Business Briefs | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 27.05.2003
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Business Briefs

Ariane rocket gets a boost, the Euro hits an all-time high against the U.S. dollar, German canned beer sales are down, and Sixt launches a discount car rental firm.


The Euro has hit and all-time high, which is bad news for Eurozone exporters

Ariane Rocket gets EU boost

The European space rocket, Ariane 5, was given a fresh boost on Tuesday as ministers freed up hundreds of millions of euro to keep the project afloat. Meeting with European Space Agency officials in Paris on Tuesday, European science and research ministers agreed on the package, which also ensures that the Galileo satellite navigation project goes ahead as planned. The 10-ton Ariane 5 crashed during its first flight last December. Its failure had threatened all other EU space projects.

Euro at all-time high against dollar

The Euro hit an all-time high against the dollar, peaking at $1.19 by midday Tuesday. The European single currency which reached the highest levels against the dollar since its launch in 1999 also rose against the Japanese Yen and U.K. Sterling. Analysts said higher interest rates in the euro zone than in the U.S. had prompted investors to shun the dollar and hold euro instead. A strong euro is bad news for EU countries as it makes them more expensive. In contrast, a weaker U.S. dollar makes American exports more affordable in overseas markets.

Radeberger hurt by can deposit law

German beer producer, Radeberger said Tuesday all canned beer producers are experiencing a massive sales drop of up to 70 percent following the introduction of a new can deposit law in Germany. “In federal states, like Bavaria which are good at recycling, there is less of a problem,” Radeberger chairman of the board, Ulrich Kallmeyer said. “In cities which aren’t so good at recycling, specifically in Berlin, Hamburg and Dortmund there are more losses." The new can deposit law, which went into effect in January this year, is intended to protect the environment. Canned drinks have become more expensive as producers are now required to charge a 25 to 50 cent deposit on a range of goods sold in disposable packaging.

Sixt launches budget car rentalGerman rental car firm, Sixt intends to attract more customers with the launch of its budget car rental, “Sixti”. From tomorrow, the new daughter firm of Munich-based Sixt will rent smaller vehicles such as the Smart car for €5 per day. Slightly larger models, such as the Ford Focus will rent at around €8 a day, Sixt’s chairman of the board, Erich Sixt announced on Tuesday. Customers must book vehicles on the Internet or by telephone and must return the car with a full tank of gas.