European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
Georgina's Feed
Aug 7, 2013

Voestalpine more confident, bucks dismal steel trend

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s Voestalpine (VOES.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it saw the first signs of stabilization at a low level in the steel market, lifting its confidence in its forecast for stable profit this year.

The specialized steel products maker continued to show resilience to the downturn that has afflicted the $500 billion steel industry, a gauge of broader economic health, as demand drops in Europe and Chinese growth momentum slows.

Aug 6, 2013

Greens eye breakthrough into Austrian government

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s Green party is counting on its squeaky-clean image to propel it into the next government after a run of successes in provincial elections that few had predicted, its leader told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Greens hit home this year with an anti-corruption campaign that directly targeted the establishment parties and their corporate interest networks, a system that has dominated in Austria since World War Two.

Aug 2, 2013

It’s no ordinary dog’s life at Vienna’s Hotel Sacher

VIENNA (Reuters) – Many people believe the Austrian capital Vienna is friendlier to dogs than it is to children, and a new service from the city’s renowned Hotel Sacher seems to bear that out.

As of last week, hotel guests who cannot bear to leave their four-legged friends at home can book into rooms at the Sacher that have been newly kitted out especially for dogs, with baskets, doggy blankets, feeding bowls, muzzles and leads.

Aug 2, 2013

Mobile Austria challenges spectrum auction terms

VIENNA, Aug 2 (Reuters) – T-Mobile Austria has filed a
challenge to the terms of an auction due to be held in September
for frequencies that will enable operators to build
fourth-generation (4G) networks, its lawyer said.

The move may create uncertainty around the auction for the
4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks, which aims to raise at
least 526 million euros ($698 million) and is necessary before
4G networks can be rolled out nationwide.

Jul 31, 2013

Power market upheaval sends Verbund into quarterly loss

VIENNA, July 31 (Reuters) – Austrian hydropower company
Verbund AG fell to a second-quarter operating loss on
large writedowns and said it could not rule out further
impairment charges due to upheaval in electricity markets.

Verbund made an operating loss of 323 million euros ($428
million) against a profit of 188 million a year earlier as it
struggled to compete with heavily subsidised renewable energy

Jul 30, 2013

Erste Bank says Hungarian ordeal may be over

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s Erste Group Bank (ERST.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it hoped the worst was behind it in Hungary, where the government was taking a more conciliatory tone towards foreign banks to help its economy.

Banks in Hungary have taken a collective hit of 3.6 billion euros ($4.8 billion) since Viktor Orban’s government began an unpredictable programme of bank taxes and forced loan subsidies in 2010.

Jul 25, 2013

Irish watchdog won’t probe U.S. firms over Prism

VIENNA, July 25 (Reuters) – A watchdog in Ireland, home to
the European headquarters of Apple and Facebook,
says it will not investigate them for transferring personal data
to a U.S. spy agency because they have signed up to EU privacy

The Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC),
had been challenged by an Austrian student activist group to
investigate allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency
harvests emails and other private data from the companies in a
mass electronic surveillance programme known as Prism.

Jun 26, 2013

TAP to carry Azeri gas via Greece as Austria loses out

VIENNA/LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – The group developing
Azerbaijan’s vast gas reserves has chosen the Trans Adriatic
Pipeline (TAP) via Greece to link to Europe, officials said on
Wednesday, defeating the Nabucco West consortium which had
backed a route to Austria.

The project, first envisioned more than a decade ago, is
part of a European Union push for alternatives to Russian gas
imports and is expected to start flowing in 2019.

Jun 26, 2013

Political will and big spending put Austrians to work

VIENNA, June 26 (Reuters) – Sebastian Liedl is 17, and in
half a year will be a fully qualified employee at the Austrian
steel group Voestalpine, where he can look forward to
a starting monthly wage of about 2,000 euros ($2,600).

Unlike his contemporaries in Greece, Spain or Portugal,
Liedl has never feared unemployment. He always knew he wanted to
follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather at Voest,
where he is part of an extensive apprenticeship programme.

Jun 12, 2013

Verbund takes 1 bln euros writedown as power prices fall

VIENNA, June 12 (Reuters) – Austrian hydropower firm Verbund
said it would write down its assets by 1.13 billion
euros ($1.5 billion) and cut investments again as electricity
markets deteriorated sharply.

Verbund said it expected 2013 earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.15 billion euros, up
from its previous estimate of 1 billion, due to cash inflows and
non-recurring effects from an asset swap with E.ON.

    • 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."
    • More from Georgina

    • Follow Georgina