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Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank, halted an advertising campaign on Facebook following the scandal over its use of personal data.

A poll found 47% of Germans say Islam “belongs to” Germany, while 46% disagreed. The survey took place after a conservative politician questioned Islam’s place in the country, launching a broad debate. (forsa)

All EU states and six other countries will be exempt from new US tariffs on steel and aluminum, according to the US trade envoy. The levies are due to take effect on Friday.

Germany will achieve record employment this year, with nearly 45 million people in work, the employment office said. There are 2.33 million jobless, the lowest number since reunification in 1990.

Hans Van Bylen, chief executive of cosmetics firm Henkel, will become head of Germany’s chemicals-industry association in September. He will succeed BASF boss Kurt Bock.

Following the scandal about the use of personal data by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, members of the German government said they will tighten the country’s already strict data protection laws.

Authorities cracked down on customs fraud related to imported Chinese solar panels. Raids took place across Germany, and 11 people were arrested in Nuremberg. (dpa)

Leaders from across the EU met in Brussels to discuss trade, taxes, the US and Russia. The summit continues tomorrow.

Dividends paid by DAX firms, Germany’s 30 blue chips, jumped by 15% in 2017, calculated EY, a consultancy. The total is about €36 billion. (dpa)

Justice Minister Katarina Barley asked Facebook’s European bosses to meet her next week to discuss the data scandal. (Reuters)

Thanks to gushing tax revenues, Germany will borrow €2 billion less that anticipated, the federal finance agency reported.

A court ordered Bosch to disclose communications about software it supplied to VW that enabled the carmaker to manipulate emissions. The documents date back as far as 2007.

Ticket company CTS Eventim recorded revenue of more than €1 billion last year, up 25% on 2016. The Bremen-based firm is listed on the MDAX mid-cap index. (dpa)

Energy company EnBW surpassed €2 billion in earnings in 2017, after recording losses of €1.8 billion the year before. (Reuters)

The Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for Germany dropped to an eight-month low of 55.4, probably because of a serious flu wave across the country in March.

ZF Friedrichshafen‘s new CEO, Wolf-Henning Scheider, plans to spend more than €2 billion researching and developing electric and autonomous vehicles in 2018. (Reuters)

The Ifo business climate index fell for the second month in a row, from 115.4 points to 114.7. The Munich-based economic research institute surveys 7,000 German managers each month. (Reuters)

Commerzbank is working on an international banking platform to serve EU clients, insiders said. (WiWo)

LinkedIn said it will open a second office in Germany this year, adding 20 workers in Berlin. The social network for careerists has had an office in Munich since 2011. (WiWo)

A record €11.2 billion in solidarity taxes was redistributed from the richest German states to the poorest in 2017, 5.3% more than the previous year.

The latest addition to the Internet of Things: Truck tires made by Continental will keep track of pressure and temperature via Vodafone’s network to avoid flats and accidents. (dpa)

Little LED traffic light images of Karl Marx will soon guide pedestrians across streets in his birth place of Trier to honor the philosopher’s 200th birthday.

Germany’s blue-chip DAX index rebounded from a pre-market dip after the US Federal Reserve’s quarter-point interest-rate hike on Wednesday.

Person of the day Time to pay up Berlin's fraught relationship with Warsaw has reached another low. Just days after welcoming his newly inaugurated German counterpart Heiko Maas (left), Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz upped the rhetoric and demanded war reparations from Germany — a highly contentious issue between both countries that recently resurfaced. "We will talk about the need to compensate the Poles for the damage suffered during World War II," the right-wing minister said in Parliament in Warsaw. "We will look at legal, political and financial ways." Source: DPA
Quote of the day Some explaining to do Despite Germany's notorious obsession with data privacy, the country has been slow to respond to the unfolding Facebook data scandal. But Berlin is catching on. The justice minister, Katarina Barley, wants Facebook Europe to explain itself, saying it is unacceptable that users of social networks are unwittingly targeted with political hate campaigns. "Such methods are a threat to democracy," Ms. Barley said. Other government officials also said they would look into the matter.
Picture of the day A VIP funeral service The crème de la crème of Germany's Catholic clergy congregated in Mainz, one of the country's oldest cities and top Catholic hotspots, on Wednesday. They paid their last respects to Monsignor Karl Lehmann, who served as the city's bishop for 33 years until 2016. Father Lehmann, who was elevated to Cardinal in 2001, was one of Germany's most influential religious leaders. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel, both Protestants, were among the 8,000 attendees. Source: DPA
Number of the day Milking the state they hate Some 92 members of the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, entered the parliament last year. Each lawmaker receives €20,870 ($25,715) a month from state coffers to pay their staff. Research by the weekly paper Die Zeit revealed that of the AfD's 297 parliamentary assistants, 27 belong to right-wing extremist groups or unconstitutional organizations, including the NPD party or the HDJ, a banned neo-Nazi youth group. Many more routinely spread conspiracy theories or racist posts on social media.
Merkel speaks to Bundestag

Last round

Merkel fights back on refugees

Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her first speech to parliament after an unprecedentedly difficult process in forming a new government, aims to heal divisions in German society and secure her legacy.

Lady Luck

BASF: The unexpected winner in the Bayer-Monsanto merger

Things played out better than expected for German chemical giant BASF as Bayer progressed in its monster Monsanto acquisition.

Editors’ Pick

Chill winds

Is Germany turning on Russia?

New foreign minister Heiko Mass has indicated that Germany's policy towards Russia may be hardening in the light of Vladimir Putin's recent re-election and allegations of state-sponsored assassinations.

Dive In

Reputational risk

New raid of Warburg in tax evasion probe exasperates bank’s managers

Hamburg private bank points finger at custodian Deutsche Bank as there's no end in sight to the two-year-old investigation.

Aldi Italy

Fresh veggies

German discounter Aldi takes on Italy

Aldi takes the plunge in Italy and opens new stores after a two-year study of Italian shoppers, who take their time and value good taste.

Retail chain

Karstadt turns its fortunes around

The German department store chain Karstadt reported its first profit in 12 years by subletting store space and ramping up digital sales.

Go, Go, Go

Green light for $62.5 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger

The EU's antitrust authorities have given the go-ahead for the Bayer-Monsanto merger, but only if the German chemicals giant agrees to their terms.

reactionary movement

Populism infiltrates German companies as workers resist gender quotas

In Germany, workers have a greater say in corporate decisions. For multinationals like Daimler and SAP, this is exposing the same social divisions as the rise of the populist parties in politics.

germany trade surplus

Out of balance

Germany’s trade surplus won’t budge in 2018

Exports will far exceed imports again in 2018, keeping that controversial paunch on the German economy. Economists say it's time for the government to stop being greedy and step up investment.

vw class action lawsuit germany

One for All

German business antsy about prospect of class-action lawsuits

German companies vehemently oppose the new government's plan to allow class-action lawsuits, which would greatly help VW owners fight for Dieselgate compensation.

yanis varoufakis misses wolfgang schäuble

news gallery

In case you missed it

Finance minister missives, edible ivory, outlooks for 2018 and Germany's new startup show.

Slap on the Wrist

Light-touch regulation favors Germany’s Big Pharma

German drug makers boast that their self-regulatory organization has a strict code of conduct. In practice, though, it's more lax than its US counterpart.

Airbus suspect investments

legitimate or bribes?

Airbus corruption investigation focusing on suspect investments

Airbus spent hundreds of millions of euros on office buildings in Beirut, wind farms in Germany and Malaysian Formula One racing cars as inducements to buy airplanes. Investigators think they may have been bribes.

looming trade war

Tariff dispute

Germany works to avoid trade war with US

Germany's economy minister, Peter Altmaier, tries to reach an agreement with the US in the trade dispute. But the time for compromises is running out.

Business Muddles

P&R, a container investment giant, runs aground

Munich-based container financing company P&R has filed for insolvency in one of the biggest financial scandals in modern German history.

Dieselgate reloaded

Prosecutors raid VW, seek evidence of market manipulation

VW headquarters were raided this month. Prosecutors think the German carmaker may have misled investors about CO2 emissions and fuel consumption in 2015.

Battling Paris

Is Merkel too chicken to bang the drum for Frankfurt?

Chancellor Angela Merkel must lobby harder for Germany’s financial center Frankfurt in the race for the spoils of Brexit, say bankers and lawmakers.

Keeping course

VW presses ahead with self-driving cars, despite Uber crash

Germany’s largest automaker will for now continue its plans to develop driverless cars, regardless of the fatality involving an Uber vehicle in the US.

Successful restructuring

Europe’s chemical industry powers back to health

Not so long ago, European chemical companies were on the brink. But a remarkable turnaround has the sector booming, and even overtaking its American and Asian rivals.

No more kid gloves

With Moscow, talk is no longer enough

Sanctions worked for Iran and they would work for Russia, so what are we waiting for, asks Handelsblatt’s correspondent.

Run for your life

Generali mulls sale of all German life insurance policies in industry test case

Italian insurer may offload four million policies in the biggest such deal in Germany ever.

Surprise choice

Goldman Sachs banker joins Germany’s new government

As Angela Merkel's new coalition government takes shape, ministries recruit private sector executives in a break from tradition.

Shaky systems

Botched logistics update torpedoes Henkel results

Henkel’s beauty products division has been plunged into crisis, following a failed reorganization of logistics. Revenue targets now seem unattainable.

OECD study

Migrant students behind the curve in German schools

Language barriers and socio-economic hurdles mean immigrant students perform worse in classrooms across Germany than their native peers, according to OECD research.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

December 2020

EU and UK agree on a Brexit transition period

The 21-month accord eases worries but leaves plenty of issues unresolved, including the "hardness" of the Irish border.

Risky Attractions

Ex-FDIC boss warns of ‘race to the bottom’ on banking regulation

Ten years after Bear Stearns' collapse, Sheila Bair warns that reforms to America's Dodd-Frank banking law are downright dangerous, but could encourage the Europeans to follow suit.

them too

Germany has a slew of potential candidates for Russia sanctions

Former chancellor Gerhard Schröder is not the only senior German with close ties to Russia. A long history of dialogue with Moscow underpins Berlin's conciliatory foreign policy, as well as a handful of questionable business deals.

Charm offensive

German ministers on the road to avert all-out trade war

The German government is pulling out all the diplomatic stops to avert trade war with the US, sending two senior ministers abroad this week. In an exclusive interview, new Economics Minister Peter Altmaier outlined his plans for Washington.

growing impatience

Investors could see red if Deutsche’s first quarter disappoints

Many of Deutsche Bank's shareholders want to see better results. John Cyran's progress so far may be too little, too late.

Touché, Chancellor

Environmentalists challenge Merkel’s coalition on emissions

Germany isn’t on track to uphold its part of the Paris Climate Agreement. Follow France’s lead or end up in an environmental crisis, activists warn.

Ever Closer Union

How to boost European integration? A common safety net for the jobless

An EU-wide unemployment insurance would be in Germany's interests and bring the 28-nation community closer together, writes a leading German economist.

increase the peace

How to stop a trade war

If the EU doesn’t want a trade war, then it should lead by example, argues the head of German Council of Economic Experts.

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