March 13, 2020 / 12:56 PM / 23 days ago

Germany - No need to take stakes in key companies due to coronavirus at moment

FILE PHOTO: German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier attends a news conference after a meeting with the economy ministers from Germany's 16 states to discuss the economic impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Berlin, Germany March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday that he did not currently see any need to take stakes in key companies due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Asked if he saw a need for the government to temporarily take stakes in strategic companies like Deutsche Telekom or Siemens, he told a news conference: “I do not see such a need at the moment.”

Der Spiegel magazine on Friday reported Altmaier as saying that nationalisation could be one option for supporting strategically important companies brought into difficulties by the coronavirus epidemic, which is causing demand to collapse and severing global supply chains.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Paul Carrel

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