News Bites

The German government approved €2.6 billion in weapons exports in the first half of the year, about €1 billion less than in the same period in 2017. Algeria was the biggest buyer, followed by the US and Saudi Arabia.

Chinese car parts supplier Ningbo Jifeng succeeded in winning control of its German peer Grammer, obtaining a 37.7% stake.

Fifty-six percent of Germans said Europe can guarantee its own safety without US support, according to a survey. (RTL/N-TV)

Online video platform Maxdome and Eurosport Player, owned by broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 and US-listed Discovery Communications respectively, won antitrust approval to merge operations.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, on his first trip abroad to Berlin, praised Germany as one of the UK’s best friends in the world. He also warned that a “No-deal” Brexit could occur by accident if EU leaders don’t show more “flexibility and creativity.”

Allianz will buy Multiasistencia, a Spanish provider of repair services, from private equity fund, Portobello Capital. The German insurer will add the service to its existing repair-in-kind products.

After a lull from January to March, Germany’s economy has picked up steam in the second quarter, the Bundesbank said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will not present concrete proposals to Donald Trump on how to solve the trade conflict. “It is a dialogue,” a spokesman said ahead of his Wednesday visit to Washington D.C.

The German economic think tank Ifo urged the European Union to take the US up on its offer to conclude a trade agreement, which would apply to large industrialized countries.

Germany finally wants a terminal to import liquified natural gas, which could make it less dependent on Russian gas and enable LNG imports from the US and other far-flung destinations, such as Qatar and Australia.

Mesut Özil resigned from the national soccer team after widespread criticism of his photograph with Turkey’s president. He condemned the racism he experienced, and lack of support from the DFB, Germany’s football association.

Mr. Özil, the German soccer player with Turkish roots, said the picture with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was not about politics or elections. “I am a German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Özil’s departure from the national soccer squad is a blow to Germany’s integration efforts and will have repercussions beyond the sport, said Germany’s former National Soccer League president Theo Zwanziger. (DPA)

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Mr. Özil’s decision to resign should be respected and praised him as a great soccer player.

Germany’s national soccer association rejected soccer player Mesut Özil’s racism allegation, saying it supports diversity and has established numerous integration projects.

The Turkish government praised Mr. Özil’s decision to resign from the German national team. The country’s justice minister said it was his “most beautiful goal … against the fascist virus.”

Bankrupt British fashion label Bench will close its 14 stores in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, as decided by the new US owner of the brand, Gordon Brothers.

JD.com, China’s second-largest e-commerce provider, plans to expand into European and US markets, boss Richard Liu told Handelsblatt.

New, stricter engine emissions test has caused bottlenecks at Volkswagen. The company will rent parking spaces for up to 250,000 vehicles, starting August. (Reuters)

Two German pharma giants, Merck and Bayer, said drug prices would not be increased in the US this year, after Trump tweeted the companies “should be ashamed” last month. Other drugmakers – Novartis, Pfizer and Roche – also froze US drug prices. (Reuters)

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The French payment services company, Wordline, says its subsidiary, equensWordline, will process payments for Germany’s Commerzbank. The parties have entered into a 10-year partnership worth over €200 million. (Reuters)

Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, of Moovel, will switch to lead the new Daimler-BMW car-sharing alliance which aims to take on the likes of Lyft and Uber. (manager magazin)

In Munich, 25,000 people demonstrated in opposition to right-wing populism and to protest the CSU’s tough stance on migration.

The SEC will fine two Deutsche Bank subsidiaries in the US $75 million for mishandling ADRs.

Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne was replaced on Saturday due to his illness. Mike Manley is the carmaker’s new CEO.

Daily Briefing

Mesut Özil and national identity

German/Turkish, French/African, Israeli/Arab: Ambiguity about identity is perhaps the biggest question open societies must answer today. Plus: Hopes for free trade, and German gas. Our briefing for July 23, 2018.

News gallery

In case you missed it

Bavarians making political jokes, diplomats making threats and the resignation that’s shaking Germany.

Energy politics

A new German gas terminal could be an opportunity for US

After years of cheaper gas from Russia, Germany finally wants a terminal to import liquified natural gas. It's better for energy security and the environment. It could also be better for the US and Donald Trump.

NATO fate lies in Trump's hands

Endgame

What would a world without NATO look like?

Yes, NATO’s military capacity is improving, but its political decision-making capacity is deteriorating in the hands of Trump, writes Sweden's former prime minister.

Editors’ Pick

Internet trolls

What happens when you talk, and really listen, to a right-wing ‘hater’

Our most passionate commenter on Facebook has repeatedly slammed us for being “fake news.” One of our editors decided to hear him out in person. The lesson: Don’t judge a book by its cover. And also: Stand up for what you believe in.

Dive In
celebrities, Thomas Piketty, World Inequality Report 2018

World Inequality Report 2018

Economists read the new Piketty report so you don’t have to

A new report by Thomas Piketty addresses growing global inequality. Where does Germany fit in? Economists Clemens Fuest and Andreas Peichl examined the data for Handelsblatt.

How to debate a populist, how to fight civilly

Civil Discourse

How to debate a populist

Even after WWII, German nationalists and communists engaged one another in mutually respectful debate. It's hard to imagine that happening today, writes Helmut K. Anheier.

thyssenkrupp shakeup

Plague of locusts

The investor attack on ThyssenKrupp damages democracy

The conglomerate is one of the prime examples of the success of Germany’s social market economy, says former vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. But now activist investors threaten both.

lübeck attack

Police arrest suspect after knife attack on bus

Officers arrested a man suspected of stabbing people in a bus in a north German town.

Innovation leg-up

Germany plans first R&D tax breaks

Unlike many developed countries, Germany’s tax system does not directly reward business investment in research and development. But that could be about to change.

deconsolidation at german companies, siemens, healthineers

Get on board or get out

Market forces drive deconsolidation at German companies

Activist investors, competition and disruptive technology are forcing slow-moving conglomerates to embrace change rather than fight it.

Don't like

Berlin warns Zuckerberg over Holocaust denier comments

The Facebook boss told an interviewer he doesn't think posts denying the mass-murder of Jews should be removed from the social network site. But such comments are a crime in Germany.

News gallery

In case you missed it

Merkel's last day (sort of), going head to head on tariffs, remembering Nazi resistance and the most powerful corporate leaders.

Risk Cover

ECB’s new rules for bad loans make good sense

Germany approves of the new regulations on how banks can deal with bad debt and reduce risk, as introduced by the euro zone’s chief banking watchdog.

vicious circle

EU imposes tit-for-tat steel tariffs, threatens retaliation for US car levies

Europe imposed a tariff on steel imports and could target coal, pharma and chemicals from the United States if Washington taxes European cars. Critics say protectionism is spiraling.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

E-commerce

Online fashion startup About You becomes a unicorn

About You, a Zalando competitor, raised $300 million and is now valued $1 billion. Its new Danish investor owns Jack & Jones and other clothing brands.

Voicing concerns

Alexa, the scourge of German retailers

Voice commerce, or selling goods using virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, is on the rise in Germany, prompting fears among traditional and small retailers.

Fighting talk

Why Europe should heed Trump’s NATO warning

Forget Donald Trump’s rantings over European allies’ defense spending – the real danger is what they’ll do when America no longer comes to their aid.

B for bubble?

Glut in BBB bonds fuels warnings of market dangers

Bayer’s €20 billion bond sale in June was in line with a trend: A debt issue in the medium-grade range. But some worry that an economic downturn could turn BBB debt into junk bonds.

Android smartphone

EU antitrust fine of Google is big but too late

The US search giant has already cemented its market dominance in Europe's smartphone sector and rejects charges it is anti-competitive.

rubber to the road

Continental splits into three units amid shifts in auto industry

The world’s second-largest car parts supplier is looking for greater flexibility as it transitions to e-mobility and autonomous driving. At least one business will get a separate listing.

german universities international students

Degree of certainty

Foreign students flocking to German universities

The number of foreigners choosing to study for degrees in Germany is increasing. The country now ranks fifth, behind the US, Britain, Australia and France, as students' destination of choice.

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