Belgian greenhouse gas emissions have increased for the second year in a row

Belgian greenhouse gas emissions have increased for the second year in a row

After going up 2.9% in 2015, Belgian greenhouse gas emissions increased again in 2016. They went up by 0.7%, Le Soir reported on Saturday. This is according to provisional data Belgium gave the European Commission. There is a margin for error, and the definitive figures are expected to be available in 2018. The paper says an increase two years in a row, after an initial decrease in 2010, is worrying. The provisional figures provided for 2016 show an annual total of 118,194 million tons of “CO² equivalent” (all gases grouped…

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European sanctions on trade with diamonds from Zimbabwe may have been violated in Antwerp

European sanctions on trade with diamonds from Zimbabwe may have been violated in Antwerp

The NGO Global Witness reported today (11 September) that three calls for tenders made in 2013 – 2014 by the Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC), the Antwerp Diamond Tender Facility (ATF) and the First Element BVBA, have reportedly put Zimbabwean diamonds on sale through the Chinese company Anjin. The diamonds, according to Global Witness, came from the Marange mine, which was excluded in the past from the international market because its diamonds were considered “blood diamonds”. In 2002, the European Union introduced sanctions against Zimbabwe for the first time in…

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World’s wealthiest families keep getting richer as markets boom

World’s wealthiest families keep getting richer as markets boom

Only a tiny number of super-rich families lost money last year, and three in four increased their fortunes, research finds. Just 4% of the world’s richest families lost money last year thanks to booming stock markets and money-spinning private-equity deals. Research into the intensely privately guarded family offices of the super-rich found that just 10 out of 262 suffered a decline in wealth in 2016. Three-quarters [74.2%] of the families – who had an average fortune of $1.45bn (£1.1bn) – increased their wealth. A further 22% reported no change to…

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Corporate loans reach record high

Corporate loans reach record high

Outstanding corporate loans totalled 145 billion euros at the end of June 2017 in Belgium, an increase of almost 5.8% over the preceding year and an all-time record, according to the latest quarterly barometre by the financial sector federation, Febelfin. The total amount in new corporate loans increased by 3.2% in the second quarter, but the number of new loans decreased by 4.1%, noted Febelfin, while the number of loan applications remained stable (+ 0.1%), as did the total amount requested (0.8%). The percentage of applications rejected in the second…

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