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Weak European demand forces ArcelorMittal writedown

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Weak European demand forces ArcelorMittal writedown
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ArcelorMittal is to write down the value of its European business by 3.25 billion euros.

The world’s biggest steelmaker said demand fell around eight percent in Europe this year and there was no sign of a quick recovery.

It will write down the goodwill – the value of intangible assets like a brand rather than physical assets like machinery – of its European operations by 87 percent.

The news underscores the gloom about prospects for the region’s recession-hit manufacturers.

ArcelorMittal, which makes about seven percent of the world’s steel, said demand in Europe is down 29 percent since 2007 when the financial crisis started.

There was some better news as the company highlighted better trends in the United States where, it said, demand was up 8 percent this year and is now 10 percent lower than in 2007.

ArcelorMittal, whose output is more than double that of its nearest rival, has already announced the closure of blast furnaces in Belgium and France, with other operations temporarily idled due to overcapacity.

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