News Bites

The US Federal Trade Commission has asked industrial gas suppliers Praxair and Linde to divest assets in certain US markets as a condition of approval for the $80 billion merger.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser announced on Twitter he won’t attend the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia this week.

Hannover Re is negotiating higher reinsurance premiums for industrial clients as of Jan. 1 because of high damage payouts.

Telecoms operator Telefonica Germany has filed a complaint with EU competition authorities against Vodafone’s €18.4 billion acquisition of parts of Liberty Global’s business in the EU.

Italy declined to make any changes to its budget today as requested by Brussels. Rome expects the European Commission to reject the plan to further enlarge its fiscal deficit, the second-highest in the bloc.

And they say nobody wants diesel cars anymore: The Audi Q7 TDI 3.0 was the most frequently stolen vehicle in Germany last year.

Britain’s Vue Entertainment, parent company of Cinemaxx, has offered to buy its biggest German competitor, Cinestar, for €222 million. It would be Vue’s biggest acquisition ever if the German cartel agency approves it.

The Bundesbank said auto industry woes tapped the Germany economy’s brakes this summer but expects a hefty upswing for the last quarter of the year.

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The Bundesbank warned German states that pension reserves might not be adequate to cover future payouts to retired civil servants. Retirement costs will continue to rise in coming years.

Germany’s pension system ranked No. 1 in adequacy, and 13th overall in this year’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index.

After a successful start on the West Coast in the US, Germany’s Flixbus is expanding its routes to New York and Texas next year.

Drugstore chain DM could add hundreds of more locations to its 1,956 stores, the CEO told a local paper. (DPA)

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she believes a diesel driving ban in Frankfurt is avoidable. Her government also plans to change the law to make it difficult to introduce bans if car emissions only moderately exceed air pollution limits.

Economics Minister Peter Altmaier said Germany will stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid “unsatisfactory” explanations of journalist Jamal Khashoggi‘s death. (ZDF)

German financial regulator BaFin is planning to create its own direct links to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to protect cross-border securities in case of a hard Brexit. (Bloomberg)

Siemens signed a memorandum of understanding to supply electricity to Iraq, a job worth billions. GE signed a similar nonbinding memorandum.

Germany’s BASF and Russia’s Norilsk Nickel will build a factory in Finland to produce chemicals used in electric-car batteries. It will be the first such battery factory in Europe. BASF will not manufacture battery cells or batteries itself.

DAX your lot

Growth slowdown threatens booming German DAX firms

With the blue-chip DAX index tumbling and Germany's biggest companies slashing their profit forecasts this year, there are growing signs that the country's business boom is coming to an end.

Brewster booster

How a woman became the toast of Germany’s brewing scene

Lammsbräu CEO Susanne Horn, a lone woman in Germany’s male-dominated and staunchly traditional brewing industry, has won the respect of her peers by doubling beer sales in a shrinking market.

Google tax alternative

Scholz wants minimum corporate tax rate in OECD

Germany's finance minister has proposed introducing a standard to combat tax avoidance – and serve as a replacement for the EU's planned digital tax.

Climate emergency

Germany’s great environmental failure

Not long ago, Germany was seen as a model of climate responsibility. But it will fail to reach its 2020 emissions targets. Is there a way to make industry greener?

Editors’ Pick

Climate emergency

Germany’s great environmental failure

Not long ago, Germany was seen as a model of climate responsibility. But it will fail to reach its 2020 emissions targets. Is there a way to make industry greener?

Dive In

variable compensation

Commerzbank eliminates most individual bonuses in revamp

Germany’s second-largest bank seeks to boost morale with a streamlined plan that rewards whole departments instead of individuals.

Culture change

Germany can’t be smug about its top innovation ranking

The country will have to get better at embracing disruptive ideas if it wants to retain its global lead as an innovative nation, writes Handelsblatt’s Torsten Riecke.

lies and power

Truth in a time of bullies and proto-fascists

Across the world, strongmen and conspiracy theorists are ostentatiously thumbing their noses at truth. This is a threat to democracies.

Financial protection

Germany prepares emergency laws to cope with hard Brexit

Berlin is bracing for the fallout of a no-deal Brexit by drafting legislation to shield Germany’s insurance and derivatives markets. The move is being coordinated with several other EU members.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Artificial intelligence

Firms try to control rise of the machines

With AI technology getting more powerful every week, companies are heeding to pressure and drawing up guidelines to police it. But the publication of house rules doesn't go far enough for some.

Good or bad?

For and against an EU unemployment fund

Two Handelsblatt writers debate the merits of an EU fund to support the jobless during a crisis, a proposal put forward by Germany’s Social Democrat finance minister but rejected by the ruling conservatives.

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.

digital desire

High-tech toys dominate at Berlin sex industry trade fair

New sex toys on display at Berlin’s annual Venus trade fair promise to bring you pleasure by integrating with your phone, your virtual assistant and your long-distance lover. They also promise to work on the “orgasm gap.”

porsche taycan electric car to take on tesla

E-mobility

Porsche readies all-electric Taycan to take on Tesla

Germany’s iconic sports carmaker will start mass production of the Taycan next year in hopes it can make inroads in the global electric car market.

Gold bricks

German real estate

Long tipped as a rising star in the European market, Germany has finally come into its own. Our series on residential property highlights some favorite cities for expats and investors alike.

euro-zone reform

Finance Minister Scholz wants pan-European jobless fund

Troubled countries could borrow money to pay unemployment benefits, rather than dig around in their own treasuries to find the cash during times of crisis.

industrial espionage

Germany isn’t concerned about spy chips – but it should be

Governments worldwide are acting to protect their IT from snooping technology hidden in hardware. Berlin’s lack of angst is worrying.

CSU seehofer bavarian vote

heart full of hope

Seehofer sidesteps responsibility for Bavarian debacle

CSU leadership has followed Chancellor Merkel’s example and ignored the parliamentary tradition of taking personal responsibility for party electoral defeats.

rewe ceo grocery stores germany eu

unfair play

Edeka and Rewe object to EU farmer protection proposal

German cooperative grocers Rewe and Edeka say amendments to a new EU directive designed to protect farmers would undermine their business models.

Syrian refugee

Cologne officials hesitate to label attack ‘terrorism’

A suspect who tried to set a McDonald's on fire and then took a woman hostage at a train station claimed to be a terrorist. But police said the 55-year-old immigrant suffered from mental problems and was drunk.

bavaria fallout

Germany’s Social Democrats are history, and that’s a bad thing

Whatever your politics, the downfall of the SPD is a loss to the political landscape. Sadly, it seems inevitable, writes a Handelsblatt correspondent.

russia, nord stream pipeline

firm friends

Why we need to reach out to Russia

It’s wrong to demonize Russia and its government. Economic cooperation and partnership — without avoiding criticism — are the way forward, writes a German state premier.

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