I feel compelled to write something on this, as on the face of it, it seems a politically motivated but an odd business decision, in part at least to deny Siemens a future in some form of nuclear technology and it’s potential development into newer, cleaner areas. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14963575.
The German government had already made it’s mark quite soon after the March. The weight of general anti-nuclear sentiment in Germany was clearly tipped by the Japanese incident. OK. Political decisions buy votes, and there’s still a bit of time to change minds, if say, the gas from Russia dries up, the wind drops, or, Germany ends up importing more nuclear energy from France than it had expected.
The Siemens decision is different though. It is German, yes, it has shareholders, possibly a lot of whom are German,, but it is still a business, a very international one at that, and one that has been at the forefront of electrical technology since it’s founding in 1847, by Werner von Siemens. It seems odd to me that they would dump a chunk of technological portfolio without weighing up the potential business outcomes.
Could it could be that Siemens were in fact going to leave the nuclear-plant building business anyway, as it formed a less profitable value stream, with associated politcial and long-term technical risks and liabilities. I understand that they will continue supplying components to the industry – perhaps this is just more profitable work with lower risk. The political sentiment and decisions perhaps have just provided it with a excuse to get out, with the bonus of looking good in the eyes of the Volk – some of which might buy more fridges and other elec goods from them. I see some mixed responses on ARD’s website, perhaps mostly in favour
Let’s see how the shareholders and markets react tomorrow.
Current price 70.08. Down from around 100 in April; fell off cliff in August. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/shares/5/113224/twelve_month.stm
I probably wouldn’t have said anything if I hadn’t seen Prof. Jim Al-Khalili’s Horizon programme last week, which really just called for informed debate, rather than knee-jerk reactions after the Fukushima incident in March, which itself dominated the news after the truely deadly and devastating tsunami. It got me thinking at least.
Some potential for Thorium instead of Uranium too ?
I’ll update if something interesting happens.
Update, Monday Evening : Nothing interesting happened. Siemens shares fell 1.5% but faired better than most in the DAX, notably banks and insurance.
Update Tuesday Evening : Shares risen with the DAX,
BUT A-ha, what’s this on BBC Business ….
Siemens ‘withdraws 500m euros from French bank’
German industrial firm Siemens has withdrawn 500m euros (£436m) from a French bank and put it in the European Central Bank, according to reports.
According to the Financial Times, it withdrew the cash over concerns about the unnamed bank’s stability.
It was also reportedly drawn to the higher rate of interest at the ECB.
Siemens has deposited about 6bn euros in the ECB, in one-week deposits, giving it the option to withdraw the cash with seven days’ notice.
Last year, Siemens filed a request with regulators for a banking licence to help it expand financial services.
It is one of a limited number of companies that have a banking licence which allows them to deposit cash directly with the ECB.
The claims add to mounting fears of the impact of the eurozone debt crisis on confidence in the region’s banks.
The report comes a week after Moody’s downgraded French banks Societe Generale and Credit Agricole over their exposure to Greek debt.
French banks are the most exposed to Greek sovereign debt, with banks seeing large falls in their share prices over their commitments.
Siemens declined to comment.”
The plot thickens. Siemens more interested in becoming a bank ?