News Bites

Porsche SE, the holding that controls VW, suffered a defeat in a Stuttgart court which ruled that shareholders should not have relieved management of its duties in 2015. Porsche SE’s board will now face investor questions about Dieselgate.

A new government report recommends retrofits for 5 million older diesel models in Germany, which could cost carmakers up to €6.5 billion. (Der Spiegel)

German companies with a foreign subsidiary enjoy a higher domestic investment of about €458,000 ($560,000) on average, according to a new Bundesbank study. Experts reckon it’s because of lower taxes abroad.

SPD leader Martin Schulz said that lawmakers are taking care that formal coalition talks “will not take too long”. (Reuters)

Two of Europe’s largest food delivery start-ups, Germany’s Delivery Hero and Amsterdam-based Takeaway.com, are warming up to a merger in order to take on growing competition. (Reuters)

Trump exposé “Fire and Fury” will “certainly more than pay back the cost of its advance,” said German publisher Stefan von Holtzbrinck, whose eponymous company owns the book’s US imprint Henry Holt. (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Passenger numbers fell drastically in December 2017 compared to the year before, according to the German Airports Association. Around 15.6 million less people took flights, an aftershock of Air Berlin and Niki’s bankruptcies.

A Vietnamese former oil exec allegedly kidnapped by Vietnamese agents in Berlin last year has been sentenced to lifelong prison in Hanoi on corruption charges.

Troubled German furniture retailer Steinhoff plans to offload more shares in its investment firm PSG, desperately freeing up much-needed capital amid a major financial scandal.

Germany’s DAX opened at 13,443 on Monday, just 80 points below its record-high, as investors relish the SPD’s positive vote on starting coalition talks.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will sign a new bilateral agreement on Franco-German cooperation, commemorating the Élysée Treaty’s 55th anniversary, the leaders said in a joint video podcast on Sunday.

Nintendo’s new Labo gaming console mistakenly almost didn’t receive German approval, according to a software rating’s board tweet. Looking more like “paper waste” than hardware, it was almost trashed by cleaners.

A German national of Moroccan origin has been sentenced to death by an Iraqi court after she was found guilty of being a member of the Islamic State. (Reuters)

Social Democratic party delegates voted to enter into coalition talks with Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance. The vote, which followed an emotional debate, clears the path for negotiations between Germany’s two largest parties to begin in earnest.

Deutsche Bank reported questionable transactions involving President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, or people or businesses near him, to German securities regulators and will also forward the info to special prosecutor Robert Mueller. (Manager Magazin)

The eastern German city of Cottbus will temporarily accept no refugees following a series of violent crimes allegedly committed by Syrian refugees, the interior minister of the state of Brandenburg said. (RBB)

Germany has halted arms exports to Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudia Arabia because of their role in the war against Yemen, government spokesman Sfeffen Seibert tweeted.

US regulators are refusing to approve pending deals between Chinese conglomerate HNA, which owns 10% of Deutsche Bank, and hedge fund Skybridge Capital as well as Swiss commodity company Glencore because of a lack of transparency.

A new German law requiring social media sites to remove possibly illegal hate speech should not be copied across Europe and goes too far, European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said. (Der Spiegel)

VW is investing €1.8 billion in the design of its latest Golf, the Golf 8, which will debut next year. The model was introduced in 1974 and has sold more than 34 million units in 108 countries, VW said.

Martin Schulz, head of the center-left SPD, warned that new elections would be called “quickly” if a party vote on Sunday goes against a coalition government with Chancellor Merkel’s conservative bloc.

A Munich court sentenced Philipp K. to seven years in prison for selling a pistol that was used in a right-wing attack at a Munich shopping mall that left nine people dead in 2016.

Energy firm Fortun’s mandatory offer for Uniper reeled in just 0.28% of shares in the former fossil fuels unit of utility E.ON, which sold its 46.65% holding to Finland’s Fortun last year. Uniper says the €22-per-share offer is too low.

Germany more than doubled the number of electric cars on its roads with 25,056 registered last year, including 4,323 for the Renault Zoe, the most popular electric model for the second year in a row.

Friendship of the day Berlin, mon amour Monday marks the 55th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty between France and Germany. The agreement was signed in 1963 to draw the two former enemies closer after three wars since 1870. This weekend, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to further strengthen the bloc and plan a new bilateral deal. Bring out the champagne — or Riesling. Source: AP
Picture of the day Timber! A radio tower formerly used by American forces in Germany was demolished at the weekend. Police had used it after US troops withdrew from the Benjamin Franklin village base, located in the Funari Barracks near Mannheim, in 2012. Affordable housing is planned for the space. Source: Imago
Quote of the day Green with envy? Doubts were cast after the Social Democrats narrowly persuaded its members to support coalition talks. The SPD is deeply divided, with weakened leadership and its youth wing fervently opposing a coalition. The Green Party had been part of earlier talks, which collapsed after the pro-business FDP walked out.
Graph of the day Salad days The German market for sustainable investments is growing rapidly as people are keen to put their cash into e-mobility, renewable energy and healthy food production. Compared to the total investment sum in Germany in 2016 — €2.9 trillion — relatively little is green.

Weekly Review

Angela Merkel’s endgame and the best option for Germany

No matter whether talks with the SPD to form another “grand coalition” fail or succeed, Chancellor Angela Merkel is nearing the end of her power and knows it.

Don Anniversaire

A year on, Germany learns to live with Trump

Donald Trump’s first year in office has thrown up many problems for Germany. But while its politicians are still struggling to figure him out, business leaders are warming to the challenges – and opportunities.

Editors’ Pick

Joint ventures

Why Germans love marijuana to kill pain

This isn’t Cheech and Chong’s weed — Germany’s medical marijuana users are people tired of popping powerful pills to ease pain. Facing a cannabis import crisis, the country is now starting to grow its own.

Dive In

Whiz kids deluxe

Startup Chronext shakes up luxury watch sales online

Time is ticking away for traditional luxury watch retailers. Chronext, an online platform recently founded by two German twenty-somethings, just clocked up $34 million in venture capital.

Energiewende

E.ON helps Germany say goodbye to nuclear power

It will be decades before E.ON and other utilities complete the shutdown of nuclear power, which could have helped the country meet emission targets and lower its reliance on dirty coal.

Military money

New German government set to miss NATO defense spending target

It's a long shot for Germany to reach NATO’s defense-spending goal of 2 percent of GDP by 2024. Ironically, the country's booming economy is making that target even tougher to hit.

Rent my ride

Car-sharing app Turo enters Germany with Daimler partnership

US car-sharing provider Turo has rolled out service in Europe’s largest economy. With an investment from Daimler, the startup hopes to quickly outpace competitors in a crowded market.

Foreign Investment

America first, with Germany’s help

Donald Trump wants more companies — foreign and domestic — to produce goods in the United States. We spoke to German companies already in the US about whether they’ll take the bait.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

Much about Germany is confusing or surprising to foreigners - and even to Germans. Our editors provide clarity.

marc cain, berlin fashion week, subway sbahn

Slow fashion

Blazing new trails at Berlin Fashion Week

Three packed days of fashion shows in botanical gardens, subway tunnels and techno nightclubs proves modern designers are ditching traditional style rules.

Germany Vs The World

How many economists does it take to lower a surplus?

Germany posted the highest current-account surplus of any country for the second year running. Too bad economists can't agree on what to do about it.

SME Power

Mittelstand

Volkswagen, Bayer and Adidas are household names. But more than 95 percent of Germany's economy is generated by lesser-known firms that aren’t listed on the blue-chip DAX Index.

Never-ending fight

Germany’s bureaucratic answer to rising anti-Semitism

The Bundestag is appointing a commissioner to fight anti-Semitism as hate crimes surge. Some doubt this will make Jews feel safe again in Germany.

secrecy ends

Why Switzerland’s banks are dying out

Pressures to modernize, meet tighter regulations, and increase transparency over tax avoidance are killing off Swiss private banks. Experts say the future of all but the biggest is precarious.

P&L Check

ThyssenKrupp counts the cost of exiting steel

Despite ThyssenKrupp's success in 2017, an activist investor wants to break up the company to boost its share price. But the CEO believes integration is the only way forward, and the shareholders agree.

Sanctions Impasse

Iran seeks billions from Deutsche Börse Luxembourg unit

Tehran files suit to recover funds embroiled in litigation over compensation claims against Iran.

Postbank Merger

Deutsche Bank staff stampede toward exit with voluntary buyouts

The bank’s effort to trim its retail workforce has met with more enthusiasm than anticipated.

Emirates order

Airbus superjumbo wins reprieve

The double-decker A380 lives to fly another day after Airbus agreed an 11th-hour deal with Persian Gulf carrier Emirates.

Restructuring Expert

Deutsche Telekom to break up T-Systems after failed sale

A former IBM manager who now heads the telecom operator’s loss-making subsidiary wants to divide it into two separate units. Talks to merge part of the business with Atos Origin failed over the summer.

Transparency Troubles

What the MiFID II? German watchdog merciful as banks struggle with new rules

New EU financial rules that came into force this year are giving bankers sleepless nights because they're so difficult to implement. Germany’s top regulator is giving them leeway to sort out teething troubles.

German Stocks

How long can the DAX boom last?

This year, the German benchmark index could hit an all-time high of 14,000 points. Despite these record-breaking prospects, experts warn winter is coming.

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