Deutsche Bahn postpones stock listing

The German government confirmed on Thursday it was postponing the partial stock market listing of national railway operator Deutsche Bahn due to the dramatic crisis hitting global financial markets.

Deutsche Bahn postpones stock listing
Photo: DPA

In light of the “extreme uncertainly on the financial markets and to preserve a fair price” the DB Mobility Logistics unit would not proceed with the listing, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

But German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück said the government stood behind the decision to float part of the company on the stock market.

“As soon as the market conditions are conducive to a successful stock market listing we will be ready to go ahead,” he said.

The listing of a 24.9-percent stake in the railway operator was planned for October 27, but the government stood to rake in far less money with global stock markets are reeling from the financial crisis.

The German government had hoped to net between €5 and €8 billion ($7 and $12 billion) for the initial public offering, however, many analysts had begun predicting the IPO would be lucky to take in barely more than €4 billion, given the current global financial crisis.

Government sources told the DPA news agency earlier on Thursday it would be “at least a few weeks” before Deutsche Bahn would attempt the the partial privatization.

But Deutsche Bahn officials announced they would in the meantime continue searching for potential investors.


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.