Chief Correspondent, Austria, Vienna, Austria
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Aug 19, 2010

Bwin pins Q2 loss on one-off costs, outlook reassures

VIENNA, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Austrian internet bookmaker bwin
(BWIN.VI: Quote, Profile, Research), which is merging with Britain’s PartyGaming (PRTY.L: Quote, Profile, Research),
said its second-quarter loss was due to one-off startup and
marketing costs and would not recur in the rest of the year.

Bwin, Europe’s biggest online sport betting operator, posted
second-quarter core earnings that were only half of what
analysts had expected and turned into a loss on the bottom line,
mainly due to costs for starting a French betting site.

Aug 19, 2010

Vienna Insurance confident after life boosts Q2

VIENNA, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Emerging Europe’s No.1 insurer,
Vienna Insurance Group (VIGR.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said it was on track to raise
pretax profit by more than 10 percent this year after strong
life business offset flood damage claims.

Vienna Insurance said clients in Austria and eastern Europe
alike were keen on conservative savings products, leading to
continuing strong life premium growth — similar to peers
including Swiss Life (SLHN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Allianz (ALVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) or Generali
(GASI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). [ID:nLDE6740HV]

Aug 18, 2010

Basel says new bank rules growth impact “modest”

VIENNA (Reuters) – New bank rules will cut global output by merely a fraction, which is a “modest” price to pay for greater stability, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision said, dismissing lenders’ warnings that they may curb growth.

The new “Basel III” rules for banks’ capital and liquidity will tighten lending and reduce investment during a transition period, but to a much lower degree than forecast by banks, Basel and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) said on Wednesday.

Aug 17, 2010

European bricks and mortar firms beat austerity

VIENNA/LISBON, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Austrian brickmaker
Wienerberger (WBSV.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Portuguese cement maker Cimpor
(CPR.LS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) beat earnings forecasts on Tuesday by relying less on
public works programmes from European governments.

Wienerberger, the world’s largest brickmaker, was hit hard
by the property downturn but now stands to gain from its
reliance on residential construction as it noted a steady
positive trend in most west European countries and a turnaround
in the United States. [ID:nLDE67G05A]

Aug 11, 2010

Atrium sues Austrian banker Meinl for $2.6 bln

VIENNA, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Atrium European Real Estate
(ATRS.VI: Quote, Profile, Research) is suing its founder, Austrian coffee roasting heir
Julius Meinl V, and his bank for over 2 billion euros ($2.6
billion) in damages, it said on Wednesday.

The surprise claims come two years after a group led by
Israeli investor Gazit Globe (GLOB.TA: Quote, Profile, Research) struck a deal with Meinl
under which it took over control of Atrium, then known as Meinl
European Land, a developer of shopping malls in emerging Europe.

Aug 9, 2010

Andritz rises to 3-yr high as orders, profit surge

VIENNA, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Austrian machinery maker Andritz
(ANDR.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) booked a bumper quarter with orders, revenue and
profit from equipment used by pulp makers jolted by rising
demand for paper and cardboard, driven by the global economic
upturn.

Shares in the group rose 3.8 percent to the highest level
since October 2007 after the group beat all analyst estimates
for second quarter order intake, revenue and net profit, mostly
thanks to better-than-expected results in its pulp unit.

Jul 30, 2010

Hungary, Romania cast pall over Erste’s rebound

VIENNA, July 30 (Reuters) – Emerging Europe’s No.3 lender
Erste Group Bank (ERST.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said business in Hungary and Romania
will cast a pall over results in the second half of the year,
while elsewhere bad debt charges are expected to drop.

The Austrian bank on Friday spooked investors with a rise in
sour loans that picked up speed in the second quarter forcing it
to raise new provisions rather than leave them flat. Its stock
fell the most in one month.

Jul 29, 2010

PartyGaming, bwin eye U.S. after $3.3 bln tie-up

LONDON/VIENNA, July 29 (Reuters) – Britain’s PartyGaming
(PRTY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Austria’s bwin (BWIN.VI: Quote, Profile, Research) unveiled a merger on
Thursday to create a $3.3-billion online gaming business
positioned to profit from deregulation of a lucrative U.S.
market.

The deal to create the world’s biggest listed Internet
gambling firm could kickstart a flurry of M&A activity in a
fragmented sector that is seen as ripe for consolidation because
of opportunities created by the relaxation of online gambling
laws around the world. [ID:LDE5BT1CA]

Jul 23, 2010

Weak scenario taints EU bank test results

VIENNA (Reuters) – The problem of Europe’s banking sector consists of seven small regional banks who need to raise 3.5 billion euros ($4.5 billion) between them to get into shape. Otherwise, everything is fine.

That was the message of European supervisors when they released the results of a health check of European banks that was deemed to restore confidence in sector plagued by persistent market mistrust into the quality of its assets and capital.

Jul 20, 2010

ECB seeks to allay doubts over Europe’s bank test

VIENNA/LONDON (Reuters) – One of Europe’s top central bankers sought on Tuesday to allay concern that a health check of Europe’s lenders was too soft, while three successful debt auctions suggested fears of sovereign meltdown were easing.

European Central Bank Governing Council Member Ewald Nowotny’s defense of bank stress tests came as a German bank lobby said the regional landesbanks would pass, and upbeat comments from officials in France, Greece and elsewhere raised concerns the process may not be tough or transparent enough to restore investor confidence in Europe.

    • About Boris

      "I am Reuters Chief Correspondent in Vienna and mainly cover the Austrian banking sector. I also help coordinate our coverage of banking in the broader emerging European region, where Austrian banks are among the major players."
      Joined Reuters:
      2001
      Languages:
      English, German, French
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