#82 Less German-Ness

You have certainly heard of Adidas, Bayer, Henkel, Linde, or Siemens – all German companies and major players on world markets and a major source of pride for most Germans. Well, think again. It’s been a while since I read this feature about foreign ownership of German companies in a German weekly. For the vast majority of the 30 largest German companies that are part of the DAX stock index, foreign ownership has increased between 2001 and 2008. The smallest increases were at Deutsche Bank (3.8 %), ThyssenKrupp (9.2 %), and Volkswagen (9.9 %), and the largest at energy giant RWE whose foreign ownership shot up by 200 % (from 15 % to 45 %), Deutsche Post (233.3 %), and steel giant Salzgitter which increased foreign ownership almost five-fold. The only company where foreign ownership actually decreased was Lufthansa, where it fell by 33.1 %. On average foreign ownership for the largest German companies listed in the DAX rose by an astonishing 97.9 %. What’s most interesting is that for 21 of the 26 companies for which data is available foreign ownership is larger than 40 %. For 15 it is even larger than 50 %. Professor Ghemawat is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but this sounds all pretty global to me….

German DAX 30

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