Chief Correspondent, Austria, Vienna, Austria
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Jun 18, 2010

Euro gets thumbs-up; cbanker rejects expulsion

VIENNA/MALAGA, Spain (Reuters) – Expelling members from the euro zone is no solution to the current crisis, a European central banker said on Friday, as policymakers lined up in a chorus of support for the single currency.

ECB Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said neither the option of forcing a country out or allowing it to restructure would help Greece, and having such a Plan B in place as a general measure would not be in the interests of the euro area.

Jun 15, 2010

Conwert offers 167 mln eur for Eco buyout

VIENNA, June 15 (Reuters) – Austrian real estate group
conwert (CONW.VI: Quote, Profile, Research) is offering to buy out free float investors in
affiliate Eco Business-Immobilien (EBIV.VI: Quote, Profile, Research), saying the deal
would make it possible to unlock Eco’s real value.

Conwert is offering as much as 167 million euros ($204
million) in cash for the 75 percent it does not already own of
Eco, a 16 percent premium on Monday’s closing price, it said in
a statement on Tuesday.

Jun 14, 2010

No sign of return to post-Lehman stresses – Nowotny

VIENNA (Reuters) – There is no need for action to stabilise the euro and no danger of money markets becoming as stressed as they were after the collapse of U.S. bank Lehman Brothers in 2008, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Monday.

The ECB has abandoned its resistance to buying government bonds as concerns over euro zone debt worsened in recent weeks and Nowotny said baldly this was to prevent the sovereign debt problems triggering another banking and economic crisis.

Jun 11, 2010

Bank reform chief sees Basel compromise to limit pain

VIENNA (Reuters) – Banks are to get more time to implement new capital rules and some proposals will be eased to ensure the industry can adjust to the new standards, a top central banker and regulator said, lifting the sector on Friday.

“We will ensure the banking sector can move to the new standards through earnings retention and reasonable capital raising,” said Nout Wellink, chairman of the Basel Committee and a member of the European Central Bank.

Jun 10, 2010

Banks say reform plans could cut growth by 3 pct

VIENNA, June 10 (Reuters) – A regulatory crackdown on banks could cut 3 percent off economic growth over the next five years in the United States, euro zone and Japan and cost almost 10 million jobs, top banks said on Thursday.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), a bank lobby group representing more than 400 companies, said a need to hold more capital, pay more taxes and other possible reforms could hit economic growth hard.

Jun 10, 2010

Banks say reform plan to hit global GDP growth

VIENNA (Reuters) – The regulatory reforms being proposed for banks around the globe could cut 3 percent off economic growth over the next five years in the United States, euro zone and Japan alone, and cost almost 10 million jobs, top banks said on Thursday.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), a bank lobby group representing over 400 firms, said a need to hold more capital, pay more taxes and other possible reforms could hit economic growth hard.

Jun 10, 2010

Banks see 3 pct GDP hit by 2015 from reform plans

VIENNA, June 10 (Reuters) – A string of regulatory reforms
across the banking sector could cut 3 percent off global
economic growth over the next five years and cost almost 10
million jobs, top banks said on Thursday.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), a bank lobby
group representing over 400 firms, said a need to hold more
capital, proposed bank taxes and other possible reforms could
hit economic growth hard.

Jun 9, 2010

Banks in Hungary face dry spell as govt lashes out

VIENNA/BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary’s mostly foreign-owned banks face pressure on earnings, revenue and asset quality as a new centre-right government plans to tax them heavily and take away their main lending growth engine.

Hungary’s new prime minister, Viktor Orban, vowed on Tuesday to introduce a levy on banks and other financial institutions to fund tax cuts for everybody else, and to ban foreign currency mortgages, the toxic asset of choice for Hungarian banks and borrowers.

Jun 1, 2010

Voestalpine warns upswing may be short-lived

VIENNA, June 1 (Reuters) – Austrian steelmaker voestalpine
(VOES.VI: Quote, Profile, Research) warned on Tuesday that robust demand in the next few
months could be short-lived if China’s uptrend proved
unsustainable and European debt woes cut short its recovery.

The group ended a dismal year on a cheerful note, beating
fourth quarter earnings forecasts across the board and saying it
expected good demand and rising prices in the next two quarters
to be enough to produce a higher profit in the 2010/11 year.

May 31, 2010

Raiffeisen sets merger stage with flattered beat

VIENNA, May 30 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen International
(RIBH.VI: Quote, Profile, Research) set the stage for its planned merger with parent RZB
with a first-quarter earnings beat helped by low risk charges,
and priced the deal within a range indicated last month.

Emerging Europe’s No.2 bank on Sunday said net profit
nearly doubled in the March quarter, beating market
expectations even though interest and fee revenue dropped and
came in below all estimates in a Reuters poll of analysts.
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    • 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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