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  • [Ticker] Air France-KLM seeks state-backed loans

    Airline group Air France-KLM is in talks with banks to receive up to €6bn in loans, guaranteed by the French and Dutch governments, due to the coronavirus crisis, Reuters reported. The two states each own 14 percent of Air France-KLM. Air France could get around €4bn in French-guaranteed loans while KLM could receive around €2bn backed by The Hague. The group appointed BNP and Societe Generale to advise on refinancing.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Drugs firms managing to meet demand, EU says

    Pharmaceutical firms have stepped up production of medical supplies to prevent pandemic-linked shortages, the EU’s single market commissioner, Thierry Breton, has said. “They are doubling production and I think we’re going to be able to address the situation,” he told French radio Thursday. The Dutch, the same day, offered to put €1bn into a joint virus fund to purchase medicines as an alternative to other ideas of issuing eurozone “corona-bonds”.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] EU insurance firms urged to hoard cash

    Insurance firms should refrain from paying dividends to shareholders and big bonuses to executives to make sure they had enough capital to pay out pandemic-linked claims, the EU agency that governs the sector, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority in Frankfurt, has said. Insurers should “ensure a robust level of own funds to be able to protect policyholders and absorb potential losses,” the EU agency said on Thursday.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] EU waives customs duties, VAT on vital medical imports

    The EU Commission on Friday approved requests from EU countries plus Britain to temporarily waive customs duties and VAT on imported medical devices and protective equipment amid the coronavirus epidemic. The duty-free gear includes masks, testing kits and ventilators. The exemption will apply for a period of six months, with a possibility for extension. The decision takes effect retroactively from January 30.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] New ventilators for EU will take time, Commission says

    It will take time for the EU to get a large numbers of ventilators quickly to treat Covid-19 patients, a commission spokesperson said Friday. The executive launched a joint procurement in March, suppliers had been selected, and countries can begin negotiating deliveries. “Taking into account the difficult situation of the markets and the complexity of products like ventilators, their production and delivery is expected to take time,” the spokesperson said.

    Posted: by euobserver

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