Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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Apr 23, 2015

Novartis posts first quarter profit beat despite dollar drag

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) beat first-quarter profit forecasts on Thursday, defying the impact of a strong dollar thanks to surprisingly strong margins.

The Basel-based group confirmed its guidance for sales and operating profit growth this year.

Apr 23, 2015

Novartis posts Q1 profit beat despite dollar drag

ZURICH, April 23 (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis
beat first-quarter profit forecasts on Thursday,
defying the impact of a strong dollar thanks to surprisingly
strong margins.

The Basel-based group confirmed its guidance for sales and
operating profit growth this year.

Apr 15, 2015

Austrian banks pay price for Heta woes: Deutsche Bank’s Polster

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian lenders are paying the price for a decision by the local financial watchdog to seize “bad bank” Heta and freeze its debt repayments, the head of the Austrian arm of Germany’s Deutsche Bank told Reuters.

Austria’s FMA supervisor last month took control of Heta Asset Resolution [HAABI.UL] after a capital hole emerged at the vehicle which is winding down the rest of defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria.

Apr 8, 2015

Austrian probe of Hypo bank scandal gets off to rocky start

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s probe into collapsed lender Hypo Alpe Adria began on Wednesday in a welter of wrangling over how much of the investigation into the country’s worst post-war financial scandal should be made public.

Several high-profile figures are expected to testify, but the exact list of witnesses is secret. An opposition party has named 200 people it wants to question, including current and former government officials in Austria and Bavaria, market watchdogs, and senior central bankers.

Mar 26, 2015

ECB queries banks on Austria exposure after Hypo move: sources

VIENNA (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has asked euro zone lenders to detail their exposure to Austria and provisions they plan to make after the country halted debt repayments by a “bad bank” winding down defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria, financial sources told Reuters.

The questionnaire sent to banks and a video conference to discuss the potential fallout underscore the sensitivity of Austria’s path-breaking move to invoke new European rules on ensuring creditors, not just taxpayers, fund bailouts.

Mar 25, 2015

Austrian bank RBI warns may post another loss this year

VIENNA, March 25 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International
(RBI) warned on Wednesday it may post a second
straight year of losses in 2015 as it books restructuring costs
for a major retrenchment after decades of expansion in central
and eastern Europe.

Emerging Europe’s second-biggest lender, which announced
details of its drastic restructuring last month, had said last
year it expected earnings in a range of around 500 million euros
this year.

Mar 23, 2015

Austria’s Immofinanz turns tables on CA Immo with counteroffer

VIENNA, March 23 (Reuters) – Austrian property group
Immofinanz AG plans to offer 18.50 euros per share for
a stake of up to 29 percent in CA Immobilien, turning
the tables on its rival, which is seeking to increase its stake
in Immofinanz.

CA Immo dismissed the 531 million-euro ($575 million) offer
as “emotional” and said it would press ahead with its bid to buy
more shares in Immofinanz.

Mar 18, 2015

Cerberus launches strategic review for BAWAG PSK – sources

VIENNA/FRANKFURT, March 18 (Reuters) – U.S. investor
Cerberus Capital Management has hired three banks to
help conduct a strategic review of its majority stake in
Austrian lender BAWAG PSK in a deal that could top 4
billion euros ($4.2 billion), sources close to the process told
Reuters.

The sources said Cerberus had hired Goldman Sachs,
Lazard and Morgan Stanley for the review, which
one source said could lead to acquiring another lender, merging
BAWAG with another bank or selling it.

Mar 5, 2015

BAWAG owner Cerberus sees active role in Europe bank M&A

VIENNA, March 5 (Reuters) – U.S. investor Cerberus Capital
Management will play an active role in European banking
consolidation, it said on Thursday, sending the strongest signal
yet it could soon exit its majority stake in Austrian lender
BAWAG PSK.

“In general our philosophy is we are a long-term investor
but, that being said, we are consistently evaluating strategic
alternatives. Certainly as there is European banking
consolidation we see ourselves as a big part of that, Cerberus
in general,” Cerberus executive and BAWAG deputy chairman Keith
Tietjen told Reuters.

Mar 3, 2015

Austrian “bad bank” felled by Balkan trouble, Swiss franc surge

VIENNA, March 3 (Reuters) – Among the “bad banks” that have
emerged since the global crisis, Austria’s Heta Asset Resolution
stands out as a spectacular failure, brought down by setbacks
ranging from the demands of accounting rules to ailing Balkan
economies and a Swiss decision to let the franc surge.

Questions are swirling over how things could have gone so
wrong so quickly at Heta, carved out just last year
from the lender Hypo Alpe Adria whose demise has already caused
Austria’s worst post-war financial scandal.

    • About Michael

      "Mike has worked for Reuters for two decades and reported from more than a dozen countries on business and general news. His beats have included covering the European automotive industry, business news from Switzerland, German defense and security policy, and Hungary's transition to a market democracy after the collapse of communism in eastern Europe"
      Joined Reuters:
      1987
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