Here you will find the latest business news in chronological order, with the latest news coming first.
Thursday, April 23, 7.20 p.m .: The EU summit approved the agreed loan support package of up to 540 billion euros for short-time workers, companies and indebted countries. The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who recently had reservations about aid from the ESM euro rescue fund, is now also supporting the package. The aid should be ready by June 1st. The EU finance ministers agreed on the package two weeks ago. It contains three points – a “safety net” for jobs, for small and medium-sized companies and for troubled countries like Italy or Spain, which are in debt anyway and are now hard hit by the Corona pandemic.
The second point is a guarantee fund at the European Investment Bank (EIB), which the EU countries are also to provide with 25 billion euros. The third element is precautionary credit lines from the European Stability Mechanism ESM. In contrast to ESM aid during the euro crisis, no savings programs are required for this “pandemic crisis aid”, there is only one requirement: The money can only be used for direct or indirect health costs. dpa
Monday, April 6, 7 a.m .: The answer to no to corona bonds remains: the two SPD ministers Olaf Scholz (finance) and Heiko Maas (exterior) confirm their negative attitude in a joint guest contribution for several European newspapers. They repeat that the ESM euro bailout and the European Investment Bank EIB should be used instead. Italy, Spain and France in particular are demanding corona bonds, i.e. joint bonds. The euro finance ministers are discussing possible instruments this Tuesday. This article explains the differences between corona bonds, ESM and EIB.
Sunday, April 5, 8 a.m .: Despite all the aid measures, Europe has to spend more money in the aftermath of the Corona crisis. For this reason, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke out in favor of massive investments in the EU budget. “We need a Marshall Plan for Europe,” she wrote in a guest post for the Welt am Sonntag. The EU budget was accepted in all member states as an instrument of solidarity-based compensation and had to be adjusted accordingly to the crisis. The Marshall Plan was a multi-billion dollar aid program from the United States that got Western Europe drawn from World War II back on its feet.
Von der Leyen was confident that Europe would recover soon: “The many billions that have to be invested today to avert a major catastrophe will tie up generations.” In this way, the feeling of community among the nations of Europe could be renewed even in the crisis. The former foreign ministers Joschka Fischer (Greens) and Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) also spoke in favor of a Marshall Plan, albeit in support of Spain and Italy to prevent a possible breakup of Europe. “Europe now needs two things: joint aid in the crisis and a joint recovery program after the crisis,” Fischer and Gabriel write in a guest post for the Handelsblatt and the Daily mirror (Monday).
“Italy and Spain will not forget Europe and especially we Germans for a hundred years if we let them down (…) now. And that is exactly what we are doing,” criticize the two former ministers. In their view, the corona virus has the potential to deepen the cracks that already exist in Europe so massively “that the Union could break apart”. In Italy in particular, there has been repeated criticism of inadequate aid from the EU.
The EU threatens to fail dramatically in this biggest test since its creation, Gabriel and Fischer said. “Instead, we are seeing that powers like Russia and China provide effective public aid to emphasize precisely this deficit in Europe. It is obvious that humanitarian and political goals are being pursued at least at the same time.” The German export ban on medical aids has been lifted and Germany is one of the countries that offer hospital beds to seriously ill patients from Italy, France and Spain. But at best this is a “drop in the bucket”. dpa
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Saturday, April 4, 8:40 a.m .: Greens chairwoman Annalena Baerbock accuses Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) of not pushing ahead with the production of important medical devices in the corona crisis. “Germany, in cooperation with our European neighbors, could quickly start a pandemic economy because so many companies have their guns at their feet,” said the dpa party leader. “It would actually be the job of the Federal Minister of Economics to gather the players together, to support their initiative and to ensure investment security for the future with acceptance guarantees.” But Altmaier “apparently doesn’t happen at all,” criticized Baerbock. “The task now is to create the conditions for steps out of the shutdown in a joint effort.” This would require more production capacities for masks, ventilators and protective clothing. “The Ministry of Economy and Health should work together with the federal states to ensure more production capacity and coordinated procurement in a task force.” dpa
Friday, April 3, 6:15 p.m .: The EU Commission has cleared the way for relief in the Loan program the federal government in the corona crisis. The Commission approved programs on Friday where Member States could, for example, grant interest-free loans or assume 100% risk liability. The maximum limit per company is 800,000 euros. The aim was to quickly meet the urgent liquidity needs of small and medium-sized companies, the commission said on Friday. dpa
Friday, April 3, 4:36 p.m .: Because many SMEs despite the federal government’s aid programs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs now wants to add more money. “We are working flat out to improve credit instruments,” the ministry said. The federal government had originally agreed to assume 90 percent of the risks if medium-sized companies with eleven to 249 employees needed additional liquidity. The respective ten banks should assume the remaining ten percent of the credit risk. This should prevent abuse, the EU Commission approved the program under this condition. In some cases, however, banks themselves were still too high in this risk. One is now talking to Brussels about improvements in terms and the release from liability, the Ministry said. Both require an approval under state aid law. Michael Bauchmüller
Friday, April 3, 3:40 p.m .: The EU Commission wants Import duties on medical devices suspend. That said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday in a video message. This affects the import of certain medical devices and devices from outside the EU. Some such products are not, or only to a very small extent, subject to import duties. Von der Leyen cites breathing masks from China as an example, which would currently be subject to twelve percent import duties. The measure should initially apply for four months. vd
Friday, April 3, 1:28 p.m .: The US President’s family business Donald Trump is in informal talks with Deutsche Bank about postponing some loan payments, a person familiar with the matter said. The global corona virus pandemic has forced borrowers and lenders to discuss debt settlement options in the face of currently enormous pressure on corporate results. The talks were previously held by the New York Times reported. A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment. A Trump Organization spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Relations between Germany’s largest bank and Trump have been under review since the former real estate tycoon became the leading candidate for the US presidency four years ago. The leadership of Deutsche Bank was so concerned about the potential impact on the image at the end of 2016, should the Trump organization fail to service around $ 340 million in loans, that it would extend the repayment dates until after the end of a possible second term in 2025 discussed, reported Bloomberg. She ultimately decided against the idea and just decided not to do any new business with Trump during his tenure. The Trump Organization has also spoken to Palm Beach County, Florida about leasing payments for a golf course the company operates, the said New York Times in the report, citing unnamed individuals familiar with the matter. Bloomberg
Friday, April 3, 7:03 a.m .: Mexico will not be one for the time being Corona Bier brew more. The government does not consider the continued operation of the brewery to be urgent, reports the parent company Grupo Modelo. Production is currently being shut down and stopped on Sunday until further notice. Should the government beer but still classified as an agro-industrial product could be brewed further. The production of agricultural and food products is in Mexico despite that coronaCrisis allowed.
Friday, April 3, 1.20 a.m .: Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil is ready to talk about an increase in short-time work benefits if companies are otherwise in need of existence in the virus crisis. “My appeal to employers in this situation is clear: don’t throw people out! You have the easier rules for short-time work with which we build bridges over this crisis. If necessary, we build them even longer”, the SPD politician said Rheinische Post. There are already many collective bargaining or company agreements to increase short-time work benefits from 60 or 67 percent (for employees with children) to 80, 90 or 100 percent of wages. “But there are also industries in which this is difficult or controversial.” The state also assumes 100 percent of the social security contributions for short-time workers.
He would talk to employers and unions about how they could pass this advantage on to employees, “but also about whether we could raise the short-time allowance again,” said Heil. The main thing is to protect those who already have low wages from unreasonable wage losses. dpa
Thursday, April 2, 8:52 p.m .: The sporting goods manufacturer Adidas, which was hit hard by the Corona crisis, needs fresh liquidity. Adidas will need credit, but no direct state aid, a spokeswoman said. She did not want to disclose the amount of the loans. The company had announced two days ago that, given the high level of economic uncertainty surrounding the Corona virus outbreak, “it was proactively taking a conservative approach to liquidity management to maintain the company’s financial flexibility in the current environment.” In the process, Adidas also stopped its planned share buyback program.
Adidas had hit the headlines this week for announcing that it would not pay its rent for temporarily closed stores. The sports merchant had justified this with enormous sales losses. After many negative public reactions, Adidas apologized and declared that it should now pay the rents. dpa
Thursday, April 2, 8 p.m .: The electric car manufacturer E. Go Mobile is running out of money. The company of the Aachen professor Günther Schuh has applied for a protective shield procedure. The district court of Aachen granted that, E. Go announced on Thursday evening. Protective shield procedures are intended to protect companies at risk of bankruptcy for three months before their creditors have access.
The corona pandemic interrupted the sale of cars and supply chains, E. Go said, and the capital market had also broken down. So far, investors such as the supplier ZF had supported the company founded in 2015. “Now they understandably have other priorities,” said Schuh. E.Go has no state bailout program: this requires banks to take over their own share; there was no bank ready for this at E.Go.
The company produces small electric cars in Aachen with entry prices of just under 18,000 euros. However, Schuh’s ambitious goals for the year had stalled before the epidemic broke out. E.Go reported component issues in 2017; In 2018, some suppliers terminated supply contracts. Benedikt Müller
Thursday, April 2, 2:30 p.m .: In the Corona Virus Crisis, unemployment claims in the US skyrocket. Last week, 6.65 million Americans made an initial application, the Department of Labor said in Washington on Thursday. With just under 3.3 million applications, the number of first applications in the previous week had already been the highest level since the collection of data, and now there is a new record.
Analysts interviewed by Reuters had only expected 3.5 million applications. Many economists assume that the unemployment rate of 3.5 percent will skyrocket in the wake of the wave of redundancies triggered by the virus pandemic: leading monetary authorities of the Federal Reserve expect an increase to double-digit figures.
The initial applications are an indicator of the short-term development of the labor market in the world’s largest economy. They now point to a dramatic economic downturn as a result of the Corona crisis. Up until a few weeks ago, the number of initial applications had regularly been below 100,000 per week. The full extent of the economic upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic is still not foreseeable. However, many analysts now fear a dramatic slump in the second quarter and a recession all year round.
The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 has brought public life to a standstill in large parts of the USA. Around three quarters of the approximately 330 million Americans are now subject to exit restrictions imposed by states. Many shops are closed, restaurants and hotels remain empty, countless trips have been canceled. Many employees of closed companies therefore have to apply for unemployment benefits. Layoffs are generally much faster in the United States than in Germany, for example. Until now, there was no regulation in the USA like short-time work benefits to stabilize those in crisis situations.
With an economic stimulus package that the US Congress plans to use to pump around $ 2 trillion into the economy, unemployment benefits, which were previously very limited, were expanded last week. Employers should now also be able to leave employees on leave for up to four months instead of firing them. During this time, the state would pay for the salary. However, the new regulation had hardly any effects on the most recent first applications up to last Friday. Reuters, dpa
Thursday, April 2, 12.45 p.m .: Together with the SPD co-boss Norbert Walter-Borjans reports Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz (SPD) from first experiences with the protective shield for employees and business. Scholz draws a positive interim assessment of the government’s aid packages. So far, around nine billion euros in aid have been applied for. Around 1,500 of 1,800 applications have already been approved. “We hope that everyone will not run out of breath.” The situation is difficult, but Germany has put together one of the largest packages of measures worldwide. This makes a supplementary budget of 156 billion euros necessary.
Thursday, April 2, 12.06 p.m .: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presents its plan to support short-time workers in the European Union. The “Sure” initiative is intended to benefit countries particularly affected by the Corona crisis, such as Italy and Spain. Loans are planned to be financed with the help of guarantees from all Member States. A sum of up to 100 billion euros is to be secured by guarantees of 25 billion euros from the member states.
She had previously admitted mistakes by the European Union in dealing with Italy in the Corona crisis and in a contribution for the Italian newspaper La Repubblica wrote: “The Union will provide up to a hundred billion euros in aid to the hardest hit countries, starting with Italy, to offset the reduction in short-time workers’ wages.”
Italy reported more deaths than any other country in the crisis, followed by Spain. The economic damage caused by the strict curfews is enormous. “It must be recognized that in the early days of the crisis, given the need for a common European response, too many thought only of their own problems,” wrote von der Leyen. “It was harmful behavior that could have been avoided.” Meanwhile, Europe has changed the pace. “We have done everything possible to get European countries to act like a team and ensure a coordinated response to a common problem.” dpa
Thursday, April 2, 10:25 a.m .: The Federal Government’s measures to rescue companies in the Corona crisis already correspond to a quarter of the annual economic output, reports Günther Bräunig, head of the state KfW bank. On behalf of the federal government, the financial institution is responsible, for example, for loan applications from companies that ask for support. “Germany is in full swing,” says Bräunig. For comparison: In China it has been four percent of economic output so far, in the United States ten percent. The corona crisis affects the economy much more than the 2008 financial crisis. “Every company is affected.” KfW has therefore continuously improved the conditions of the program. In many cases, the house banks of the applicant companies are hardly at risk: KfW is liable for up to 90 percent of the loan. Already there are 2500 applications for aid with a volume of almost eleven billion euros – 2000 of which with a volume of 750 million euros have already been committed. The number of people looking for help is likely to increase significantly: “We expect the numbers to rise sharply from Monday onwards because on Monday IT will be ready to make it possible to immediately request and access money digitally,” says Bräunig. Around 4,000 calls were received in the KfW information center every day. However, the institute does not dare to forecast the credit volume that can still be expected: the large numbers would come from the large companies that were looking for help. One thing is already known: Tui. jawi / mesc
Thursday, April 2, 0.59 a.m .: The fast-casual restaurant chain Vapiano SE applies to the competent district court in Cologne to open insolvency proceedings due to insolvency. At the same time, it will be checked whether bankruptcy applications have to be made for subsidiaries of the Vapiano Group, CFO Lutz Scharpe said. Due to the corona crisis, the ailing group’s liquidity requirements had increased significantly. The company states that, due to a lack of agreement on a financing solution with banks and major shareholders, the prospect of funding from the state aid package Covid 19 could not be applied for. All restaurants operated by Vapiano SE remained closed until further notice due to the current corona pandemic. German and international franchisees are not directly affected by the bankruptcy of Vapiano SE, said the system restaurant operator.