Olaf's Feed
Dec 1, 2014
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E.ON’s “bad power” spinoff promises little upside

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

E.ON is coming clean on dirty energy. In a historic move, Germany’s largest utility is exiting conventional generation and bundling unwanted risky assets into a new company to be spun off. The remaining E.ON will concentrate on distribution and green electricity. While both management teams will benefit from focus, this “bad power” spinoff will struggle to offer a tempting investment case.

Nov 7, 2014

Allianz divi hike is bold bet on life after Gross

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Olaf Storbeck

LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Allianz’s
commitment to pay a higher dividend is an expensive piece of
investor relations by Europe’s largest insurer. The move is a
strong signal to sceptics that Allianz’s Pimco fund unit can
thrive in spite of the recent departure of founder Bill Gross.
For now, Allianz can afford the gesture. But the new policy will
be a challenge for the incoming Chief Executive Oliver Baete,
who replaces Michael Diekmann in May.

Nov 5, 2014
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German carmakers tune up the basics of banking

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

The in-house finance operations of Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are among Germany’s most prosperous financial institutions. Some rivals in auto finance, and some much larger banks, could learn from their example.

Oct 22, 2014
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Germany’s economic miracle is past its peak

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Europe’s economic powerhouse is losing its lustre. Germany is flirting with a recession that may usher in a new era of feeble growth. Many drivers of its stellar growth performance in recent years are disappearing, and misguided policies add extra burdens. So far, Angela Merkel has not woken up to the country’s fading economic miracle.

Oct 20, 2014
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Adidas can’t afford to be sentimental about Reebok

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Unwinding the ill-fated acquisition of Reebok could offer a much-needed new start for German sportswear maker Adidas.

Oct 3, 2014
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Rocket and Zalando call top of Europe’s IPO market

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Highflying hopes of a renewed surge in European new issues have been hit by two rockets. Weak market debuts for internet fashion retailer Zalando and tech company incubator Rocket Internet appear to mark an early zenith for initial public offerings in the region.

Sep 16, 2014
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No-debt mania continues to dictate German policies

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Angela Merkel’s rhetoric on higher public investment is changing for the better. But the German chancellor remains unruffled by growing calls from her euro partners and the European Central Bank to change tack on fiscal policy. Germany’s excessive focus on balanced budgets remains unchanged and is likely to prevent any swift and significant increase in public infrastructure spending.

Aug 12, 2014
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German stocks price in sanctions tail-risk

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The German economic mini-miracle is on hold. Thursday’s announcement of second quarter GDP, which was not affected by Russian trade hostilities, will probably show a decline from the weather-boosted beginning of the year. Investors are looking for worse. The 8.7 percent drop in the DAX stock index since July 3 puts it among the worst performers of major European stock markets.

Jun 30, 2014
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Evonik in $400 mln soccer deal it doesn’t need

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Evonik’s 300 million euro ($400 million) tie-up with Bundesliga soccer team Borussia Dortmund (BVB) has little merits for the company’s shareholders. Germany’s third-largest chemical company hopes that the alliance with the club will turn its brand into a global household name. The snag is that Evonik doesn’t do any business with end users.

Jun 24, 2014
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Next stop: Siemens-Alstom train merger

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By Olaf Storbeck

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Once the dust settles over the Alstom bidding war, Siemens and its French rival may want to revisit the most compelling aspect of the German company’s losing bid: a merger of both groups’ train-making units that would create the train equivalent of Airbus, the European aircraft maker.

    • About Olaf

      "Olaf is a London-based columnist covering Germany, the euro zone and economics. He joined in November 2012 from Handelsblatt, Germany's business and financial daily. Olaf co-authored the award-winning book "Economics 2.0 – What the Best Minds in Economics Can Teach You About Business and Life" and wrote the book "Die Jahrhundertkrise". In 2012, he received the Friedwart Bruckhaus Award of Germany's Hanns Martin Schleyer-Foundation. Follow Olaf on Twitter: @OlafStorbeck"
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