Business

Terror attacks threaten investment: Siemens chief

Joe Kaeser Image copyright Siemens
Image caption Joe Kaeser is chief executive of Germany's Siemens

The Paris terrorist attacks and political instability in Europe are making companies more reluctant to invest, the chief executive of Siemens has warned.

Joe Kaeser told the Financial Times: "Investment is about believing, about the future, and [when] events like that happen, people will wait."

Siemens is Europe's biggest industrial conglomerate with 350,000 employees.

Mr Kaeser's comments were echoed by Italy's finance minister.

Pier Carlo Padoan said the 13 November attacks in which 130 people were killed threatened the eurozone's fragile economic recovery.

"The biggest economic damage from these attacks is on confidence and confidence is a crucial element in this phase," Mr Padoan told the newspaper.

"It is indispensable to help countries exit the crisis. Any elements that undermine confidence are very dangerous."

Although eurozone economic sentiment rose slightly to 105.9 in October compared with the previous month, the impact of the terrorist attacks in Paris and the heightened security in Brussels this weekend could cut the November figure when it is released by the European Commission next week.

Economic growth in the eurozone slowed to 0.3% for the three months to September, official figures released earlier this month showed.

That was lower than expected, and worse than the 0.4% expansion recorded for the previous quarter.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A Siemens worker at its gas turbine factory in Berlin

Siemens said earlier this month that it expected moderate revenue growth despite "continuing complexity in the geopolitical environment" in the 2016 financial year.

Net profit for the German company, which focuses on electrical engineering and electronics, fell by almost €500m to €1bn for the 2015 financial year.

Eurozone finance ministers will go ahead with an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on Monday afternoon despite an ongoing high security alert in the Belgian capital.

The ministers will review national budgets, the impact of the refugee crisis on public finances and a bailout payment to Greece.

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