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?

News Bites

Deutsche Bank boss Christian Sewing canceled plans to attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia, after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey. (Reuters)

Opel must recall 96,000 diesel vehicles worldwide for an emissions-curbing refit, Germany’s motor vehicles agency KBA confirmed. The Transport Ministry had previously estimated around 100,000 vehicles were affected. Opel said it had already refitted 23,000 of them “voluntarily” in Germany.

Saudi Arabia is Germany’s second-biggest customer for arms despite Berlin’s pledge to halt exports to countries involved in Yemen’s civil war. In the first nine months of 2018, the Saudis ordered €416.4 million worth of weapons from the Germans, behind only Algeria at €741.3 million. (DPA)

Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, said on Friday that third-quarter pretax profit fell to €2.488 billion from €3.409 billion a year earlier, and warned that full-year earnings would be “sharply below the year-earlier level.” The share fell as much as 5%.

Daimler chiefly blamed legal and other costs related to Dieselgate as well as delivery problems for its darkened earnings outlook. Back in June, the company forecast 2018 earnings would be slightly below the year-earlier figure.

In September, the European Central Bank began demanding a weekly liquidity overview from certain lenders that face rising refinancing costs, including NordLB. (WiWo)

The European Commission is set to approve rules for a special automotive wireless technology known as ITS-G5, giving Volkswagen and Renault, who have pursued this technology, an edge over Daimler and others who invested instead in 5G networks. (Reuters)

Germany’s No.2 lender, DZ Bank, is finalizing the sale of parts of its troubled transport financing division, DVB Bank, months after struggling to sell the whole business, sources familiar with the matter said. (Reuters)

In the run-up to Brexit, more former German passport-holders in the UK want their old citizenship back. Last year, there were 1,824 such applications in Britain, up from 760 in 2016 and 59 in 2015. In the first nine months of 2018, the number was 1,147. (Zeit)

The popularity of Germany’s ruling coalition is plumbing new depths. If national elections were held this Sunday, the conservative CDU/CSU alliance would poll 25%, while its coalition partner SPD would hit 14%, both down 1 point from last week. (ARD Deutschlandtrend)

Software AG, Germany’s second-largest IT firm, will unveil a new strategy next February that may entail acquisitions in data storage, said CEO Sanjay Brahmawar. On Friday, the shares rose as much as 5.2% after the company said third-quarter operating profit rose 8% to €54.5 million.

Justice Minister Katarina Barley urged hardware retrofits of diesel vehicles to ease pollution and prevent further diesel bans. Last week, Berlin became the latest German city to block some of its roads to older diesels.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, next Wednesday is expected to report its third-quarter pretax profit fell nearly two-thirds, to €328 million from €933 million a year earlier. (Reuters)

The IPO of Primepulse, owner of Munich-based IT firm Cancom, on November 6 will raise up to €155 million, down from a previous estimate of €250 million. Primepulse, a private equity investor, will use the proceeds to buy Mittelstand companies.

Masked men robbed an armored car near Berlin’s central Alexanderplatz early Friday morning, shooting at a police car as they fled. No injuries were reported.

Porsche, part of the VW group, ruled out taking the luxury carmaker public. Earlier, Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke sparked talk of an IPO after praising the effects of Ferrari’s stock listing.

The head of industry association BDI, Dieter Kempf, warned a hard Brexit was increasingly likely as the UK’s negotiations on leaving the EU dragged on. “We’re peering into the abyss,” he said on Friday.

Germany’s military will end its jet reconnaissance missions against the extremist group IS in Iraq and Syria in 2019, the Bundestag decided on Thursday.

The Bundestag agreed to raise truck tolls on the country’s highways and federal roads from January, especially for loud and heavy vehicles. The increase will lift annual toll revenue by an estimated €2.5 billion to €7.2 billion.

Some 70% of Germany is still suffering from extreme drought, the German Weather Service reported. This year is likely to be among the five driest since records began in 1884.

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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.

Editors’ Pick

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.”

Dive In

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.

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.

porsche taycan electric car to take on tesla


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.

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.

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

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.

SME Power


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.

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.

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.

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.

audi dieselgate fines settlement

Costly absolution

Audi pays €800 million fine to settle Dieselgate probe

VW’s luxury car business will pay a heavy penalty to end the authorities' investigation into Audi’s manipulation of diesel emissions. It won’t be the last fine Volkswagen has to pay.

outgoing beiersdorf ceo

Global Brand

New Beiersdorf CEO is a move for continuity

Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea and La Prairie, saw its share price double in the last CEO's tenure. The new boss, recruited from the executive board, could take the company to the next level.

life insurance in germany

millennial market

Finally, German insurers offer flexible life insurance for younger customers

Life insurance policies that let clients change and suspend premium payments have been available in other countries for years, but they don’t come cheap.

Emissions cheating

Dieselgate catches up to troubled Opel

Prosecutors raided the French-owned carmaker looking for evidence of emissions fraud, threatening massive recalls and thwarting Opel's comeback attempt.

Empowering Europe

Can euro-zone reform help contain Trump?

If the EU is serious about making the euro a global currency, the trading bloc needs a single finance minister. This would be a bright response to Washington's economic warfare, writes a leading German economist.

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