European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Apr 25, 2013

Centuries-old Vienna bourse seeks lifeline in Warsaw

VIENNA/WARSAW (Reuters) – The venerable Vienna Stock Exchange swallowed centuries of national pride this month to enter into talks that could lead to a merger with its upstart rival in Warsaw.

Vienna, the central capital market of the Habsburg Empire in the eighteenth century and later gateway to central and eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain, has been usurped by the Warsaw exchange GPW.WA, with its friendly regulation and privatisations, as the main arena for investing in the region.

Apr 22, 2013

Tycoon-politician Stronach aims to put enterprise into Austria

OBERWALTERSDORF, Austria (Reuters) – “The government is the management team of a country and unfortunately that management is made up of politicians.”

Like many others disillusioned with party politics in a recession-hit European Union, Austrian-Canadian car parts tycoon Frank Stronach promises to shake up the cozy political establishment in his native Austria. But unlike most disaffected groups, he promises more business-style government, not less – and he has the cash to make his voice heard.

Apr 9, 2013

Panasonic executive says Europe consumer sales hold up

VIENNA (Reuters) – Panasonic’s consumer electronics sales did not fall in Europe in the fiscal year just ended despite the fact that the business is struggling globally, the company’s Europe head said.

“We are doing quite well in Europe in consumer electronics,” Laurent Abadie told Reuters, adding that the company was not planning to cut its overall number of staff in Europe in the coming 12 months.

Apr 9, 2013

Magnate Stronach lays out anti-political agenda for Austria

VIENNA, April 9 (Reuters) – Austro-Canadian billionaire
Frank Stronach on Tuesday promised to save Austria from career
politicians if elected later this year, holding out the prospect
of seats in parliament for ordinary citizens and more autonomy
from the European Union.

Stronach said the chance to give the Alpine republic, the
country of his birth, a new start convinced him to run for
election instead of spending his retirement in leisure.

Apr 3, 2013

Vienna Insurance raises dividend after record results

VIENNA, April 3 (Reuters) – Vienna Insurance Group
raised its dividend for 2012 after confirming record results,
helped by a solid performance in Austria and the Czech Republic
that offset higher than average bad-weather claims.

Emerging Europe’s biggest insurer said on Wednesday its
pretax profit grew 5 percent to 587 million euros as premiums
rose, while its combined ratio – a key measure of profitability
- was steady at 96.65 percent.

Mar 28, 2013

Budget discipline in regions trims Austria’s deficit

VIENNA, March 28 (Reuters) – Austria ran a state budget
deficit of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2012,
smaller than the government had forecast and below EU targets,
the country’s statistics office said on Thursday.

The country had projected a 2012 deficit of 3.1 percent
given the cost of aid to struggling state-owned banks and
because of slower-than-expected economic growth.

Mar 26, 2013

Shale gas lures global manufacturers to US industrial revival

FRANKFURT/VIENNA, March 26 (Reuters) – When Wolfgang Eder
and his team started looking around for a site for a new plant
for Voestalpine, the Austrian steelmaker he heads,
they had 17 sites in eight countries on their list.

This month, after more than a year of looking, they settled
on the U.S. state of Texas, after a boom in the production of
natural gas from shale extraction brought gas prices down to
just a quarter of what companies paid in Europe.

Mar 21, 2013

Raiffeisen buys Citi’s Romanian retail portfolio

VIENNA/BUCHAREST, March 21 (Reuters) – Austria’s Raiffeisen
Bank International has agreed to buy Citibank’s
retail portfolio in Romania, which has more than 90 million
euros ($117 million) in assets, it said on Thursday.

The deal – worth less than 100 million euros according to a
source familiar with the situation – is the first such
acquisition since Raiffeisen bought Polbank, the Polish arm of
Greece’s EFG Eurobank Ergasias, last year.

Mar 15, 2013

Red Bull’s openness on faeces threat could pay off

VIENNA (Reuters) – Red Bull’s unusual decision to go public on a blackmailer’s threat to contaminate its energy drinks with faeces could cost the brand far less long-term than any immediate hit to sales.

Known for investing heavily in marketing its drinks and sports events, the privately owned Austrian company reveals little about itself. So its announcement on Thursday of a criminal threat to taint its drinks came as a particular surprise.

Mar 13, 2013

Austria’s Voestalpine picks Texas for $700 mln plant

VIENNA, March 13 (Reuters) – Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine
has picked Texas as the location for a new 550 million
euro ($716 million) sponge iron plant, a sign that cheap U.S.
energy prices are attracting industrial investment as Europe
lags behind.

The plant, Voestalpine’s biggest foreign investment to date,
is due to begin operations in early 2016 and is part of the
steelmaker’s plan to boost its sales through aggressive
expansion in the Americas and Asia.

    • 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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