04 Nov 2014
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 04 NOVEMBERBrussels Daily
Today Vice President Katainen and Commissioner Moscovici presented the 2014 Autumn forecast. It projects weak economic growth for the rest of this year in both the EU and the euro area. Real GDP growth is expected to reach 1.3% in the EU and 0.8% in the euro area for 2014 as a whole. Growth is expected to rise slowly in the course of 2015, to 1.5% and 1.1% respectively, on the back of improving foreign and domestic demand. An acceleration of economic activity to 2.0% and 1.7% respectively in 2016 is expected to be driven by the strengthening of the financial sector (following the comprehensive assessment by the European Central Bank and further progress towards the Banking Union), as well as recent structural reforms starting to bear fruit.
Today, the European Central Bank (ECB) assumes full responsibility as the Single Supervisor in the Banking Union. Commenting, Commissioner Jonathan Hill said: “Today marks the next step towards a fully operational banking union. Building on last week’s stress test results which highlighted the credibility of the ECB, the Single Supervisor will now ensure the day-to-day surveillance of banks in the eurozone, helping to keep the European banking sector safe and remaining alert to new risks emerging. Greater confidence in European banks will encourage affordable lending to the wider economy, to households and SMEs. We also need to complete the Banking Union with the Single Resolution Mechanism: the Commission has made proposals for the Single Resolution Fund and the Single Resolution Board is being set up. The success of the SRM is vital so that insolvent banks can be resolved in an orderly fashion, without taxpayers’ having to foot the bill.”
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over certain concessions by Iridium and Dutch Infrastructure Fund
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over a number of concessions in the hospitals, transport infrastructure and motorways sectors (the Joint Venture) in Spain, by Iridium of Spain and a fund managed by the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF) of the Netherlands. The controlling shares in the target concessions to be transferred to the Joint Venture are currently owned by Iridium. Iridium is owned by the ACS Group and develops and manages concessions related to transport and public work infrastructures worldwide. DIF manages funds investing in high-quality infrastructure assets in Europe and North America. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, because of the companies’ limited combined market positions resulting from the proposed transaction. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7428. (for more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100)
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over a joint venture in real estate sector by APG, Hammerson, Meyer Bergman Group and S.D. Malking Properties
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of control through a joint venture among APG Strategic Real Estate Pool (“APG”) of the Netherlands and Hammerson PLC, together with the existing controlling shareholders Meyer Bergman Group (“MBG”) and S.D. Malkin Properties, Inc (“SDMG”), all of the United Kingdom. The joint venture is named Via and will consist of three entities (Via LP of Jersey, Via LP’s General Partner of Jersey and ManCo of the UK). Via will acquire and manage real estate assets primarily in the EU. APG is a mutual fund focusing on real estate. Hammerson PLCdevelops rents and operates its own commercial real estate. MBG manages real estate investment. SDMG develops and operates real estate, focussing on retail shopping outlets. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because of its limited impact on the market structure.The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7186.
Mergers: Commission clears joint venture between Hino, Indomobil and Sumitomo
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the creation of a joint venture between Indomobil Multi Jasa TBK of Indonesia, Hino Motors Ltd. and Sumitomo Corporation, both of Japan. The joint venture will provide financing services to customers of its parent companies in Indonesia. Hino, part of Toyota Motors Corporation, is a producer of heavy-duty trucks and buses. Indomobil, a fully controlled subsidiary of the Singaporean incorporated investment holding company Gallant Venture Ltd., primarily sells vehicles and offers related services, such as after sales service or vehicle financing. Sumitomo is an integrated public trading company active in a variety of business sectors. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns, since the joint venture has no actual or foreseen activities within the European Economic Area (EEA). The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.7426.
Commissioner Hahn announced new support to Armenia
On the first official working day in his new competence as Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn met in Brussels with the Armenian Minister of Economy, Karen Chshmaritian. The Commissioner, together with Minister Chshmaritian, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, launching the Single Support Framework for EU-support to Armenia, which sets strategic objectives and priorities for future cooperation in 2014-2017 (between €140-170 million). The Commissioner also announced a first package of EU assistance for 2014 under the new Single Support Framework. The fresh funding of € 19 million will focus on small businesses and human rights protection in Armenia. Finally, the Commissioner and Minister Chshmaritian signed today a Financing Agreement for a Sector Support Programme to Agriculture and Rural Development worth € 25 million. “The EU and Armenia are committed to continuing cooperation in areas of mutual interest based on shared values. We support the country’s modernisation efforts and we will continue encouraging necessary reforms in Armenia”, said Commissioner Hahn.
What Commissioners said
The European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos made the following statement on the drowning of at least 24 people, after the sinking of a boat off the north coast of Turkey which carried migrants:”I am appalled by today’s tragedy in Turkey. This new deadly incident brings once again to the forefront the urgency to take concrete action to save lives, to address irregular migration, and to help those in need of protection.It is imperative to improve cooperation on this matter with countries that function as departure points for migrants seeking to reach EU countries. On my first working day as Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, this is my top priority.I will continue to follow the situation as it develops and will be in contact with the relevant authorities of all involved and the affected countries. Moreover, I plan to present a comprehensive approach with the aim of addressing the issue in a more effective manner.”