News Bites

The European Commission has taken the unprecedented step of rejecting Italy’s 2019 budget because of Rome’s plans to increase its public deficit to 2.4% of GDP and its failure to curb debt.

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 parliament.

Income inequality in Germany increased between 1993 and 2013 despite a steep rise in salaries, a new study found. This is largely because rising housing costs have disproportionately hit lower-income groups.

German students from poorer social backgrounds are less likely to get a degree than their counterparts in other OECD countries, a new study found, showing that Germany’s schools are among the most unequal in Western Europe.

Next year’s 5G spectrum auctions could generate up to €5 billion, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz estimated.

Production of Airbus‘ best-selling A321 aircraft at its Hamburg plant is delayed thanks to bottlenecks. The European planemaker is struggling to meet its goal to deliver 800 jets this year.

Ryanair will no longer serve Düsseldorf airport as it plans to transfer take-off and landing rights to its subsidiary Laudamotion, which it recently bought from Air Berlin.

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UBS rescinded a staff warning discouraging travel to China.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.

Demand for corporate, consumer and home construction loans in the euro zone was higher in the third quarter than in the previous three months, according to a European Central Bank poll.

Environmental groups condemned as “morally and legally unthinkable” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s proposal to not impose diesel driving bans in cities if air pollution only moderately exceeds the limits.

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)

Frustrated about forking over a fortune to insure that convertible you only drive on summer weekends? Two Berlin startups, Emil and Friday, are offering “pay as you drive” insurance.

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A lengthy drought caused water levels on the Rhine to fall to an all-time low, and that’s disrupting shipping, and hampering manufacturing operations and power generation.

future investment initiative conference, saudi arabia

Arabian angst

Kaeser cancels Saudi trip despite Siemens’ ties to conference

The CEO's last-minute decision shows the dilemma facing German companies, bidding for billions in contracts while disturbed by Jamal Khashoggi’s death.

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.

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

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.

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?

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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