Business Briefs

Bundesbank Chief, Invoking Churchill, Pleads for Britain to Remain In EU

German central bank chief Jens Weidmann urged Britain on Wednesday to remain in the European Union, invoking the E.U. support of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, ahead of a possible U.K. vote on E.U. membership in 2017, the Financial Times reported.

Mr. Weidman, president of Germany’s Bundesbank, told British business leaders to honor Mr. Churchill’s wishes to “recreate the European family,” in a speech in London.


BASF “Not Wild” About Russia Sanctions, Pursuing Gazprom Deal

German company BASF and Russian gas giant Gazprom are moving ahead with a planned swap of businesses despite pressure political pressure over Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis, the BASF chief executive, Kurt Bock, said on Thursday. Mr. Bock in an earnings conference call said he was “not wild about sanctions” against Russia, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

The deal is likely to be concluded in the autumn, Mr. Bock said. Gazprom would take over BASF’s gas trading and storage business and BASF would get control of oil fields in Siberia in the transaction.


Deutsche Bank CFO Under Pressure in U.S. Accounting Probe

Deutsche Bank’s chief financial officer, Stefan Krause, has come under fire from U.S. authorities for failing to address accounting irregularities at the bank’s U.S. subsidiary, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing investigator documents. The New York Federal Reserve has sharply criticized Deutsche Bank for failing to address U.S. financial reporting irregularities it pointed out earlier.

Mr. Krause is leading a companywide effort to clean up the banks’ financial accounting practices, but the New York Fed said the efforts so far have been inadequate, according to a letter sent to the bank in December, the newspaper reported. The probe is one of several facing Deutsche Bank, which has set aside €2 billion for potential legal settlements over the next few years.


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