European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Feb 22, 2014

Austria should stand by Hypo creditors: Nowotny

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria should not demand creditors of struggling state bank Hypo Alpe Adria HAABI.UL take a “haircut” on the debt, central bank head Ewald Nowotny said, contradicting the country’s finance minister.

Nowotny, who was on Friday put in charge of a task force set up to advise the government on how to wind down Hypo after its previous chief quit, said Austria’s reputation was at stake if it did not stand by its obligations.

Feb 19, 2014

OMV profit halves on Libya, Yemen unrest and weak demand

VIENNA, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Austrian oil and gas group OMV
said unrest in Libya and Yemen as well as low refining
margins and gas prices cut fourth-quarter adjusted operating
profit by 54 percent.

However, the company, which is investing heavily in
exploration and production (E&P) while struggling with weak
demand in Europe, confirmed a 2014 production target despite the
volatile security situation in North Africa and the Middle East.

Feb 12, 2014

Immofinanz buys German homes, plans Buwog spin-off

VIENNA/MILAN, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Austrian property group
Immofinanz said it had agreed to buy 18,000 German
homes for about 892 million euros ($1.21 billion), paving the
way for a spin-off of its Buwog unit.

Italy’s Prelios, one of the two sellers along with
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, said on Wednesday
the price comprised 162 million euros in equity, 736 million
euros in debt, and working capital.

Feb 11, 2014

Voestalpine cuts profit view on weak energy industry

VIENNA, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine
cut its full-year profit forecast on Tuesday, hit by
falling prices for pipeline and power station projects due to
weak demand in the energy sector.

Voestalpine said it now expected core and operating profit
“somewhat beneath” last year’s levels instead of stable, after
reporting third-quarter earnings and sales that were well below
analysts’ expectations.

Feb 3, 2014

Verbund rejects capital call for Italy’s Sorgenia

VIENNA/MILAN, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Austria’s Verbund
has rejected its partly owned Sorgenia unit’s call for funds,
jeopardising the chances that talks with creditor banks on a
debt standstill will succeed.

The loss-making Italian energy company, controlled by
holding company CIR, is trying to negotiate freezing
repayments on almost 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of debt
until June.

Jan 31, 2014

Austria paves way for Slim Telekom Austria takeover

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria is open to Carlos Slim’s America Movil (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) taking a majority stake in Telekom Austria (TELA.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the head of the state holding company said, paving the way for a long-awaited move by the billionaire investor.

Rudolf Kemler said it was a “secondary question” whether Slim, who is keen to reduce his dependence on the increasingly regulated Mexican market, bought a majority of Telekom Austria as long as the Austrian government kept at least 25 percent.

Jan 17, 2014

Austrian Foreign Minister Kurz to push EU-Balkan ties

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s new Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz will champion European Union membership for qualifying Balkan countries when he meets EU counterparts next week, he told Reuters on Friday.

It will be the first formal meeting of EU foreign ministers for Kurz, just 27 and a rising star in the People’s Party who got the top foreign policy job last month in a cabinet reshuffle after September elections.

Jan 16, 2014

Carlos Slim consolidates stakes in Telekom Austria

VIENNA, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos
Slim has agreed to consolidate his company and family stakes in
Telekom Austria, clarifying his position in the eyes
of regulators that monitor when stakeholdings become large
enough to trigger takeover bids.

Slim’s America Movil will own 26.8 percent of
Telekom Austria after buying a 3.14 percent stake from a family
foundation, enough to veto big decisions at the Austrian firm
but below the 30-percent mandatory takeover offer threshold.

Jan 15, 2014

Emerging Europe central banks shrug off tapering fears

VIENNA, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Emerging European countries are
casting a wary eye on capital flows as the United States starts
to unwind stimulus but see no urgent need to adjust monetary
policy, central bankers from the region said on Wednesday.

Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would begin to
scale back – or “taper” – extraordinary economic stimulus first
hit markets in May, prompting many investors to pull funds out
of emerging markets seen as risky.

Dec 28, 2013

Removal of chemical weapons from Syria delayed: watchdog

VIENNA (Reuters) – The removal of deadly toxins from Syria under an international effort to rid the nation of its chemical arsenal will likely miss a December 31 deadline, the global chemical arms watchdog said.

Bad weather and shifting battlefronts in Syria’s civil war have delayed the delivery of essential supplies to sites where the toxins are being prepared to be sent to Latakia port, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said.

    • 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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