Dresdner Bank reportedly to be sold

Dresdner Bank is about to be sold, possibly to the second-biggest German bank, Commerzbank, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

Dresdner Bank reportedly to be sold
Photo: DPA

The financial daily Börsen-Zeitung said a decision was expected on Friday, when Dresdner’s supervisory board was to hold an extraordinary meeting, but did not identify its sources.

“No comment,” a Dresdner bank spokesman told AFP.

According to the press report, the most likely scenario would be a tie-up with Commerzbank, while Dresdner’s parent company, the insurer Allianz, would retain a minority stake. But the deal was not finalized, and Allianz had an alternative plan waiting just in case, the newspaper said.

Allianz has never said officially it wants to sell the banking unit, but it is planning to separate its corporate and private activities. Dresdner has hit hard times owing to the US subprime home loans debacle and subsequent international financial crisis.

Last week, the regional French bank Credit Mutuel said it would pay €4.9 billion ($7.8 billion) for the German subsidiary of US giant Citibank, a move seen as a signal that a long-awaited German banking sector consolidation was now underway.

Dresdner Bank and Postbank, which has the biggest German retail banking network, are logically the next targets for a takeover, and Postbank’s parent company Deutsche Post has said it is in talks with potential buyers.


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.