Volkswagen shares jump after Piëch quits | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 27.04.2015
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Business

Volkswagen shares jump after Piëch quits

The surprise resignation of Ferdinand Piëch as Volkswagen (VW) chairman has given investors hope that the struggle for power at the German carmaker is finally over. Shares in the firm surged Monday.

In morning trading on Monday, VW shares soared 5.1 percent to 245 euros ($265) before falling back to about 241 euros - leading a rebound of automaker stocks across European markets.

After VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch had launched a bid to oust Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn about two weeks ago, shares in the German carmaker tumbled more than 8 percent.

On Saturday, however, it was Piëch who resigned. He had failed to muster enough votes in the VW supervisory board for his plan.

On Monday, brokers and analysts at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange said that investors were now hoping that peace would return to Europe's biggest carmaker following the two-week power struggle.

DZ Bank analyst, Michael Punzet told the news agency Reuters that he saw the move "positively" because it would "re-focus the company on its operating business."

Noting that the resignation came "completely unexpectedly," Bernstein Research analyst Max Warburton told German news agency DPA that he had expected markets to "react euphorically" upon the news.

Stefan Burgstaller from US investment bank Goldman Sachs told the same news agency that investors were now hoping for major reforms at VW after an "era has come to its end" with Piëch's resignation.

Remaining doubt

There are some experts, however, who do not believe the power struggle is over.

"It's highly questionable that the leadership struggles within VW have really ended," Fidel Helmer of Hauck & Aufhäuser told Reuters, adding that the 78-year-old VW patriarch would aim to "continue pulling the strings behind the scenes."

That's a perception shared by other analysts, too, said Reuters, as they were expecting the carmaker's stock price to remain "very volatile" in future.

In related news, Qatar announced on Monday that it would replace one of its two members on the VW supervisory board. The Gulf emirate, which owns 17 percent of the carmaker's shares, said in a statement that Ahmad Al-Sayed would retire from the board, making way for Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Bin Saud Al-Thani, a former military scientist and air force pilot.

uhe/nz (dpa, Reuters)

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