Tata Steel takes hit over Europe


India’s Tata Steel, one of the world’s biggest steelmakers, announced a $1.6 billion asset writedown Monday, blaming slumping demand in its main European market.

The company, which had sales of $26 billion in the 2012 financial year, said the writedown was due to “weak economic and market conditions” in Europe that it forecast would continue “over the near and medium term.”

Tata Steel, which bought Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus for $13.7 billion in 2007, has been struggling to improve its European unit’s performance in the face of the eurozone debt crisis. Europe accounts for about two-thirds of sales and production for the steelmaker.