News Bites

General Electric plans to invest and grow in Germany, focusing on wind energy and 3-D printing, German chief Wolfgang Kieker told Handelsblatt. The US firm plans to increase staff overall despite layoffs in power plants.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said Europe was still willing to talk with the US to settle a trade dispute, but at the same time warned of an escalation into a “full trade war.” EU counter-tariffs on US products will come into force on Friday.

Some of Angela Merkel’s fellow Christian Democratic politicians suggested the CDU could launch its own branch in Bavaria, where it currently relies on its sister party, the Christian Social Union. It’s a sign the asylum row between the two allies is far from over.

Berlin is mulling tighter security disclosure laws after Chinese carmaker Geely suddenly revealed a 10% stake in Mercedes-maker Daimler in February. The government will also review whether to lower the threshold, currently 25%, at which it can block foreign investors.

The loss-making IT arm of Deutsche Telekom, T-Systems, will cut 10,000 jobs worldwide including 6,000 in Germany over the next three years, representing more than a quarter of its workforce.

Consumer product makers may have to pay a higher environmental levy if their milk bottles and chips bags are more difficult to recycle. It could push up prices in Germany.

German police faked a road accident to test how many people would stop and offer help. Officials were shocked that only one in 10 drivers pulled over and came to the rescue.

To counter the impression that Germany was earning money by bailing out Greece, the German Finance Ministry published an internal paper on how the Mediterranean country has benefited from low-interest and long-maturity loans. This saves Greece billions of euros per year.

The European Union won’t create “a Guantanamo Bay for migrants” in North Africa, said the EU Commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos. The bloc plans to set up asylum processing centers at its external borders under a future common immigration policy.

Pharmaceutical companies in Germany paid €605 million to doctors and clinics in 2017, pharma’s self-regulatory organization FSA said. While expenditures are up, fewer recipients agree to be identified.

Donald Trump’s tariffs on European steel and aluminum go “against all logic and history,” EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, adding that the EU will do whatever is needed to safeguard itself.

VW Truck & Bus could raise more than €6 billion when it lists on the stock market, CEO Andreas Renschler said. An IPO could take place in the summer of 2019. (Manager Magazin)

Allianz refuted a report saying the insurer would cut at least 5,000 jobs in Germany. Automation process might lead to job losses in the future, but the number was fiction.

At a meeting with Jordan’s king Hussein al Abdullah in Amman, Angela Merkel said Iran displayed “aggressive tendencies” in Syria and Yemen, where “we urgently need solutions.”

Siemens plans to reduce the number of businesses servicing industrial customers to three from five. The engineering firm said it continued to develop its strategy, but it had not made any decisions. (Reuters)

E.ON boss Johannes Teyssen said he would relinquish his post at the utility at the end of 2021, when his term expires. (Manager Magazin)

VW will invest an additional $100 million in Californian startup QuantumScape, making it the biggest automotive shareholder. The two companies will form a joint venture to produce solid-state batteries by 2025.

The European Commission plans to decide by August 24 whether to approve the $80-billion Linde-Praxair merger, two weeks later than previously announced.

Germany announced it will reduce its third-quarter bond issues by €6 billion thanks to higher tax proceeds. German debt prices rose and yields fell.

German blue-chip executives earned 10 times as much in 2017 compared with 1987, making €4.4 million on average. Their annual pay was 58 times a company’s average salary, whereas the ratio was 15 in 1987. (WirtschaftsWoche)

The CEO of Beiersdorf, Stefan Heidenreich, will not renew his term next year and might leave the maker of Nivea skin cream earlier. Executive Stefan De Loecker will be his deputy as of July 1. The stock fell 4%.

Audi’s suspended boss, Rupert Stadler, will remain in jail. Prosecutors weren’t satisfied with their first interrogation of the executive, who is suspected of influencing witnesses in a Dieselgate investigation.

The US administration’s controversial treatment of immigrants crossing the Mexican border could be a turning point and a serve as a wake-up call for Americans, former FBI head James Comey told Handelsblatt.

Family-owned companies are displeased with Angela Merkel’s fourth administration, giving it grades between “barely satisfactory” and “fail.” The government, 100 days in office on Friday, is lacking a long-term vision, managers said.

Small companies will be able to raise more money – up to €8 million instead of only €100,000 – through a stock sale without the usual elaborate paperwork, according to a German draft law.

The number of Germans earning more than €1 million annually rose almost 10% to 19,000 in 2014, according to the latest government data. On average, they earned €2.7 million and paid €895,000 in income taxes.

Deutsche Bank’s US operations might again fail a US stress test, analysts said. It could further damage its reputation and weigh on the bank’s stock price.

The European Court of Justice ruled Germany has done too little to reduce high levels of nitrates, a fertilizer, in groundwater. Nitrate is a health risk when it turns into nitrite or carcinogenic nitrosamines.

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VW boss Herbert Diess has tried to poach managers at his former employer, BMW, to find a new head for VW subsidiary Audi, Handelsblatt learned. BMW development head Klaus Fröhlich and others weren’t interested.

A likely trade war between the US and China prompted Daimler to issue a profit warning, sending its stock down 4%. Higher costs due to new EU emissions tests, a recall of diesel cars and lower demand in Latin America will also weigh on earnings.

Germany has earned €2.9 billion since 2010 thanks to the financial bailout of Greece. German and other central banks bought up Greek debt as part of the rescue, earning them billions in interest payments. (DPA)

US cloud data firm Teradata sued SAP for theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement in developing its HANA database product. SAP reserved comment.

Deutsche Bank settled a long-running dispute with New York regulators for $205 million for currency trading violations. (Reuters)

European Commission President Juncker warned ahead of a special EU summit on migration that individual country efforts would be ineffective and would damage European integration.

Germany’s automakers association VDA denied a Wall Street Journal report that they told US Ambassador Richard Grenell to propose to President Trump a removal of tariffs on autos by both the EU and the US.

Data Drama

Teradata sues SAP for trade secret theft on data analytics product

US company Teradata says German software giant SAP used a joint venture to steal secrets later used in developing its core HANA product.

News gallery

In case you missed it

Von Storch on BBC, von der Leyen in D.C., poisoned drinking water and the Germans' biggest worries.

Bad news bearish

Deutsche Bank stressing out about US stress tests

Germany’s largest bank seems doomed to fail the review by US regulators, causing further damage to its reputation and loss of key personnel.

Equity Tokens

Blockchain startup Neufund to debut equity token offerings

Berlin-based blockchain startup Neufund wants to revolutionize the way companies raise money but it may fall afoul of German banking regulations.

Editors’ Pick

Can’t please everyone

Merkel-Macron EU deal makes Paris happy but angers Bavarian allies

The Franco-German compromise may break the EU’s deadlock on asylum and euro-zone reform. But it spells even more trouble at home for the chancellor, given the resistance of the CSU’s conservative hardliners.

Dive In

Thwarted plot

First planned biological bomb attack on Germany confirmed

Alarm bells are ringing in Germany after security officials learned more about a Tunisian's efforts to create ricin and use the deadly substance for a terrorist attack.

Jailhouse blues

Audi CEO to testify to German prosecutors on Dieselgate

Audi's CEO Rupert Stadler is “ready to talk” after being arrested in connection with the emissions-cheating scandal. Meanwhile, the company's executive board is deliberating his replacement.

Pricing Snippets

EU copyright decision could change the internet’s sharing culture

EU lawmakers are about to make a landmark decision on copyright reforms that some critics see as an assault on the internet.

Bend it like Beckenbauer

The German World Cup squad shows a country lost in transition

Since 1954, German soccer has mirrored and tracked the state of Germany as a whole. And right now, that is cause for worry, Handelsblatt’s senior international correspondent muses.

shuttle diplomacy

Germany’s new envoy to US has her work cut out for her

Emily Haber is a seasoned diplomat and ready to take on the escalating tensions between Washington and Berlin.

Keep the money flowing

A German ‘Iran Bank’ could save the nuclear deal

Creating a private German Iran Bank would keep investment flowing into Iran, so that Tehran sticks to its side of the nuclear deal. The bank could even be named Deutsche.

Chinese influence

Berlin in last-ditch effort to thwart Chinese stake in 50Hertz

Chinese grid operator SGCC has signed a deal to buy 20 percent of German grid network 50Hertz — but the German government still wants to stop it.

No Bullseye

Germany will miss its 2020 climate goals, now sights turn to 2030

Germany won’t meet its CO2 emission goal in 2020. Instead of wallowing, the country’s environment minister is focusing on industry giants and its next target: a 55 percent reduction by 2030.

norwegian would

Norwegian could be a costly flirt for Lufthansa

The airline industry is abuzz with speculation that Lufthansa is considering a deal with Norwegian. But this is one takeover battle that might be better left to the competition.

Racing lower

German business demands Trump-style tax cuts

Companies urgently need to lighten their tax burden to defend the country’s competitive position, a leading business group argues. Germany risks alienating the very firms on which its finances so heavily rely.

Sense or censorship

Banning talk shows won’t stop the rise of the AfD

A state-funded cultural lobby group has proposed suspending talk shows on German TV, because their discussions about refugees supposedly boosted the far-right party AfD. It’s a preposterous idea.

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