Tag Archives: handelsblatt

Kloeckner chief announces acquisitions of other

FRANKFURT. "A significant part of the financial resources with the proposed transaction, exhausted, yet still provides funds for further acquisitions would be available," said chief executive Gisbert Rühl the Handelsblatt. The focus now is Brazil, and smaller acquisitions in the U.S. was possible.

Last camped at the Duisburg group of around 700 million euros in the acquisition fund. This will fill up quickly again Rühl to progress along the growth path. "In time we will again enter the capital market." Already in the past, Klöckner had worried about the new issue new money. Since going public four years ago, the company has taken over 22 competitors and was so has gone to Europe’s leading steel trader.

With the purchase of Macsteel, the largest acquisition in company history, Klöckner be improved in the U.S. to third place. Its goal was achieved. Further acquisitions in the size of Macsteel will not give it so, "said Ruehl. The private company came last with just under 1 200 employees, a turnover of 1.3 billion dollars.

"The mechanism is correct"

Handelsblatt: Mr. Fahrinkrug, you already are traded on the prediction markets?

Holger Fahrinkrug: Not today. Otherwise, I act almost daily. I usually do it at night, even if my woman is not so enthusiastic.

HB: Why do you do?

Fahrinkrug: As an economist I have a professional interest, I see the sport as well. I have to cut the ambition as well.

HB: What’s important?

Fahrinkrug: You really need two genes to be successful. For one of the analysts to make good forecasts. On the other hand, the skills of the dealer when it comes to dealing with risk and the allocation of capital. Because of the low liquidity can, for example, with short-term trading rotate much

HB: What do you mean?

The trading volume is relatively low because there are not many participants. A result, prices fluctuate more short term and one can buy and sell quickly to make profits.

HB: Can lead to good results, the prediction markets?

Fahrinkrug: Yes, other Prediction markets have shown before important elections. The predictions were good there. The mechanism is therefore correct, but still have some teething problems are resolved.

HB: What?

Fahrinkrug: A problem is the different weighting of the indicators. With bets on exports much higher profits are possible, as with other indicators. The distorted the result. I guess the first ten to fifteen players in the rankings their profits earned from export bets.

HB: Why?

Who is betting on the development of exports, and with his forecast is correct, you get a higher payout than if he bet on unemployment and correctly located.

HB: And what do you suggest for improvement?

Fahrinkrug: I would take out the exports from the standings. There are also too many random fluctuations. Another problem is the liquidity issue?

HB: What’s it all about?

Fahrinkrug: So far, it’s like that come through each payment more units of money into the game. This is reflected in the prices and means that most courses are overvalued. It is a good example of how one can well understand the basis of the prediction markets many of the processes of reality. After all, there is: the permanent nachschießen liquidity leads to an inflation problem. Without short selling, the effect would be even more extreme.

HB: The Short-selling is currently so politically controversial?

Fahrinkrug: Yes, exactly. For the prediction markets, it is very reasonable and it should be expanded because it counteracts course exaggerations.

Westerwelle hungry from German schools

HB DÜSSELDORF. Worldwide, German foreign schools increase fees. The reason: The Foreign Office were to cut the individual school grants, sometimes drastically. The World Association of German schools abroad sounds the alarm: In the last three years, the total number of German schools abroad increased from 117 to 140. This increase was still being pushed by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD). The total amount of subsidies is the same, namely a year at 168 million €. Therefore be given the individual schools for the year 2009/10 retroactively up to 80 percent less aid. likely to come off, especially in poorer countries, many students, the association fears, according to the Handelsblatt.

Also threatened in the German school abroad in Brussels "drastic fee increases of up to 1,000 € per year," warns the treasurer of the local German school, Lorenz Kodderitzsch in a fiery letter to German parliamentarians. It lacks about 600 000 €, he had to first take out a loan to pay salaries can.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (FDP) could avoid cuts, because he gets millions out of that pot of 12 billion €, which the federal government spends this legislature for additional education and research. But he would increase funding for schools abroad, he would have to cut about humanitarian aid, the foreign minister said, according to participants in the budget committee. His spokeswoman said it was able to maintain the level of expenditure for the foreign schools at all, only by special payment – and would otherwise have to cut even.

New schools were built in places like China, Russia and the Emirates. For GCIC President Hans-Heinrich Driftmann are as indispensable. "They make it easier for companies, employees with families to send in foreign countries almost 60 000 local students who are taught in addition to the 20 000 German children are German companies abroad, a important source of technical and management trainees, "he told the Handelsblatt.

The opposition is outraged. It was agreed that the schools receive next year from the special pot € 35 million more, said the SPD politician Klaus Brandner budget. That this was passing, "with the grand words of the Republic of Education did not conform". Even the Ministry of Education warns that a shift of funds "not acceptable" is. We assume that Westerwelle stick to the agreements.

Real estate funds Degi Europe is closing

DÜSSELDORF. The open property funds Degi Europe will be dissolved until 2013. Just a few days ago announced Aberdeen fund manager to open in time for the fund after two years of redemptions. But now the management came to the view that liquidity would not include the more than 30 percent, which operate at the expected opening of the fund redemptions.

The Degi Europe was launched in 1972 and was long regarded as a successful classic open-ended property funds. The end of October 2008, the fund with a current budget of 1.3 billion euros because of the turmoil in the housing market has been frozen, however. Just as a number of other funds he got into trouble because investors wanted to withdraw money, the fund’s property but could not sell fast enough to the expected prices.

The end of next week would be for the Degi fund the legally defined maximum period of two years expired for the suspension of redemptions. Management was skeptical because of recent bad news from the industry, such as the freezing of a small open real estate fund of UBS and a real estate fund of funds of the Alliance.

Moreover, it is the Aberdeen leadership assumes that shares would be exchanged for 400 million euros, which were traded on the stock market since the freezing of their new owners to share money. Now, provided the proceeds from the sale of semi-annual basis and after 19 real estate funds paid to the investors according to their shareholding. Hartmut Leser, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, told the Handelsblatt: "We will not squander the property."

With the 1.3 billion euros heavy Degi so that the second of three funds for which the two-year term ends in late October will be handled. Two weeks ago Kanam had announced to resolve the Kanam U.S. real investment. There is still outstanding, the decision by Morgan Stanley to open up the Morgan Stanley P2 Value, which lost since the closure of almost half its value and today has assets of 852 million €.

After an overview of the industry association BVI was the end of August about a dozen real estate funds in Germany is frozen, which together manage nearly 25 billion euros, primarily for private investors. A total of around 88 billion euros, according Overview applied in open-ended property funds.

EU hopes to break the market power of the auditor

BRUSSELS. EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier to take auditor on a short leash. Intent he has above all the big four of the industry: PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young had at the annual examination of companies in most EU countries have a market share of more than 90 percent. " Such market concentration mountains "systemic risk," says a Green Paper, which will introduce the Commissioner today, and the Handelsblatt is already available. On the Green Paper is the first stage of an EU legislative process. 2011, Barnier to submit an EU directive or regulation.

The auditors have to adjust to hard times. For Barnier considerable doubts as to the independence of the currently used accounting exam. EU Commissioner dislike particular, that are engaged auditors of the companies to be audited and paid. Barnier sees a "small". Therefore be considered whether the "appeal and payment of" an accounting firm in the responsibility of a third party, perhaps a regulatory body, "must be transferred. In plain English: Businesses should choose its auditors no longer himself, and the fee could be fixed by the Government.

Financial crisis exposes the problems

Such far-reaching federal intrusion into the industry in the EU Commission itself controversial. Barnier’s German counterpart Günther Oettinger already submitted a protest. Barnier’s infringement was "excessively interventionist," it says in the context of the German Commissioner. The freedom of the profession was threatened.

Barnier in turn refers to the fact that the financial crisis, major weaknesses, the auditor had unearthed. They had not received warning of the latent risks in bank balance sheets. Hence, some EU countries have already drawn conclusions and to adopt strict rules for auditors.

Company must submit its balance sheet in France two auditors. Such a "double check" could be needed anywhere in the EU, says the Green Paper. The Commission will also require companies to rotate their auditors regularly. There is no such principle of rotation in the EU legislation already on rating agencies.

Barnier to intervene deeply in the business model of the auditor. The Commission will examine whether a ban on parallel consultation was possible to test, says the paper. The "possible outcome" of this test could be that in future "clean audit firms’ admit. Would lead to a ban on consulting accountants, would have far-reaching consequences. Because prices for audit services to be broken up to 30 percent, build PwC and Co., the consulting business of solid. Sun PwC Germany in 2009 was € 680 million while sales of financial statements which is already € 310 million with consulting.

The customer structure of the auditor wants to change Barnier. A company should assemble by any customers too dependent. Why should the "share of the fees for a single client" are limited to the total revenue. Barnier also wants to reform the management of the examiners. They should – as already today the rating agencies – independent supervisory board members appointed at the head of their companies.

The Green Paper also questioned whether the large accounting firms could only remain in possession of partners. After examining errors could lead to high claims, which the partners can no longer cover. The large auditors would therefore have "alternative structures" reflect "to capital from other sources" to obtain.

For state oversight of auditors to the ideas of Brussels, an EU agency should be responsible. National supervisors are no longer sufficient, as public accounting firms are already active internationally. Fore the European Group of Auditors? Oversight Bodies (EGAOB), work together in the national guard, will be upgraded to an EU supervisory body.

Auditors are opposing the plans

In the major auditors Barnier met with his proposals on a broad front of opposition. "Global and National has created a huge gap between the ‘big four? And other market participants," said Martin Plendl, CEO of Deloitte Germany. "If Brussels lead the examiners should take the advice, the even greater distances than before, because smaller companies often have high proportions advice."

Criticism also comes from the medium-sized auditors. "I am opposed to mandatory rotation of external auditors. In general, occur most cases liability of auditors immediately after a change of society," Marian Elle Rich, a partner with the company PKF Fasselt blow. The challenge Barnier to the big four it is not convincing. "I doubt that regulatory intervention to help medium-sized auditors to more market power."

Klaus-Günter Klein, CEO of Grant Thornton Warth & Klein speaks out against fixed fees for accountants: "That would be an excessive intrusion into the market." Klein also commented "skeptical that a European body that awards the contracts centrally, can actually contribute to greater competition among auditing firms.

A little praise is only by Klaus-Peter Naumann, CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Germany (IDW): "The fact that the EU Commission investigates after the crisis, how to improve the efficiency of the final examination, at the time and shows the importance the test for the functioning of markets. "

Some medium-sized accounting firms, of which there are several dozen in Germany found Barnier’s proposals in some ways not so bad. They hope for the dismantling of the cartel of the "big four" – so they get even better in the business of large companies. This is especially true for Germany. Here shared until recently a mere two Prüfkonzerne, KPMG and PwC, almost all the prestigious mandates in the German benchmark index DAX. Joint audits, examining a company by two companies instead of only one, as it wants the Commission, this country is the exception. Only the German Telekom (PwC and Ernst & Young) provides still a duo.

Accounting scandals: companies often find themselves in the criticism

The customers buzzing long since the business. Only the auditors are still struggling with the aftermath of the deepest downturn of the postwar period. And when it comes to the ideas of the EU Commission, after the crisis never be the same as before the crisis.

The industry is made for the collapse of banks with responsibility. For accounting scandals and bankruptcies had the auditors plug already for years with severe criticism.

The latest example: The UK regulator Financial Reporting Council (FRC) opened in June, a formal investigation against Ernst & Young (E & Y). You have to suspect the company, sloppy in checking the bankrupt bank Lehman Brothers. The British are responding to an investigative report from the U.S. that Lehman was already months before the bankruptcy on wobbly legs. Only accounting tricks with which the management of the bank disguised the true debt held, the Institute alive. The special auditor Anton Valukas accuses E & Y, to have ignored the inconsistencies in Lehman’s books too long.

Recently opened, the FRC is another case against E & Y: This involves the question of how the FSA financial examiner for the protection of customer funds have informed at Lehman. Are the UK authorities to the conclusion that E & Y had been guilty of something threatening heavy fines.

Even before Lehman there were enough cases of failure of auditors, regulatory advocates play into their hands. Criticism is always loud when companies need to sign shortly after issuance of an unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements for bankruptcy. A fortiori, the stocks are the auditors when they see the fraud by executives.

Spectacular cases undermine confidence in the profession

Shaken the confidence in the profession, especially when there are spectacular cases. Still fresh in memory are accounting scandals such as WorldCom, Parmalat, Comroad or Xerox.

In particular, the case of the American energy company Enron in 2001 accountants can now even flinch. The repeated, but not discovered accounting irregularities led to the accounting firm Arthur Andersen ultimately globally dissolved. In Germany, most of the company merged with E & Y.

A number of small, was no less spectacular, but the case of Baden Flowtex company. Again, the fraud long flourished in secret. The company sold in the 90’s drills at a price of over one million D-Mark. Most of them existed only on paper. When the air bookings were noted, the damage had already adds up to billions.

In 2003, the Italian food group Parmalat and its auditors were publicly pilloried. The Italians have masked some 14 billion euros of debt in the figures, the largest financial scandal in the country was perfect. Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi-examined today to blame the banks – despite a fine and imprisonment.

In such crisis situations, the calls grow louder for greater regulation of Certified Public Accountants industry. The Green Paper of the EU Commission is primarily a basis for discussion. Remains to be seen how strong the inspectors are limited in their work will match

Authors: Ruth Bersch, Susan Butcher, Katrin Terpitz, Dieter Focke Brock, Michael Maisch