News Bites

Deutsche Bank shareholders rebuffed Chairman Paul Achleitner at the annual meeting with a vote of confidence of only 84.4 percent, well below the 90 percent considered the minimum satisfactory level. (Reuters)

EU finance ministers reached a compromise on bank capital that allows regulators to require an 8 percent level for some banks when deemed necessary and a lower ratio of 6.75 percent for others.

The director of transport at the Environmental Protection Agency, Christopher Grundler, told Handelsblatt the US is networking with other nations to toughen emission testing. He said Volkswagen’s corporate culture remained unsatisfactory.

Germany’s financial regulator, Bafin, is looking into the spike in ThyssenKrupp shares Tuesday on rumors that Paul Singer’s Elliott Management was acquiring a stake in the DAX company.

Deutsche Bank shares fell toward their all-time lows, closing down 5 percent at €10.38, after CEO Christian Sewing failed to inspire confidence at the annual meeting with his pledge to cut costs.

Carmaker Daimler used an illegal shut-off device for emissions control in its Vito vans, according to Germany’s Motor Transport Authority, which is demanding a recall. The company rejects the accusation.

Ten families from five EU countries, as well as from Fiji and Kenya, are suing Brussels over its weak climate targets, saying their rights are being violated even if they live outside the trading bloc, said eco group Germanwatch.

A slowdown in euro-zone growth, which has nearly halved since the start of 2018, has the ECB worried about a more pronounced drop, as risks to the economic outlook for all member states have increased.

AfD voters are more pessimistic than other party voters, with 83% seeing dark days ahead if the country continues on its current path, according to a survey by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

There have been 67 confirmed cases of measles in Cologne this year, the worst outbreak in 16 years. Most people infected with the highly contagious virus are between 20 and 25 years old.

German retail company Peek & Cloppenburg used a Nazi-related slogan “Jedem das Seine” – “to each his own” – in an advertising campaign. The cynical words appeared on the entrance to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Deutsche Bank confirmed it will cut more than 7,000 jobs, with its equity business reduced by 25%. Reports yesterday suggested the figure would be closer to 10,000.

US President Donald Trump ordered the Department of Commerce to examine whether car imports are a threat to US national security. He is reportedly considering a 25% import tax on vehicles and parts.

Berlin is reportedly backing a threat by senior European Commission officials to block Britain from using the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system when it leaves the bloc. (The Times)

An attempt to defuse a World War II bomb in Dresden failed when part of the weapon detonated, causing a fire. Almost 9,000 evacuees must now wait for another attempt when the bomb has cooled.

Some 5,548 failed asylum seekers were deported from Germany in the first quarter of 2018, but another 4,752 remained after their repatriation was prevented. In many cases, pilots refused to fly them home. (Funke Media Group)

A Paraguayan tribe has taken over the search for a missing Austrian traveler after officials failed to locate him. Wilhelm Wabnegg was last heard from in the Defensores del Chaco park on May 2.

The number of British firms relocating to Germany jumped by 20% in 2017 to 152. The Germany Trade and Invest agency said Brexit was behind the increased investment. (Reuters)

Bayern Munich, Germany’s biggest soccer club, is the fourth-most valuable club in Europe at €2.55 billion. Top was Britain’s Manchester United at €3.25 billion, a KPMG study found.

Former Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan was fired in April due to the supervisory board’s discontent with his management and a “series of indiscretions,” revealed chairman Paul Achleitner.

Want something done in Germany? Go to Ingolstadt in Bavaria. The city’s Audi factory has the highest productivity per employee in Germany, a study by the Ifo research institute found.

Last year, more apartments were built in Germany than at any time since 2002. Completions rose 2.6% to 284,800, but critics say this is still inadequate.

Apple reportedly signed a deal with Volkswagen to equip VW vans with its self-driving technology and use them to transport staff at its California HQ. The tech giant abandoned its own attempt to make an electric vehicle in 2016.

Germany’s economy stuttered in the first quarter as GDP grew by the lowest rate for 18 months. It was up just 0.3% on the previous quarter.

Consumer confidence in Germany is predicted to fall in June, its second successive drop. The GfK barometer forecast a decline of 0.1 points to 10.7.

Germany and China will strengthen their ties in the high-tech sector, especially in self-driving vehicles, said Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is visiting Beijing, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest telecoms firm, will tie future dividend payments to profits rather than cash flow. As the majority owner, the German government stands to benefit most.

Germany slipped again in the annual ranking of the world’s most competitive economies by Swiss business school IMD, falling to 15th place in 2018, compared with 6th place in 2014. (Reuters)

The EU called upon Berlin to improve its tax system in order to encourage more public and private investment. Germany should also better support research, education and the broadband network.

The organizer of the Love Parade was questioned in court as part of an investigation into what went wrong at the event in Duisburg in 2010, when 21 people were killed and hundreds more injured.

Fearful of a transfer union, 154 economists and professors wrote to a German daily warning against French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals for a shared European budget and a single finance minister for the euro zone. (FAZ)

Health Minister Jens Spahn presented a plan to create 13,000 new posts in nursing care.

Legal eagles

Could the EU really break up Facebook’s monopoly?

This week several EU politicians suggested Facebook be broken up. The Zuck should worry, as Europe has a history of taming tech giants.

News Gallery

In case you missed it

A tricky shell, diverging paths, handshakes in China and the value of soccer.

spare change

Shell helps German battery maker Sonnen rake in €60 million

The oil giant's investment joins a series of green projects by fossil-fuel companies to fight global warming. But they aren't moving fast enough.

Naughty, naughty

EU scolds Germany (again) for low investment, high taxes, and more

Brussels takes Berlin to task for deficiencies in economic and fiscal policy, but the critique is likely to fall on deaf ears as it has in the past.

Editors’ Pick

Ties that Bind

America and Germany are about so much more than Trump

If the American-German relationship can survive US President Donald Trump's term, it'll be stronger than ever, write three policy experts for Handelsblatt.

Dive In

Bureaucratic meltdown

Bribery scandal shines new spotlight on Germany’s refugee policy

The head of the refugee authority, BAMF, is under investigation over alleged corruption and a cover-up involving more than 1,000 dubiously approved asylum applications. Opponents of Angela Merkel’s open-door policy are scoring easy political points.

Think small

From VW to Siemens, German businesses join spin-off boom

Corporate divestment is en vogue and fueling a surge in mergers and acquisitions around the world. Notoriously cautious Germany has joined the frenzy with Daimler, Continental and others considering breakups.

Rules, rules, rules

German politicians warn Italy’s new government

As Italy awaited the nomination of a new prime minister, German lawmakers warned the country’s incoming populist coalition of “playing with fire.” Its policies pose a risk to the euro zone.

Trans-Atlantic rift

Germany in the age of Trump

As the foreign ministers of Germany and the US meet in Washington for damage control, a foreign-policy expert ponders what Germany should do now that Donald Trump has cancelled the "partnership in leadership."

Playing with fire

Germany’s main opposition party is talking just as Hitler did

The far-right AfD routinely uses words that were employed by the Nazis to trash critics and stir up hatred, a German linguist says. That’s causing concern among politicians as well as security officials.

defying the donald

German banks stand by Iran despite ‘strongest sanctions in history’

Six small credit unions in southern Germany are still processing payments to Iran, undaunted by the wrath of Trump.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

Extracting concessions

New populist coalition puts Italy on collision course with EU

The new governing accord of Italy’s two anti-establishment parties poses the biggest challenge to the European Union since Britain voted to leave the bloc two years ago. Germans fear a financial blackmail of sorts is coming.


Profit and Loss Check

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

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