Deutsche Bahn has become a casualty of Brexit after Berlin put the brakes on the state-owned railway’s plan to raise €4 billion by selling part of British subsidiary Arriva and logistics unit Schenker. Deutsche Bahn’s CEO, Rüdiger Grube, wanted to use the IPOs to pay down debt, but the German government doesn’t want its goods hawked on jittery markets. The lesson learned over past years: Too much capitalism yields negative political returns.
By 2020, China will have 272 airports, but no dominant airline to handle growing passenger loads. Handelsblatt got a glimpse of Lufthansa’s plan to capitalize on this market opening by partnering with Air China to service intercontinental flights with local connections. The deal will make the German carrier Air China’s only European partner, but whether the new alliance pays off for Lufthansa remains to be seen, with Beijing in the cockpit. Usually, it takes just one pilot to fly the plane.
It’s not only investors and antitrust officials who are scrutinizing Bayer’s takeover of Monsanto – employees in the German health care company’s own drugs and pharma business are worried too. Some fear the $66 billion deal will overtax Bayer, preventing it from investing to grow its pharma business. CEO Werner Baumann tried to calm those fears last week: “We won’t take any money away from pharma.” But savvy employees don’t fear pharma will lose money; they fear it won’t ever see a fresh cent of investment again until Bayer has digested Monsanto.
Angela Merkel’s mea culpa on Monday about the chaos her refugee policy unleashed seems to have mollified the Christian Social Union, her Bavarian sister party which would be only a regional force if not for its alliance with Merkel’s Christian Democrats. “If the chancellor can bring herself to define the limit of what our country can cope with, we’re a clear step closer to an agreement,” Ilse Aigner, a Bavarian minister, told Handelsblatt. “Unity’’ is the new byword of both Merkel and her Bavarian nemesis, Minister President Horst Seehofer. They seem to have found that key ingredient to a good, long-term partnership: They don’t love each other, but they need each other.
While anti-trade protesters were busy waving “Stop TTIP” and “Stop CETA” balloons over the weekend, they let one slip through – the European Union’s impending trade deal with Japan. The 28-nation bloc hopes to pen a deal with the world’s third-largest economy before the end of the year – and keep it out of the headlines. In the global trade sweepstakes, the best way to clinch a deal is to keep it from becoming a “cause’’ on social media. Without the web’s vitriol, there’s no air to blow up the balloons.
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