European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Jul 5, 2015

German exporters eye lucrative deals in post-sanctions Iran

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, July 5 (Reuters) – Martin Herrenknecht,
founder of a company in southern Germany that is a world leader
in tunnel-boring equipment, has been carefully preparing for the
day when Iran reopens for business.

He recently visited Tehran, meeting officials in the energy
ministry and sewage department. Before Western sanctions hit,
Herrenknecht, which carries its 72-year-old founder’s name, did
10 million to 15 million euros ($11 million-$17 million) of
business a year in Iran.

Jul 1, 2015

German industry starts to advocate Greek exit from euro zone

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German industry is beginning to call for Greece to quit the euro zone, having already pared back what business it had there, and now fearing that a continuation of the crisis could spoil a nascent recovery in the rest of Europe.

    “A Greek exit from the euro zone can no longer be taboo,” said Matthias Wissmann, president of the powerful German automotive industry association VDA.

Jun 18, 2015

Germany’s Bilfinger warns again, lops off ailing Power unit

FRANKFURT, June 18 (Reuters) – German engineering services
firm Bilfinger plans to sell the power-plant unit
blamed for six profit warnings as a first step in what could be
a more drastic restructuring, its chief executive said two weeks
after taking over.

Germany’s policy switch towards renewable energy has caused
upheaval in its power market and hurt Bilfinger’s utility
clients, squeezing the company and exposing internal failings.

Jun 17, 2015

Bilfinger cuts losses with sale of Power business

FRANKFURT/METZINGEN, Germany, June 17 (Reuters) – German
engineering services firm Bilfinger plans to put its
Power business up for sale, its new chief executive said on
Wednesday, cutting its losses after five group profit warnings
in the past year.

The loss-making unit, which accounts for about a fifth of
Bilfinger’s total output and employs 11,000 people, has failed
to keep pace with upheaval in Germany’s energy sector that has
hit some of its biggest clients, while forays abroad have had
little success.

Jun 12, 2015

BMW sales fall in China for first time in decade

FRANKFURT/MUNICH (Reuters) – Passenger car sales for the core BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) brand in China fell 5.5 percent in May, their first decline in over a decade in the world’s biggest car market.

Combined with sales of the Mini brand, which rose 17.8 percent, BMW’s China sales fell 4.2 percent, compared with a 0.6 percent increase in April.

Jun 10, 2015

HeidelbergCement chooses shareholder payouts over acquisitions

BERLIN/STUTTGART, June 10 (Reuters) – Germany’s
HeidelbergCement said it would return more cash to
shareholders and be “disciplined” about acquisitions, having
chosen to stay out of a merger between rivals Holcim
and Lafarge that is reshaping the industry.

The company, which has met significant debt reduction and
other financial targets it set in 2009, said on Wednesday it
would focus on raising its dividend, expanding the company,
cutting debt further and possibly buying back shares.

Jun 9, 2015

Merkel urges Germans to put aside fear of big data

BERLIN, June 9 (Reuters) – Germans need to overcome their
traditional fear of the large-scale collection of personal data
by companies and instead embrace its opportunities or risk being
marginalised in the global economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel
said on Tuesday.

In a marked shift in tone by Germany, one of the most vocal
critics of the practices of U.S. web giants such as Google
, Merkel urged the so-called Mittelstand of
family-owned companies in particular not to be left behind.

Jun 9, 2015

RWE talks with Abu Dhabi investor focus on renewables, not stake

BERLIN, June 9 (Reuters) – Talks between RWE and
an unnamed Abu Dhabi investor are focused on joint renewable
energy projects in the Gulf region and are not about the sale of
a stake in the German utility, its chief executive said on

RWE, under pressure from shareholders to tap new growth
areas, said in March it was in talks with a Gulf-based investor
about several forms of cooperation, adding nothing could be
excluded in terms of outcomes.

Jun 8, 2015

Telefonica Deutschland’s E-Plus takeover faces legal challenge

FRANKFURT, June 8 (Reuters) – German regional wireless
operator Airdata has filed a challenge with the EU General Court
to Telefonica Deutschland’s 8.6 billion euro ($9.6
billion) acquisition of E-Plus.

The takeover completed last year reduced the number of
national mobile carriers in Germany to three from four, leaving
Telefonica Deutschland competing with Deutsche Telekom
and Vodafone.

Jun 5, 2015

Iranian entrepreneurs thirst for foreign funding, expertise

BERLIN (Reuters) – Tohid Tasoujian is a co-founder of online fashion store Taxi Moda and one of a growing breed of Internet entrepreneurs in sanctions-hit Iran.

He set out his stall this week at a conference of more than 80 Iranian start-ups in Berlin, the biggest event of its kind outside Iran, as the country gears up for a possible easing of sanctions imposed because of its nuclear program.

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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