Volkswagen's supervisory board Chairman Ferdinand Piech unexpectedly resigned on Saturday in the wake of a leadership crisis he kicked off earlier this month by saying he had "distanced" himself from Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn. Volkswagen said in a statement that Piech had resigned from his position as Chairman as well as member of the supervisory board and any other mandates within the Volkswagen group with immediate effect. Deputy Chairman Berthold Huber will temporarily assume leadership of the board until the election of a new chairman, the company said.
Deutsche Bank faces a long and costly battle, analysts say, to sell Postbank and pare investment banking, the new strategic goals it outlined late on Friday. Deutsche will face an especially difficult challenge in selling off Postbank without having to post losses. “We're worried about jobs at Postbank,” Carsten Schneider, finance expert and deputy SPD parliamentary floor leader, told Reuters. Deutsche Bank has a social-political responsibility here that extends beyond its economic interests.” Postbank could fetch close to 3.6 billion euros ($3.9 billion) if it sells for a multiple of 0.8 times a book value of 4.5 billion euros, according to analysts' calculations.
By Tom Körkemeier RIGA (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble hinted on Saturday that Berlin was preparing for a possible Greek default, drawing a parallel with the secrecy of German reunification plans in 1989. At a briefing with reporters after a tense meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Greece on Friday, Schaeuble was asked if euro zone finance ministers were working on a "Plan B" in case negotiations on funding with cash-strapped Athens fail. To explain his position, he drew a parallel with the secrecy that was necessary during the initial stage of planning for German reunification in 1989. The finance minister of Slovenia suggested at that meeting that because the talks, that have been going on for three months, were leading nowhere, perhaps euro zone ministers should starting discussing a Plan B -- what happens if Greece defaults.
By Robin Emmott and Ingrid Melander RIGA (Reuters) - As the buses carrying European finance ministers left for a gala dinner in the Latvian capital on Friday night, one of the party hung back at the hotel and then wandered off alone into the dusk. Greece's Yanis Varoufakis had other dinner plans, he said, after a bruising first day of meetings in Riga that underlined his isolation as he tries to avert national bankruptcy. While other ministers were feted by their entourages with food and warm clothing during the meeting in Riga, Varoufakis was seen alone at almost every turn, eschewing aides or any security detail. "He is completely isolated," a senior euro zone official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Comcast Corp abandoned its $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable Inc on Friday after U.S. regulators raised concerns that the deal would give Comcast an unfair advantage in the cable TV and Internet-based services market. The collapse of the deal opens the door for other possible offers for Time Warner Cable, but also casts heightened regulatory risk on merger activity in the U.S. cable industry, which has been rapidly consolidating in the face of competition from satellite TV and Web-based services. Comcast had argued the merger would bring faster service and better video services to more Americans. Charter Communications Inc lost out on a bid for Time Warner Cable last year, and Charter's controlling shareholder, Liberty Media Corp, had since indicated continuing interest.