News Bites

The number of personal bankruptcies in Germany dropped to 94,079 in 2017, down by 6.8% from 2016, credit reporting agency Crifbürgel found. (dpa)

A technical glitch delayed the start of electronic trading on Frankfurt’s Xetra platform by nearly 45 minutes. The gaffe was doubly embarrassing because Friday is one of four annual “witching” trading days, a crucial day for options traders.

A reserve fund for life insurance payments increased to €60 billion in 2017 from €45 billion a year earlier. The fund was established in 2011 following the financial crisis.

Deutsche Bank employees received a total €2.3 billion in bonuses for 2017 despite a third consecutive year of losses; 50 managers took home more than CEO John Cryan’s €3.4 million salary.

Christian Bittars, a former Deutsche Bank trader, pleaded guilty to illegally manipulating interest rates as part of the LIBOR scandal, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office announced. The French national has yet to be sentenced.

The IPO price for 15 percent of Siemens’ medical technology unit, Healthineers, was set at €28 a share, at the lower end of the €26-31 spread, resulting in proceeds of €4.2 billion for the parent and total value of €28 billion for the spinoff.

The number of permits to build homes and apartments in Germany fell 5% to 300,695 last year. Excluding a steep fall in licenses for shared accommodation (including asylum homes), the drop was 1.9%.

Women in Germany earned 21% less than their male counterparts in 2017, taking home €16.59 gross per hour compared to €21. Type of job and responsibilities explain three-quarters of the difference.

Kai Diekmann, the former editor-in-chief of newspaper Bild, and the banker Lenny Fischer have launched a new investment fund, aiming to raise €20 billion from German savers.

If you want to borrow up to €50,000 from German bank DKB, you can ask a chatbot named Herbie, which will determine the loan that best suits your needs.

Mammoth listing

Technical glitch and market turmoil overshadow Healthineers IPO

Germany’s biggest IPO in almost two decades — Siemens’ multi-billion-euro listing of its healthcare unit — did not go off without a hitch.

Lightning visit

Dutch minister beats Macron to the punch on euro advice to Germany

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz’s first foreign visitor was his Dutch counterpart, who backs Berlin’s slow approach to euro reform. The meeting came one day before Angela Merkel visits Emmanuel Macron.

ECB president, mario draghi, Jens Weidmann

Handelsblatt Explains

How Jens Weidmann would change the ECB as its boss

Before the euro, Germany’s Bundesbank essentially controlled monetary policy across Europe. Could those days return with a German in charge of the European Central Bank?

ECB, euro zone, deposit insurance


Deposit insurance plans and risks, revisited

With Germany’s new government finally in place, the European Commission hopes to make progress on common bank deposit insurance. But Berlin continues to have deep misgivings.

The Monetary toolbox

Is ECB stimulus no better than a placebo?

As the ECB mulls a wind-down of its asset-buying program, economists have already begun a postmortem on its effectiveness. The central bank's mixed signals aren't helping matters.

Legal jeopardy

EU court’s rejection of arbitration may keep away investors

European Court of Justice ruling exposes EU investors to litigation in local courts that may be biased. Non-EU nations like Switzerland or post-Brexit Britain may benefit as channels for investment.

Siemens sale

Excellent prognosis for Healthineers IPO

Despite current market jitters, the €4.65 billion sale of up to 15 percent in Siemens healthcare unit Healthineers, one of Germany’s biggest ever IPOs, is two times oversubscribed.


Austrian startup excels in Bitcoin ATMs

Cointed is building a network of Bitcoin ATMs in hopes of persuading ordinary folk to buy cryptocurrencies.

Problematic structure

Expectations lowered for Deutsche Bank’s DWS IPO

Deutsche Bank expects to raise between €1.2 billion and €1.8 billion in a partial floatation of its profitable asset management subsidiary.

Corporate debt

Bankruptcies raise concerns over Germany’s Schuldschein market

More and more international companies are issuing Schuldschein debt, the German equivalent of a private placement. But defaults are growing as smaller firms borrow money in this way.


Deutsche Bank execs bid farewell to bonuses for third consecutive year

After much hemming and hawing, top managers at Deutsche Bank will forego their 2017 bonuses. CEO John Cryan made the announcement at the tech and music festival South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

DWS, Deutsche Bank, asset management

Rich no more

Asset managers see margins drop as competition bites

Traditional wealth managers, faced with growing competition from fintechs and cost-cutting by rich clients, are moving ever further away from pre-2008 profit levels.

No Dough

Germany’s safe-bet startups get capital — but they’re the only ones

In Germany, most investor funds flow into safe bets such as e-commerce. It's tougher for young technologies where real breakthroughs could happen, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain to find backers.

Banking dilemmas

Robust euro to keep ECB policy stuck on hold

The ECB is under pressure to drop its "easing bias" at Thursday’s council meeting. But the euro's strength and political gridlock in Italy speak for a no-change message.

Blockchain unchained

Germany’s ‘Wild West’ laws lure cryptocurrency IPOs

As US authorities crack down on startups raising funds through cryptocurrencies, German regulation remains weak and out-of-date, allowing shady practices to thrive.

sweden cashless society

Digital payments

Sweden sprints toward cashless society

Sweden is the most cashless society on the planet. But Germany is skeptical about the rapid transformation to a world without bills and coins.

Finance Ministry

Germany’s ‘Europe ministry’ gets a new occupant

If SPD members endorse a coalition pact this weekend, Olaf Scholz will become Germany's finance minister. But the government's second-most powerful role bears risks as well as opportunities.

transparent investing

New MiFID regulations slamming small advisories

The EU’s biggest financial markets reform in a decade is disproportionately hurting lesser firms by imposing extensive reporting requirements.

Bad Bank

HSH Nordbank sold to private equity group, ending sad chapter in German banking

The sale of the state-backed bank that foundered on shipping loans highlights once again the weakness of the sector in Germany.

5% Bonus

Overcoming Germans’ aversion to debt: free loans

Two online portals that compare loan rates are feverishly trying to get debt-averse Germans to borrow €1,000 and earn money for their trouble.

Asset Manager

Deutsche Bank ready to spin off DWS fund manager in IPO

Germany’s largest bank is looking for the best sign yet that it is on the right track to recovery with a stock placement worth up to €2 billion.

AXA's Gamble

A German CEO in Paris

Thomas Buberl has brought German-style efficiency to the French insurance giant AXA since taking the reins 18 months ago.

board size

ECB bank regulator finally flexing some muscle

The ECB says Helaba, a state-backed lender, has too many people on its supervisory board. And it wants more experts at a smaller development bank.

Changing of Guard

Deutsche Börse’s new CEO wants the ‘Drang’ without the ‘Sturm’

Theodor Weimer pledges growth but rules out a big acquisition or merger for the stock market operator.

Real Estate

Germany’s hot property market may be cooling off

Party is not quite over, expert council says, but the boom in places like Munich and Berlin may be drawing to a close.

Risk mismanagement?

The irresponsible ECB

The European Central Bank's refusal to wind down its loose monetary policy swiftly can only endanger financial stability, argues a former ECB central banker.

Euro politics

Path clear for Germany’s Weidmann to succeed Draghi as head of ECB

A consensus for Spain's Luis de Guindos to be vice president of the ECB sets stage for the head of the Bundesbank to nab the crucial top job.

Agile banking

ING-Diba to acquire fintech lender as it pushes German ambitions

The Dutch bank’s unit is targeting small and medium-sized companies with the purchase of the online credit platform Lendico.

Stefan Ingves

Watch out, banks: Regulators could get you on Bitcoin

The head of the Basel Committee of global banking regulators says financial firms should be careful about approaching Bitcoin — even if most countries can't agree on how to regulate cryptocurrencies.

reinventing insurance

Germany’s Allianz eyes revamp after weathering storms

After a horrific year of natural disasters, Europe's largest insurer aims to revitalize its business with a makeover, and possibly takeovers.

Privatization bid

US investors close in on HSH Nordbank

Cerberus and J.C. Flowers are in negotiations to buy the troubled state-owned bank, whose sale is being demanded by the European Commission. But it isn't out of the woods yet.

Fixed Income

Fund manager Pimco is back

Three years ago, Pimco lost its star investor and founder Bill Gross, and with him a quarter of its business. Since then, the Allianz-owned fund manager has been busy reinventing itself.

Bumper year

German IPO plans undeterred by market turmoil

The imminent IPO of Siemens' healthcare unit Healthineers, the biggest in Germany for decades, is on track despite recent market turbulence, while several others are likely to follow suit soon. Research suggests their prospects are still good.

sovereign money

Swiss referendum would change how banks create money

The Alpine country will vote in June on a radical overhaul of national monetary policy. The initiative has little chance of success but the world is watching.

Trade Impact

Trump tax plans on company loans, imports worry Germans

As the US president develops a bad habit of following through on his pledges, government and industry scrutinize the details.