA) said local services that were seemingly secure just three months ago were now at risk of closure or cuts as councils scramble to manage an unforeseen £2.4bn rise in energy and pay costs.
Read more
The Kremlin pushed back on claims that Russia defaulted on its foreign-currency debts on Monday, placing the country at odds with creditors. "Claims that Russia is in debt default are wrong. A foreign-currency payment was made back in May, and the fact that funds were not transmitted to recipients is not our problem,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Russia missed payments on two foreign-currency bonds as of late Sunday, the day that marked the expiration of a 30-day grace period, according to bondholders.
Read more
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said the bank would raise interest rates gradually over the coming months, veering from a global push toward faster rate increases as inflation broadens and intensifies around the world, the Wall Street Journal reported. Speaking at the ECB’s annual economic policy conference in Portugal on Tuesday, Ms. Lagarde said Europe’s inflation problem was deepening, but warned that the region also faced weaker growth prospects related to the war in Ukraine.
Read more
The European Union is seeking ways to reduce natural-gas demand to avoid splintering energy markets as dwindling supplies from Russia test the bloc’s unity in response to the war in Ukraine, Bloomberg News reported. An increase in gas supply disruptions following the EU’s sanctions on Russia is prompting member countries to step up winter preparations as they seek to refill depleted storage sites At a meeting of ministers on Monday in Luxembourg, EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson urged more energy savings and efficiency to reduce the threat of gas rationing.
Read more