Latest articles from Germany

Martin Blessing

February 2, 2005

board member, Commerzbank
If ever someone was destined to become chief executive of one of Germany’s top banks, arguably it would be Martin Blessing, board member at Commerzbank.His grandfather Karl was president of the legendary Bundesbank between 1958 and 1969, and his father Werner was a board member at Deutsche Bank.

German M&A picks up with big acquisition deals

January 3, 2005

Merger and acquisition activity in the German banking industry is picking up, after nearly four years of standstill. As 2004 ended, two major acquisitions were announced in private banking and wealth management – a business that generates plenty of money for banks in Germany.

Structured finance lifts credit clouds over SMEs

November 4, 2004

Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprises are turning to structured finance products to provide the credit they sometimes struggle to find, says Jan F Wagner.
German bankers may not like to admit it, but for the first time in post-war German history, the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), known collectively as the Mittelstand, face a credit crunch.
According to a new survey by KfW, the government-owned development bank, nearly half the Mittelstand say that obtaining a bank loan – its main means of finance – has become “considerably more difficult”. KfW also found that three-quarters of the SMEs turned down for a loan would have paid a higher interest rate to get it.

New exchange offers credit risk solution

November 4, 2004

DEUTSCHE KREDIT BÖRSE (DKB), a new exchange enabling banks and other financial institutions to trade single corporate loans so that they can better spread credit risk, has gone live in Germany.

French savings merger spawns a global player

July 2, 2004

French government efforts to encourage mergers between state-owned and private banks are paying off, says Jan Wagner. But Germany’s Sparkassen are resisting efforts to get them to follow suit.

Germany’s VDH takes control of European covered bonds dispute

June 2, 2004

German mortgage banks are campaigning to develop a common legal definition and standard for covered bonds. The dispute was sparked last year by three UK banks issuing covered bonds which do not legally qualify as this asset class.

German efficiency deserts banking sector

May 3, 2004

With an already fragmented banking sector and state-owned banks reluctant to change, Germany will remain behind its European peers.

Less ambition, more success

May 3, 2004

Jan Wagner finds that the global banks aiming to expand into Germany should opt for niche markets.

Pan-European M&A unlikely but Germany in need of consolidation

April 5, 2004

Despite the kickstart to merger and acquisition (M&A) given by two high-profile US deals, a report from Fitch Ratings last month stated that a growth in cross-border consolidation among financial institutions in Europe is unlikely. The report said that Europe was still fraught with regulatory, fiscal and cultural barriers, “not to mention a lack of any realistically achievable synergies”.

Volkswagen predicts ‘lousy’ first quarter

April 5, 2004

In the wake of a tough market and a poor reception for its new-look Golf, German carmaker Volkswagen has revealed a downbeat outlook for 2004 and announced plans to cut expenditure by 10%. Yet, it seems, analysts are still sceptical. Geraldine Lambe reports.

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