Deutsche Bank reportedly eyeing Citigroup German unit

Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, is in talks to buy the German subsidiary of US banking giant Citigroup, Citibank, WirtschaftsWoche magazine reported on Friday.

Deutsche Bank wants to merge the credit operations of Citibank with those of Norisbank, which Deutsche Bank acquired in 2006, the i>WirtschaftsWoche magazine said in its edition to appear on Monday.

The German group signalled its interest in the German activities of Citigroup in late April. Citigroup has suffered heavily from the meltdown in the US subprime – high risk – mortgage sector and has been looking to sell assets as a result.

Germany’s second bank, Commerzbank, has also expressed an interest in Citibank, which has 3.25 million customers and 340 branches in Germany. Citibank would provide any new owner with a chance to boost its presence in the retail banking sector.

A Citibank spokesman refused to comment on the report, apart from recalling that Citigroup is considering different options for its retail banking operations in Germany. Deutsche Bank likewise had no comment.


Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.