News Bites

A man in small-town Thuringia crawled under a bed to hide from police who had a warrant for his arrest. But he got stuck, requiring the help of police, who were all too happy to oblige. (Spiegel)

Christian Bittar, a former star trader at Deutsche Bank, was sentenced to five years and four months in prison for his role in fixing interest rate benchmarks. (Reuters)

Spain has withdrawn its extradition requests for ex-regional president Carles Puigdemont, who is in Germany, and other Catalan separatist politicians.

After Mark Zuckerberg told the tech site Recode that he wouldn’t delete Holocaust deniers’ posts, Germany’s Justice Ministry said Facebook must follow European law, which considers such posts hate speech. (Reuters)

German fintech company Creditshelf went public, raising €16.5 million.

On this day 30 years ago, Bruce Springsteen played to a crowd of hundreds of thousands of East Germans in Berlin, the largest concert the DDR ever had. See archival photos at Tagesspiegel.

Commerzbank is building a “new Silk Road” with China’s ICBC. The two agreed to cooperate on $5 billion in projects in the next five years.

Valsartan, a blood pressure medication, is facing recalls worldwide because of carcinogen contamination fears. Nearly half of the 2.3 million drug packages delivered to Germany in the first three months of 2018 are affected.

Galeria Kaufhof faced €30 million in losses in its first quarter, insiders told WirtschaftsWoche. The department store may merge with rival Karstadt.

One third of German businesses could not fill all their apprenticeship slots last year, per a survey by the German chambers of industry and commerce.

Financial investments in Germany are the strongest they’ve been since the financial crisis, said EY, reaching €10.7 billion in transactions for the first half of this year. (Reuters)

German arms industry exports to Middle East crisis regions have nearly doubled in the past five years, with the support of more than €9 billion in credit from domestic banks. (WDR)

Berlin authorities have seized 77 properties worth more than €10 million connected to a crime family. Police believe they were bought with wrongful gains. (Spiegel)

Praising the changes at the top of ThyssenKrupp, activist investor Elliott is pushing for a fast outside hire to fill the recently vacated CEO seat.

The European Central Bank likely won’t increase the prime lending rate from its current 0% until the third quarter of 2019, economists said in a Reuters survey.

The Ifo Institute criticized the new protective EU tariffs, to be imposed on steel and aluminum imports, as more harmful than useful.

Autism research on nightingales, supported by €1.5 million in EU funding, has drawn protests in Berlin. Animal rights activists collected 125,000 signatures on a petition against the experiments. (Tagesspiegel)

Police have identified multiple Russian suspects in the Novichok poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, according to British media.

Germany’s constitutional court declined to hear an environmentalist group’s case against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

New figures from Eurostat show one in six Germans couldn’t afford to go on vacation in 2017. On the upside, five out of six Germans will still be getting territorial over deck chairs.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said US President Donald Trump is creating new risks with his politics. If it continues, Europeans must find a new self-awareness. (PNP)

The southern city of Mannheim is electing a “night mayor” to better serve its nocturnal residents and represent its club life. (dpa)

Jailed former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is no longer speaking with prosecutors. He cooperated when he was first arrested but has since had a change of heart, the prosecutors’ office said.

Innogy has given up its resistance to being taken over and broken up by E.ON, with E.ON keeping the network and electricity distribution operations and selling back the renewable energy business to RWE.

Picture of the day Hitler's camp A vast Nazi holiday camp masterminded by Adolf Hitler is to be officially declared a resort. Prora, built on the Baltic island of Rügen in the 1930s, consists of multiple blocks stretching for almost 5km (3 miles). It was designed to house 20,000 holidaymakers as part of the “strength through joy” mass-leisure program, but never finished. However, in recent years investors have converted it to apartments, shops and hotels, enabling officials to certify it as a resort. Source: DPA
Quote of the day Spread too thin Plenty of company’s jumped on the World Cup marketing bandwagon, but few have been as bare-faced as Nutella-maker Ferrero. A group of German MPs have complained to advertising authorities that one of Ferrero's promotions required consumers to eat 15.75kg (34.7lbs) of the sweet spread to earn a soccer ball. That’s about 9kg of sugar, and costs €100 ($116). Definitely worthy of a penalty.
Person of the day Critical Maas Although he’s only been on the job a few months, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is gaining a reputation for telling it like it is. And no more so than when it comes to Donald Trump. Asked about the US president’s multiple U-turns over his comments about Russian meddling in American elections, Mr. Maas said: “It is, quite simply, extremely difficult to craft policies when the information or facts have a half-life of 24 hours.” Source: Reuters
Graphic of the day Fine with us A quick glance at this chart shows that the EU’s huge €4.3 billion fine against Google over its anti-competitive bundling of services on Android smartphones is unlikely to hamper its dominance. Use of the Android operating system has grown exponentially since its launch, leaving Apple’s iOS far behind and consumers very limited for choice. After all, what’s €4.3 billion in a market expected to be worth €307 billion ($355 billion) a year by 2020?

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.

Editors’ Pick

Pipeline Defense

Nord Stream 2 takes center stage in Trump’s NATO performance

Trump is right that Germany’s reliance on Russian gas is worrying, but he is wrong to conflate the pipeline with NATO spending, write two policy experts for Handelsblatt Global.

Dive In

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.

eu japan free trade agreement, jefta

JEFTA

EU, Japan sign free-trade accord in rebuke to US

After the US withdrew from the Pacific trade pact, the European Union and Japan quickly joined forces to create the world’s largest free-trade zone.

Cleaned up

Germany overhauls chaotic anti-money-laundering unit

After a year of backlogs and delays in handling urgent money-laundering tip-offs, Germany’s new Financial Intelligence Unit is getting hundreds more staff, new powers and a new boss. 

Ask a German

Handelsblatt explains

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

All change

ThyssenKrupp shares soar as top-level departures signal breakup

With the departure of the CEO and chairman, activist investors appear to have won a boardroom battle over the future strategy of the conglomerate. It could be a turning point in German corporate governance.

Against the law?

Germany divided over illegal deportation of man linked to Al Qaeda

A former bodyguard for Osama bin Laden was deported despite a court order saying he could remain in Germany. Now, many are asking who ordered the deportation.

Surprise Comeback

SUV boom drags diesel out of the doldrums

Fueled by surging SUV demand, German diesel sales are edging up again after three years of decline. Driving ban fears are subsiding and the need to meet EU emissions targets is helping.

Win-win deal

German gas firm Messer profits from Linde-Praxair selloff

Linde and Praxair are selling assets to meet antitrust concerns over their merger. German family-owned industrial gas firm Messer has swooped in to purchase American operations, turning it into a global player.

eco charm offensive

E-car service Uber Green to launch in Berlin despite misgivings

Uber hopes its electric ride hailing service will find friends among environmentalists, but Germany will be a tough nut to crack.

middle kingdom

EU and China find new rapport in Beijing, amid US trade disputes

At last year’s summit, the EU and China had so little in common they didn’t even issue a joint statement. This year, the two parties are upholding “free trade and the multilateral order” in the face of the what appears to be a new common enemy.

Smoke screen

Deutsche Bank’s second-quarter profit surprise

Shares in Deutsche Bank soared on Monday following news of a surprisingly strong second quarter. But it’s far too early to talk of a turnaround.

unknown unknowns

German car supplier Brose builds a complex plan B for Brexit

Brose, a maker of auto components from Germany, is re-configuring its network of factories in 22 countries plus Britain, amid uncertainty about Brexit.

Digital Estate

German court rules Facebook content is inheritable, just like a diary

A landmark ruling from Germany’s high court has set aside privacy concerns and put digital assets on the same footing as physical assets after death.

Digital money

How soon will Big Tech disrupt the banks?

With Google set to launch Google Pay in Germany, some observers predict that Big Tech companies will corner the market in personal financial services. For others, the fear is hugely exaggerated.

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