Daimler unveils share buyback plan

German auto manufacturer Daimler said on Tuesday it would buy back about 96.4 million of its own shares, some 10 percent of its outstanding stock, for up to €6 billion ($9.3 billion).

Daimler unveils share buyback plan
Photo: DPA

Daimler’s capital structure would also be improved by “reducing the use of equity capital, which is more expensive than debt capital,” a Daimler statement said. “This will avoid investment decisions being limited by excessively high capital costs.”

Shares acquired through the action would be either cancelled or possibly used later as part of stock option plans, the statement added. “In order to optimize the buyback, shares may also be acquired with the use of derivatives,” Daimler said.

The company’s board set a deadline of April 8 2009 for the operation, which comes following another buyback programme worth €6.2 billion that ended in March and allowed Daimler to recoup 99.8 million of its own shares. “The share buyback will be managed by a bank, which will make its decisions on the timing of individual share purchases and the use of derivatives independently and without any influence from Daimler,” the group said.

The price of Daimler shares was showing as gain of 3.75 percent to €45.32 in midday trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange. The Dax index of blue-chip shares showed a gain of 1.42 percent overall.


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.