Latest articles from Germany

Volkswagen Bank

August 1, 2005

Volkswagen, the auto maker that is one of Germany’s best-known companies, has been in trouble lately. Since late June, it has been plagued by an ugly bribery scandal involving senior executives in the personnel department.

A cause for celebration

July 4, 2005

DEPFA has gone from strength to strength since it split from the Aareal mortgage bank and moved to Dublin. Jan Wagner reports from Frankfurt and Dublin on the most profitable bank active in Germany today.
Germany’s mortgage banks have been partying recently. In May, Eurohypo held a bash to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the “Jumbo Pfandbrief”. Since its introduction, the high-volume Jumbo has spawned a €600bn European market.
As the market leader, Eurohypo and its peers whooped it up. Attractions included plenty of champagne and an elephant installed in front of the Frankfurt stock exchange. Another Pfandbrief conference, replete with champagne, was hosted in June.

UniCredit’s HVB deal does not signify a trend

July 4, 2005

It will take more than the Italian bank’s takeover of the less than attractive German institution to prompt a torrent of consolidation.

Decade of daring deals puts DrKW in pole position

June 6, 2005

This year is the 10th anniversary of the jumbo pfandbrief. Famous for its security, its past is more chequered than you would imagine. Edward Russell-Walling talks to Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, which has been a top three player since the market started.

Deutsche rides on wave of euro deals

May 2, 2005

Deutsche Bank’s successful euro issuance for Brazil helped the dollar market to rally, setting the stage for it to do subsequent dollar and euro deals for a diverse range of issuers. Sophie Roell reports.
The Greeks may have won Euro 2004 but the Germans are firmly in the lead when it comes to euro issuance out of Latin America.

Deutsche and ACIC team up for joint venture in Saudi Arabia

May 2, 2005

Deutsche Bank and Saudi Arabia’s Al Azizia Commercial Investment Company (ACIC) signed a joint proposal, in mid-April, for the establishment of an investment banking joint venture.

Customers with clout

April 4, 2005

Germany’s medium-sized companies’ political clout has led to banks coming up with innovative capital-raising solutions for them, says Brian Caplen.
Refusing to lend to the Mittelstand in Germany is the fastest route to bad publicity and political outcry. These small and medium-sized enterprises account for three quarters of output in Germany, higher than in most other western European economies where large firms dominate. What’s more, they have a large political voice.
The fact remains, however, that lending to the Mittelstand at low margins does not make economic sense for banks, even if it makes good politics.

Lone Star sees the silver lining

April 4, 2005

A US fund is leading the way in dealing with Germany’s bad loan overload. Brian Caplen reports.
The great potential of German distressed debt may not be obvious to all but it is proving attractive to Lone Star, the US private equity fund that has purchased two-thirds of all the non-performing loans (NPLs) sold by German banks.
Yet with an estimated €300bn of bad loans in the German banking system and so far only €10bn sold, there is no danger of supplies evaporating.

Legislation change

April 4, 2005

Most commentators are not expecting radical change to result from either of the two key pieces of banking legislation due this year. The planned abolition in July of the state guarantees currently afforded to the Landesbanken – institutional liability (Änstaltslast) and guarantor liability (Gewährträgerhaftung) – is unlikely to bring about major restructuring.

Germany experiences a silent revolution

April 4, 2005

A lot of the groundwork for a German revival is complete. The news remains bad but then the darkest hour is often just before the dawn. Brian Caplen reports.
While the headline news about Germany’s economy remains dire and political battles continue to be fought over reforms and job losses, behind the scenes Europe’s largest economy is showing signs of restoration to at least some of its former glory.

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