EU against Spain’s bid

BRUSSELS: European Union regulators stepped up their threat of legal action against Spain on Wednesday, formally requesting Madrid to withdraw key conditions on E.On AG’s euro37 billion ($48 billion) bid to buy Spain’s biggest electricity company, Endesa SA. The European Commission said it asked Spain to reply by March 16 or face a possible legal battle at the EU’s high court in Luxembourg. Spain’s Socialist government has attempted to block a German bid for Endesa, preferring a competing bid from Spain’s Gas Natural SA.—AP

‘Hands off Airbus’

PARIS: Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois urged politicians not to interfere with the European aircraft maker’s plans to cut 10,000 jobs and spin off or close six European plants. “While it’s normal that politicians are interested, I don’t want them to interfere in the company’s management,” Gallois said on RTL radio. Ahead of France’s April 22-May 6 two-round presidential election, most candidates have pushed for state intervention to help rescue the company from its troubles - a weaker US dollar, and a euro5 billion ($6.5 billion) profit shortfall due to the A380 superjumbo’s two-year delay. —AP

Russian oil in Asia

MOSCOW: Russia’s environmental oversight agency says plans for a Pacific coast port at the end of a pipeline being built to transport Siberian oil to Asian markets pose no threat to environment. The head of Rostekhnadzor, Konstantin Pulikovsky, said plans for an oil port at Kozmino were ecologically safe, RIA-Novosti reported. Kozmino, on the Sea of Japan, has been chosen as a terminus of 4,300 km pipeline from eastern Siberia.—AP

FNCCI hails treaty

KATHMANDU: Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has welcomed the automatic renewal of Nepal-India trade treaty for a period of five years as per the understanding reached between the two countries and the provision of trade treaty. Issuing a press release, FNCCI has highlighted the crucial role played by the Joint Economic Council, which was constituted in 1996 at the initiative of FNCCI and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI). However, FNCCI has expressed its dissatisfaction over some of flaws in the treaty. Although the Indian side has been positive towards waiving four per cent custom duties on readymade garments, spices and medicines, quarantine check pass, provision of quality test on food stuff, these issues have not been addressed in the treaty. — HNS

Herbs farming starts

TANAHUN: Farmers affiliated with the Madhuban Community Forest Users’ Committee in Devghat region of Tanahun district have started farming of rare herbs. They started cultivating these herbs after they found 38 varieties of important herbs in the lower slopes of Tanhun district, according to Fanindra Prasad Pokharel, assistant forest officer. — RSS