News Bites

Michael Steiner, the Porsche executive who was the subject of a raid by prosecutors on Wednesday, is being investigated for his handling of the Dieselgate scandal, Handelsblatt has learned. He is not suspected of a role in the actual manipulation of diesel engine software.

VW’s new CEO Herbert Diess should continue pushing for cultural change in the wake of Dieselgate, said Lower Saxony’s premier, Stephan Weil. The state owns a 20% stake in VW.

State railway operator Deutsche Bahn will invest nearly €1 billion in new high-speed ICE trains to better compete with planes and buses, CEO Richard Lutz told Handelsblatt. A detailed plan will be unveiled in early summer.

Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to do everything possible to combat anti-Semitism on Independence Day, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Israel.

People in Germany stood in line for hours for a special €5 coin, a collector’s item. The Bundesbank minted 3.4 million coins with a “subtropical” motif.

Francisco Garcia Sanz, VW’s longest-serving board member, will leave without a payout or consultancy deal. He was in charge of procurement but apparently didn’t want to work with Herbert Diess, the new CEO. (Bild)

An ex-soldier and consultant to an AfD lawmaker is being investigated for allegedly planning a terror attack last year and blaming it on refugees.

Lufthansa, Germany’s flagship airline, plans to replace several thousand of its employees with digital and brand management experts. (WiWo)

London will probably lose some 5,000 financial district jobs – fewer than feared – due to Brexit, said Sam Woods, deputy at the Bank of England.

Poland marked the 75th anniversary today of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The Nazis killed 7,000 Jewish rebels, and captured and murdered the remaining 57,000.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU’s asylum commissioner, said Germany will accept 10,000 refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, within a larger program to resettle vulnerable people.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron reemphasized their commonalities at a press conference in downtown Berlin.

The leaders promised to provide more details on June 19 on shared European policies on asylum, foreign policy, as well as economic and currency union.

The two leaders added they backed banking union in Europe, and said agreed on the need to balance solidarity and responsibility.

Ms. Merkel and Mr. Macron will each meet President Donald Trump in the US separately, but emphasized their shared message on tariffs, Iran and the trans-Atlantic relationship.

Deutsche Bank is considering reducing the size of its management board. After the departure of its IT boss, Kim Hammonds, her brief could be passed to another member, sources said.

Frankfurt prosecutors are checking whether to investigate crypto-currency startup Savedroid after the firm’s founder, Yassin Hankir, admitted staging his own disappearance. The company recently took in millions of euros in an Initial Coin Offering.

Olaf Scholz, Germany’s new finance minister, is skeptical about an EU insurance on bank deposits. His stance is a continuation of the government’s policy.

Rocket Internet, an incubator of startups, sold €150 million of its shares in meal-kit company HelloFresh.

A new database in Germany lists company data in order to combat money laundering. In its first 100 days, 1,451 people requested access to the register, triggering security concerns.

Germany’s five leading economic institutes raised their growth forecasts. They expect GDP to reach 2.2% this year, rather than 2%.

German hospital group Asklepios is bidding against Porterhouse, an investor, for Paracelsus, an insolvent chain of clinics.

Michael Steiner, Porsche’s chief of development, is reportedly being investigated by prosecutors seeking information about Dieselgate.

German pharmaceutical giant Merck plans to sell its consumer health unit to America’s Procter & Gamble for $4.2 billion (€3.4 billion).

More than half of Germans feel politicians should do more to protect them from the negative effects of globalization, a survey found.

Opel plans to cut the workforce at its Eisenach plant from 1,800 to 1,000. Some 3,700 of Opel’s 19,000 employees in Germany could lose their jobs in a restructuring by French owner PSA. (Tagesspiegel)

Kim Hammonds, boss of IT at Deutsche Bank, will leave the lender on May 24. She had called the bank “the most dysfunctional place she had ever worked.”

BMW boss Harald Krüger will announce China as the production site for the carmaker’s all-electric X3 models at the Beijing Motor Show next week.

Changes at the top

Deutsche Bank reshuffle: IT expert Hammonds may not be replaced

In the aftermath of CEO John Cryan’s departure, Deutsche Bank’s executive board may shrink. But regulators will have to have their say first.

News gallery

In case you missed it

Dancing with cherry blossoms, dealing with wolves, catching the travel bug and building bridges between east and west.

Jobs cull

Struggling Opel could lose 20% of workers

Opel could be forced to cut 3,700 jobs in Germany in a dispute with its new French owner over urgently needed restructuring. But Chancellor Angela Merkel, it seems, is backing the embattled carmaker.

You’re fired

Deutsche Börse CEO cleans house as he readies new strategy

Theodor Weimer is wasting no time dismantling his predecessor’s management structure after last year’s failed merger attempt with the London Stock Exchange.

Editors’ Pick

pollution goals

With German renewable energy surging, when is the best time to exit coal?

The German coal industry thinks the government should not speed up the end of coal, while environmentalists think the pace is too slow.

Dive In
Life Insurance

Watchdog

German regulator to cut life insurance fees, endangering brokers

Germany’s financial regulator Bafin wants to cap fees for life insurances. This will put brokers under severe pressure.

IMF

Relations cordial again

Europeans drop plans to replace the IMF

Angered at a cold shoulder, euro-zone leaders had drawn up plans to expand the European Stability Mechanism into a rival to the IMF.

VW troubles

Prosecutors raid Porsche offices in Dieselgate probe

Investigators searched Porsche and Audi offices, looking for evidence of emissions manipulation. Three managers are under suspicion, including a Porsche executive.

change, now

By dithering on euro-zone reform, Germany risks the euro

The window of opportunity to genuine euro-zone reform is closing quickly. Maybe it's already closed, even before it was really open, says the chief economist for Germany and Austria of a large Dutch bank.

Berlin's struggle with urbanization

Gentrification

The Berlin way of urbanization

Germany’s capital, known for its grit, grunge and groove, is experiencing growing pains as it adjusts to its new position as a world-class city. Is Berlin in danger of becoming like San Francisco, London or Paris – another overpriced playground for the nouveau riche?

Skimpy returns

Investors being cheated despite record German dividends, group says

Listed German companies are using record profits and increased dividends to hide their unwillingness to appropriately compensate investors.

diesel

Environment

How diesel can help Germany achieve its goals

The government will prevent driving bans, secure jobs and prepare the auto industry for the future. Diesel will play a crucial role in this, writes German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Ostpolitik

Social Democrats toughen stance on Russia

Unlike his predecessors, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is taking a more critical line on Russia – and is garnering support from emerging forces in his Social Democratic Party.

Monsanto money

Bayer gets shot in the arm from Singapore

Bayer has received a €3 billion injection from Singapore state investment fund Temasek, a welcome capital boost as the chemicals giant looks to fund its costly takeover of US rival Monsanto.

DAX

Profit and Loss Check

Once a year, we take a critical look at the financial health of selected German blue-chip companies ahead of their annual shareholders' meetings.

semi detached

Acquiring US rival Navistar could give VW an edge in global trucking race

Volkswagen's truck business could go public next year – and become a global rival to Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz. Buying Navistar would help.

China First

EU ambassadors band together against Silk Road

EU ambassadors to Beijing warn that China’s Silk Road project flouts international transparency norms and is aimed at furthering Chinese interests. The paper reflects Beijing’s strategy to divide the bloc.

Schäuble's successor

Crunch time for Germany’s new finance minister and troubled Greek debt question

At his IMF debut, new Finance Minister Olaf Scholz must walk a tightrope between providing Greece some debt relief while avoiding backlash at home.

Alleged conspirators

German utility EWE contemplating exiting Turkish market

An instable currency and heavy-handed government have the power company reconsidering its expansion plans.

For your safety

German states give police more surveillance powers

Police in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and beyond are gaining new freedoms to fight crime. Some worry authorities are going too far.

Security threat

German customs authority stretched to the limit

Germany doesn’t have enough customs officers partly because they keep getting saddled with new tasks. The authority has a huge backlog of money laundering cases — and a hard Brexit could prove the last straw.

Agreement lacking

EU pushes peace plan for Syria

The European Union hopes to revive stalled peace talks in Syria. Germany, which didn't join a US-led missile strike on Syrian government targets over the weekend, is divided on what the outcome should be.

Political dwarf

Germany pays lip service to foreign policy responsibilities

Germany’s response to the Syrian crisis has revealed the huge gap between its rhetoric and its responsibilities on foreign policy, says Handelsblatt's senior political correspondent.

Pushing buttons

Trump set to tussle over EU digital tax plans

The US government may hotly contest EU proposals for a new Europe-wide digital tax. Washington says the proposal is an act of aggression against its tech industry.

Wind-down time

When investment banking doesn’t pay

European investment banks like Deutsche are still trying to catch up with their US rivals. Is it really worth the effort?

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