European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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May 21, 2014

Netflix to make leap into France and Germany

VIENNA/BRUSSELS, May 21 (Reuters) – Netflix will
launch in both France and Germany this year, the U.S. video
streaming company said on Wednesday, in the biggest test so far
of its global expansion strategy.

The move will set Netflix back in its goal of breaking even
in its international business, which it would have achieved
later this year, as it bets the time is right to break into
Europe’s two biggest markets and four other European countries.

May 16, 2014

Hutchison sees few upstart Austrian carriers in 2014

VIENNA (Reuters) – Hutchison Whampoa telecoms unit Drei Austria expects only one or two new carriers to launch services on the back of its network this year, its chief executive told Reuters.

Drei was forced to offer wholesale access to its network to up to 16 carriers as a remedy to stimulate competition and keep consumer prices low when it bought competitor Orange Austria for 1.3 billion euros (1.06 billion pounds) at the beginning of 2013.

May 15, 2014

Lenzing says cost cuts ahead of plan, shares rise

VIENNA, May 15 (Reuters) – Austrian viscose-fibres maker
Lenzing’s profits fell by less than expected in the
first quarter as it accelerated a cost-cutting plan, lifting its
shares more than 5 percent.

Lenzing said on Thursday core profit fell by 30 percent as a
rise in output was outweighed by weak prices for viscose that it
saw lasting for months ahead – although there had been a slight
increase since a year-to-date low in April.

May 12, 2014

Nowotny says would prefer “package” of ECB measures

VIENNA, May 12 (Reuters) – An interest rate cut alone will
not be enough to deal with persistently low inflation in the
euro zone, ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny said on Monday as the
central bank gets ready to add more stimulus as soon as June.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said last week
the ECB is prepared to take action next month to boost the euro
zone economy if its updated staff inflation forecasts merit it.

May 7, 2014

Conwert shareholders reject rebel investor for board

VIENNA, May 7 (Reuters) – Rebel investor Alexander
Proschofsky narrowly failed in a bid to join the administrative
board of Austrian property firm Conwert on Wednesday,
thwarting his ambitions to bring about a change in corporate

Proschofsky had promised to mitigate the influence of major
shareholder Hans Peter Haselsteiner, a powerful Austrian
industrialist, and bring more transparency to the company, which
has been through upheavals in its portfolio and personnel.

Apr 29, 2014

OMV and Gazprom press on with Austrian branch of South Stream gas pipeline

VIENNA, April 29 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom and
Austria’s OMV said on Tuesday that they had signed a
memorandum of understanding to build a spur of the South Stream
gas pipeline to Austria, despite Western sanctions against
Moscow over Ukraine.

The pipeline is designed to carry Russian gas to Europe,
bypassing Ukraine – through which existing pipelines carry
nearly half the gas that Europe buys from Russia. The project
faces stiff resistance from some EU and U.S. officials, who want
Europe to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

Apr 29, 2014

Hypo to push Austrian debt to record high in 2014

VIENNA, April 29 (Reuters) – The cost of winding down
nationalised Austrian bank Hypo Alpe Adria will push
public debt to a record 79.2 percent of gross domestic product
this year, the finance minister said.

Michael Spindelegger said the government would absorb the
entire 17.8 billion euros ($24.6 billion) of toxic assets
planned to be transferred from Hypo into a “bad bank” this year,
boosting state debt to 257 billion euros.

Apr 28, 2014

Buwog shares rise in Frankfurt stock market debut

FRANKFURT/VIENNA, April 28 (Reuters) – Shares in property
group Buwog rose in their market debut on Monday,
valuing the company spun off from Immofinanz at about
1.38 billion euros ($1.9 billion).

Trading of the shares in the first new public listing for
both Frankfurt and Vienna this year started at 13 euros apiece,
and the price rose to 13.78 euros in Frankfurt and 13.93 euros
in Vienna by market close.

Apr 28, 2014

RBI wants to pay back 1.25 bln euros of aid – sources

VIENNA, April 28 (Reuters) – Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank
International is seeking regulatory approval to pay
back 1.25 billion euros ($1.73 billion) of the emergency
financial aid it received in 2009, two regulatory sources told
Reuters on Monday.

The lender had wanted to pay back in mid-March the whole 2.5
billion euros that the state and private investors provided to
help it weather the financial crisis, but it did not get
regulatory approval.

Apr 24, 2014

Slim eyes eastern Europe after Telekom Austria deal

VIENNA/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim plans to use Telekom Austria (TELA.VI: Quote, Profile, Research) as a base to build up his presence in European telecoms after sealing a deal with the Austrian state to take control of the company.

Slim’s America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research)(AMX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will invest up to 1 billion euros (821.23 million pounds) in Telekom Austria via a rights issue, on top of spending as much as $2 billion to buy out minority shareholders in a mandatory public offer.

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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