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Midday Express of 2010-08-27

European Commission - MEX/10/0827   27/08/2010

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EXME 10 / 27.08

Midday Express of 2010-08-27

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

EU pushes links with ASEAN in Economic Ministers meeting

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today finished a three-day visit to Da Nang (Vietnam), where he was invited to the 42nd ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM). It’s the first time in three years that an EU representative has participated in such a meeting. The visit presents an opportunity to intensify trade and economic relations with ASEAN as a group, after the negotiations for a region-to-region Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were put on hold in 2009. Furthermore, the Commissioner had a number of useful bilateral meetings with Trade Ministers from various Asian countries.

Commissioner Šemeta visits Hong Kong and Macau to promote cooperation in tax and customs

Algirdas Šemeta, EU Commissioner for taxation, customs, anti-fraud and audit, will visit Hong Kong and Macau on 30 and 31 August, with a view to strengthening cooperation between the EU and these two regions in the areas of taxation and customs. In particular, the Commissioner will discuss how further progress can be made on the exchange of information and the principles of good governance in tax matters. In Hong Kong, the Commissioner will meet with the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K.C. Chan and Customs Commissioner Richard Yuen, amongst others. In Macau, he will meet Francis Tam, Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Cheng Kuoc Vá, Secretary for Security and Mr Choi Lai Hang, Director General of Macao's Customs Service. From 31 of August, Commissioner Šemeta will be in China (Shanghai) to discuss intellectual property rights, the security of supply chain, and tackling smuggling activities with his Chinese counterparts.

Commission clears acquisition of SEB German retail banking business by Banco Santander

The European Commission has granted clearance under the EU Merger Regulation to the acquisition by Banco Santander S.A. of the German retail banking business of SEB AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB ("SEB"). Banco Santander is an international group of banking and financial companies based in Spain. SEB is an international group of banking and financial companies based in Sweden. The acquired German retail banking business of SEB AG is a part of SEB's banking and financial activities in Germany. The operation was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

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