Netherlands

The 2007 takeover of the Dutch parts of Yukos Oil by Russian state oil company Rosneft’s former subsidiary Promneftstroy was illegal, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled on Friday, upholding an earlier lower appeals court ruling. Yukos Oil went bankrupt in 2006 after its former chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, fell out with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the Russian government began demanding billions in back taxes, Reuters reported. Most of Yukos’ assets were absorbed by the Kremlin’s flagship oil producer Rosneft, and its former owners have for years been trying to recover their possessions.

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Brazil’s recent change of government has further delayed the long-awaited finalization of LyondellBasell Industries NV’s plan to buy Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA, three sources with knowledge of the matter said this week, Reuters reported. Netherlands-based LyondellBasell first said it had entered into exclusive talks to acquire control of Braskem from Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA in June. However, the deal’s price depends on a long-term naphtha supply contract with state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which also owns shares in Braskem.

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Investors are asking fresh questions over whether the $8tn market in credit derivatives offers any true protection against debt default, after an obscure quirk threatened to render contracts relating to telecoms company VodafoneZiggo completely worthless, the Financial Times reported. The price of about $600m worth of credit-default swaps on the Dutch company has tanked over the past four days, nearly a year after problems first occurred with the contracts, which are designed to pay out if a borrower defaults.

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For nearly a decade, Trafigura Group Chairman Claude Dauphin coveted a zinc deal with Europe’s top smelter. The commodities trader finally got across the threshold in 2015, months after its co-founder’s sudden death. Just a few years later, it’s become one of Trafigura’s biggest headaches, Bloomberg News reported. Nyrstar NV shares have plunged to record lows as falling zinc prices squeeze profit and drive worries about its huge pile of debt.

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ING‘s chief financial officer has resigned after being singled out as responsible for the compliance failings that allowed companies to launder hundreds of millions of euros and pay bribes. Koos Timmermans, a 22-year veteran of ING, is the most senior executive to leave the Dutch bank over the money laundering affair, for which it has agreed to pay a record €775m in penalties to the country’s public prosecutor, the Financial Times reported.
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Shares in French telecoms group Altice fell 13 per cent in early trade on Thursday, after it reported a fall in sales and warned that margins would be squeezed for the full year as it spent more to win customers. In the second quarter of the year total revenue fell 5 per cent to €3.5bn compared to the same period last year, which included a 6 per cent fall in its telecoms division and a 21 per cent drop in its support services division, the Financial Times reported.
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Shareholders in Steinhoff on Wednesday sued Deloitte for damages in a Dutch court, accusing the auditor of failures in the accounting scandal that brought the South Africa-based global retailer to the brink of collapse, the Financial Times reported. VEB, the Dutch investor rights group, said it brought the lawsuit in the Rotterdam district court as Deloitte had “seriously failed in its statutory task as auditor” by giving an unqualified audit to Steinhoff before the owner of the UK’s Poundland and Mattress Firm in the US revealed a black hole of more than €5bn in its accounts.
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Shareholders in Steinhoff on Wednesday sued Deloitte for damages in a Dutch court, accusing the auditor of failures in the accounting scandal that brought the South Africa-based global retailer to the brink of collapse, the Financial Times reported. VEB, the Dutch investor rights group, said it brought the lawsuit in the Rotterdam district court as Deloitte had “seriously failed in its statutory task as auditor” by giving an unqualified audit to Steinhoff before the owner of the UK’s Poundland and Mattress Firm in the US revealed a black hole of more than €5bn in its accounts.
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The Netherlands is demanding that private investors face mandatory debt writedowns in future eurozone bailouts, a position that will fuel arguments as countries spar over the next phase of integration in the single currency bloc. Wopke Hoekstra, the Dutch finance minister, said imposing haircuts on private creditors was “essential” to protect eurozone taxpayers from paying to rescue bankrupt governments and introduce greater market discipline on high debt economies, the Financial Times reported. “It is essential if things go wrong.
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Etihad Airways is urgently examining ways to avert a technical default of some $1.2 billion in bonds indirectly linked to the Gulf airline, sources close to the situation told Reuters. An Amsterdam-based special purpose vehicle called SPV Equity Alliance Partners (EAP) was set up in 2015 and issued two bonds for Etihad and other airlines it partially owned at the time, including Alitalia and Air Berlin, which are both now insolvent, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.
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