News Bites

The German Bishops’ Conference rejected accusations that Catholic churches hadn’t been transparent enough about cases of sexual abuse, after politicians said some hadn’t opened their archives for a study.

After seven illegal repatriations this year, Green Party politicians said too many people are being wrongfully deported. The German government is trying to bring back five of them.

Germany’s Bundeswehr will send 8,000 soldiers, 200 tanks and 2,000 vehicles to the Trident Juncture NATO maneuver in Norway that runs October 25 through November 7.

German politicians continue to argue about the return of Sami A. after he was deported despite a court ban. He is suspected of having worked for Al Qaeda as a bodyguard but could face torture in Tunisia.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s new draft for an immigration law was greeted by business and politicians alike, amid a shortage of skilled labor and given Germany’s aging population.

Mexican farmers blamed VW for the drought affecting their fields near the carmaker’s plant in Puebla. VW has been using sonic cannons to prevent hailstorms after storms caused $20 million of damage last year to new cars in its parking lot.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin outside Berlin on Saturday. They will discuss Ukraine, Syria, and natural gas, and likely also Trump, the US trade war and the situation in Turkey.

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A German passenger jet operated by Condor Airways en route from Egypt to Düsseldorf was forced to land in Greece after a bomb threat. The 273 passengers were safely evacuated. (Deutsche Welle)

Niger, one of the refugee transit countries in Africa, wants more military aid from Germany. President Mahamadou Issoufou asked for help in combating terrorism and organized crime during a visit to Berlin. (Reuters)

Deutsche Bank’s fund management group, DWS, was hit by the withdrawal of about €5 billion by Cisco Systems as it repatriated profit to the US in the wake of the corporate tax reform there.

Cevian, the second-largest shareholder in ThyssenKrupp, may seek a second director on the board, sources told Reuters, as the conglomerate grapples with strategy and the need to replace the chairman and CEO.

With the lira in free fall, Turkey does not want help from the IMF but rather more investment like Qatar’s $15 billion infusion, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said. (Reuters)

A German man with Kurdish roots was arrested in Turkey on charges of criticizing the government. Seven other Germans are still jailed there on political charges. (NDR)

Just days after a California jury awarded the plaintiff $289 million in the glyphosate case, Bayer officially completed its takeover of Monsanto, which it bought for $63 billion. (Reuters)

Allianz Germany’s operating profits for the first half of the year shrunk by 13% compared to 2017, largely due to insurance payouts related to bad weather. (Reuters)

Austria’s Wienerberger, the world’s largest brickmaker, plans to invest €200 million in acquisitions this year, focusing on Eastern Europe and North America.

German and US tax agencies agreed in July to share more information in an attempt to close loopholes abused by multinational companies. (Reuters)

Fraport said it got city permission to build a new terminal for discount airlines at Frankfurt Airport. Flights could take off from Terminal G in 2021. (Reuters)

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s new migration proposal, seen by Handelsblatt, aims to secure skilled workers and “prevent immigration into social systems.”

Just months after its split from carsharing service DriveNow, rental company Sixt said it plans to invest €100 million in “mobility services” over the next five years. (Reuters)

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Bank of China are interested in taking stakes in NordLB, a bank partly owned by the German state of Lower Saxony. (WiWo)

CEO Martin Zielke said if Commerzbank drops out of the DAX, “for our customers, for our business, nothing changes at all.” He added it would reinforce his strategy of “further developing the bank technologically.” (Reuters)

German defense company MBDA and America’s Lockheed Martin are getting closer to a contract for a billion-dollar missile defense system for the German Bundeswehr.

Germany’s Biontech is working on a $305 million project with Pfizer of the US. The biotech company from Mainz is researching personalized immunotherapy for cancer and other illnesses.

Claims paid out by reinsurers totaled $20 billion in the first half of the year, down $10 billion from the same period in 2017, Swiss Re reported. (Reuters)

The city of Hamburg is selling off 50 refugee shelters for just €1,000 each. The catch? You have to pick them up yourself. (Spiegel)

The EU’s trade surplus with the US grew 16% in the first half of the year, reaching €66.9 billion, Eurostat said.

With the Turkish lira in crisis, the German Finance Ministry has assured it would ignore the usual €1.5 billion annual cap on export guarantees. Berlin guaranteed €831.7 million in goods to Turkey in the first half of 2018. (DPA)

Spooked by US sanctions, Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom are halting operations in Iran. Telekom ended business with Tehran in May; DB will phase out projects by September. (WiWo)

Germany’s gaming market grew by 17% in the first half of the year, with sales of computer and video games totaling €1.5 billion, Gamescom reported.

machine learning

German insurers follow global trend to AI

Algorithms and supercomputers are revolutionizing the insurance industry. Germany has no intention of being left behind.

€200,000 minimum

Fintech promises to give small investors access to private equity

Berlin's Moonfare uses an internet interface to bundles client money for investing in buyout funds that promise impressive returns.

Bin Laden ‘bodyguard’

Court orders deported terror suspect Sami A. be returned to Germany

The court’s decision to bring back the alleged Al Qaeda sympathizer from Tunisia pits politicians against judges in a case that stretches “the limits of the rule of law.”

Ketchupgate

VW employees reject new currywurst ketchup

The world's biggest carmaker had to get a new ketchup supplier for the trademark dish in its plant cafeterias. Workers are not impressed.

Editors’ Pick

Handelsblatt Explains

Why Germans take their vacations so seriously

It's hard to get much done in Germany during August because Germans consider holidays a human right. An investigation into the undeniable earnestness of the German vacation.

Dive In

Daily briefing

Nanny state in nursing care? No prob

An upstart fintech outstrips Deutsche, while Germany is girding its creaky grid. Plus, a storm about a sausage made in Wolfsburg. Our daily briefing on August 16, 2018.

Research or perish

Auto industry leads German R&D spending in high-tech era

But US tech giants continue to top the global rankings as they leverage investment into strong growth and higher stock prices.

Wired for trouble

Germany seeks to avert renewables overload by expanding the power grid

Economics Minister Peter Altmaier is pushing for rapid expansion of Germany’s power grid to cope with the switch to renewable energy. Don’t hold your breath.

The freight game

How China put Duisburg back on the trade map

Back from the dead, the former Ruhr steel hub is fast becoming the main European stop for Chinese goods arriving on the new Silk Road, challenging Hamburg's dominance as Germany's premier port.

David vs Goliath

Little-known fintech Wirecard overtakes Deutsche Bank

Wirecard, a rising fintech star, is now worth more than staid old Deutsche Bank. Next, the startup may displace Commerzbank in the DAX index.

Rain or shine

Germany’s renewable energy production defies fickle weather

The recent unpredictable weather is a reminder of renewable energy's variability, prompting coal proponents to argue Germany shouldn't abandon conventional fuels. But heat waves don't play favorites.

Cheap digs

European cities move to restrict Airbnb rentals

Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam are among cities setting limits to availability and requiring registration and reporting from renters.

No Schadenfreude

The West shouldn’t revel in Erdogan’s misfortunes

Turkey is teetering on the brink, almost as if karma finally caught up to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Still, it is not the right for Europe to gloat about the power-hungry leader’s troubles, writes Handelsblatt’s Jens Münchrath.

Lira Losses

German companies uneasy with Turkey’s seesawing lira

As currency fluctuations shake Turkey, German companies with operations in the country are wondering what, if anything, they could do.

Daily Briefing

Bayer: has glyphosate, needs Aspirin

Bayer’s glyphosate crash; VW’s Bentley problem; the worsening Turkish crisis; and Merkel’s next meeting with Putin: Our daily briefing for August 14.

Slow lane

VW’s Bentley gets left behind as a luxury car cash cow

The classic British brand is losing money, prompting its parent, Volkswagen to tie it more closely to the moneymaking Porsche.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

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