EUROPE

Finance Ministers Stall on Sales Taxes

European Union finance ministers failed to break a two-year deadlock on lower sales-tax rates that has left thousands of small businesses without an indication what their value-added tax rates will be next year.

Heads of state will try again to strike a bargain at the E.U. summit Dec. 15-16 -- a meeting that already will see difficult and complicated negotiations over the E.U. budget for 2007-13.

Without a tax deal this year, small businesses would be taxed at their national standard rate beginning Jan. 1 instead of the lower rate currently used in nine countries.

STEEL

Nucor Had Bid for Canadian Firm

Nucor, the second-biggest U.S. steelmaker, made a joint bid with Arcelor of Luxembourg in late November to acquire Canadian steelmaker Dofasco, which rejected the offer before accepting a higher one from ThyssenKrupp of Germany. The offer had not previously been disclosed.

AUTOMOTIVE

Toyota, Fuji to Expand Indiana Plant

Toyota Motor and Fuji Heavy agreed to a joint expansion of Fuji's plant in Lafayette, Ind. Fuji, which makes Subaru vehicles, will send engineers to Toyota. Fuji makes about 100,000 vehicles a year in Lafayette, including the Outback station wagon, left; Legacy sedan; and Baja sport-utility vehicle. Fuji can least double that output.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.