News Bites

The murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated and he was killed “savagely” by agents sent by Riyadh, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkey’s Turkish parliament.

Ikea sales in Germany, its biggest European market, passed the €5 billion mark for the financial year ending in August. Online sales made up just 7.4% of the total, thanks to 100 million people who visited Ikea’s 53 furniture stores in Germany.

Former AfD leader Frauke Petry will go on trial for perjury. She is accused of making untrue statements in Saxony’s state parliament regarding electoral funding, but she denies any wrongdoing.

Teachers in Berlin reported themselves en masse to the AfD, in protest against the party’s new website asking school students to report educators who criticize the far-right party. The AfD has so far rolled out its denunciation platform in four German states.

Germany ranked second in Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel” list of countries to visit in 2019. Sri Lanka claimed the top spot and Zimbabwe came in third.

UBS rescinded a staff warning discouraging travel to China. The Swiss giant issued the warning last week after Beijing authorities prevented a Singapore-based UBS banker from leaving the country.

Researchers in Austria detected microplastics in stool samples from each person they tested in a group of eight people from across the globe, suggesting we are ingesting plastic particles due to extreme plastic pollution.

Go Euro, a travel-booking startup based in Berlin, secured $150 million in a new round of financing led by Swedish venture capitalist Kinnevik and Singapore’s Temasek.

Talanx, Germany’s third-largest insurer, forecasts its earnings per share will increase by an average of 5% each year until 2022.

Bayer shares dropped 7% in Frankfurt after a US judge upheld a jury verdict that found glyphosate weedkillers sold by its Monsanto unit caused a Californian man’s cancer. The court also slashed the damages the man was awarded by more than $200 million to $78.5 million, but Bayer said it will appeal the decision.

BMW is recalling 1.6 million cars worldwide to fix a potential fire hazard caused by a flammable coolant used in its air conditioning systems.

Authorities in Essen are demanding that guarantors who helped Syrians get visas for Germany refund the benefits the asylum seekers received. Up to 300 helpers face repayments of €5,000 to €50,000 each. (WAZ)

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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.

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.

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.

linde praxair merger

Condensation

US approves $80 billion Linde-Praxair merger

The substantial divestitures required of Linde and Praxair by the FTC are also a major win for the German rival Messer Group.

why germans are investing wrong

Be careful

Why Germans stubbornly insist on making bad investment decisions

Handelsblatt’s chief economist spells out why many Germans are so risk-averse and why that’s making them poorer. They're potentially losing out on billions.

Last ride?

Doubts about Dr. Z and Daimler’s chairman succession plan

After two profit warnings in four months’ time, investors are questioning whether Dieter Zetsche, the boss of the Mercedes-Benz maker, should still become chairman in 2021.

tug-o-war

Hopes of Siemens’ Iraq deal shrink as US steams in

Four weeks ago, Siemens looked to have closed one of the biggest deals in its history. But Donald Trump seems to have elbowed the company into second place, behind General Electric.

Editors’ Pick

CEO salaries

How much German bosses really earn

Why it is better to be a male executive in the chemicals industry in Germany than a female manager in any business? A study exclusive to Handelsblatt reveals how much German leaders earn.

Dive In

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.

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?

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.

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.

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