Germany's long-awaited decision to supply Ukraine with Leopard-2 main battle tanks, produced by Rheinmetall (together with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann), has pushed the 134-year-old company's shares to record highs, Voice of America reported on Jan. 25.
This puts Rheinmetall, which manufactures tanks, ammunition, and other military equipment, at around 10 billion euros ($11 billion) market capitalization – two and a half times more than in 2022, which could make it a blue chip in the German DAX stock index.
The chief executive office of Rheinmetall updated the company's medium-term sales forecast amid soaring revenue expectations from increased defense spending due to the war in Ukraine.
Founded in 1889 to supply ammunition for the German Empire, Rheinmetall continued to be a key arms supplier to the German military through WWI and WWII, during which the company was temporarily nationalized.
On Jan. 25, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz officially announced that Germany would transfer 14 Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine and approve their re-export from partner countries. According to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, the tanks could be sent to Ukraine in about three months.
The same day, U.S. President Joe Biden announced plans to supply 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, along with the equipment and spare parts needed to keep them running. Biden added that while the delivery of Abrams will take some tome, the training of the Ukrainian crews will begin as soon as possible.