AUSTRIAN INSURER PICKS UP AXA IN EUROPE

Axa SA said Thursday it has completed the sale of its Central and Eastern Europe businesses to Austria-based UNIQA Insurance Group AG for Euro 1.0 billion ($1.17 billion) in cash. The sale includes its life and savings, property/casualty and pension businesses in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Axa said in a statement. SOURCE: business insurance.com

EU TRADE CHAMBERS ADD PRESSURE

A no-deal Brexit could cost “tens of thousands of jobs” in continental Europe and have “cascading” economic consequences, EU business federations have warned – as the future of trade talks hangs in the balance. In a rare joint intervention on the eve of a make-or-break summit in Brussels, the German, Italian and French versions of the CBI put pressure on both sides to “be pragmatic” to reach a deal. Boris Johnson has said he will decide whether to quit talks on Friday after the 27 EU heads of government meet to discuss the way forward. EU diplomats say negotiations could continue into early November, but Mr Johnson has said he could walk away if there is no sign of movement at tonight’s meeting. SOURCE: The Independent (UK)

HIGH HOPES FOR EUROPEAN SPACE INDUSTRY

A new public-private research partnership between the European Commission and the EU’s space industry is set to boost Europe’s competitiveness in a global market dominated by the US and China. “We cannot say tomorrow Europe is going to be the US. What we can do is try to go out and help stakeholders develop research and new services and technology that would allow them to be competitive,” Jérémy Hallakoun, technology strategy manager at the industry body Eurospace, told Science|Business. The idea for a space research partnership under the EU’s next research programme, Horizon Europe, was first mooted in the European Parliament in 2016. SOURCE: sciencebusiness.net

MORE SERVICES BETWEEN GERMANY AND SWITZERLAND

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and SBB are to further expand international passenger services between Germany and Switzerland over the medium-term. The two railway companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the proposals on 15 October 2020. This will involve the introduction of new direct services from Hamburg to Ticino and from Germany to Valais. Travel time between destinations in the two countries will also be further reduced.  Demand for international rail services between Germany and Switzerland has increased rapidly in recent years. At the Basel border crossing alone, the number of passengers has increased by over 25 per cent in the past five years. SOURCE: globalrailwayreview.com

PHOTO: A Deutsche Bahn train leaves for Switzerland