VIENNA/BERNE, March 27 (Reuters) – Austria has stepped up
efforts to secure a 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) tax windfall
on wealth its citizens have stashed in Switzerland, money it
wants to help balance the budget by 2016.
Finance Minister Maria Fekter assured reporters on Tuesday
she would reap the rewards of a tax deal with neighbouring
Switzerland by next year, but a source familiar with the
negotiations said that target was virtually impossible to hit.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Appearing to make light of the Holocaust would be the kiss of death for most European politicians, but for Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache it has meant little more than a temporary dip in his popularity.
The 42-year-old leader of the Freedom Party has bounced back in opinion polls after a barrage of criticism in January for reportedly likening attacks on him and his backers to treatment of the Jews in Nazi Germany.
VIENNA, March 14 (Reuters) – Austria’s market
watchdogs have softened guidelines to limit lending by three big
Austrian banks’ units in emerging European countries after
international protests that the curbs could cause a credit
squeeze in the region.
A proposal that UniCredit’s Bank Austria unit,
Erste Group Bank and Raiffeisen Zentralbank
cap new central and eastern Europe lending at 110
percent of financing they arrange locally was diluted in the new
VIENNA, March 13 (Reuters) – Nationalised Austrian
lender Hypo Alpe Adria aims to return to health without needing
more state aid, it said while again skipping payouts on capital
because it posted a 2011 loss under Austrian accounting rules.
“Our goal is to not burden the taxpayers any more,” Chief
Executive Gottwald Kranebitter told reporters on Tuesday after
the country’s sixth-largest bank swung to a profit under
international accounting standards.
VIENNA, March 10 (Reuters) – Greece’s successful debt
restructuring paves the way for a second international aid
package for the country but may require more support for a
state-owned Austrian bank, European Central Bank policymaker
Ewald Nowotny said.
“A clear success has been achieved here. Greece’s debt
burden will be lessened, but of course on the other side there
are still challenges and that is why this 130 billion (euro) aid
package is being activated,” he said in an interview aired by
Austrian radio on Saturday.
VIENNA, March 9 (Reuters) – UniCredit is off
to a good start this year in emerging Europe, where the Italian
bank is the leading lender, Chief Executive Federico Ghizzoni
He said the group can retain its leading position in the
region whithout having to care too much about what rivals do,
and dismissed as “totally ungrounded” talk that the bank could
divest key assets such as Bank Austria or Germany’s HVB.
VIENNA, March 6 (Reuters) – Austria’s fiscal
consolidation programme that aims to balance the budget by 2016
will not alter the country’s borrowing plans this year, the head
of the national debt office told Reuters.
The government approved and sent to parliament on Tuesday a
package of spending curbs and tax hikes aimed at raising nearly
28 billion euros ($37 billion), which officials hope will
convince financial markets of Austria’s fiscal stability.
VIENNA, Feb 29 (Reuters) – Erste Group Bank,
emerging Europe’s second-biggest lender, forecast improved
operating results for this year as provisions for bad debts fall
from elevated 2011 levels and its Hungarian headache eases.
The upbeat outlook and news the Austrian bank had already
nearly reached the core capital level big European lenders must
reach by mid-2012 supported its shares, which rose nearly 5
percent, the biggest gainers among bank sector peers.
VIENNA, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Austria aims to sell by
2017 the big minority stake in Volksbanken AG it will
get by rescuing the ailing lender in a bailout funded by fellow
banks, Finance Minister Maria Fekter said.
Austria would also have to help nationalised lender
Kommunalkredit sort out its Greek debt exposure this year, she
told reporters on Tuesday.
VIENNA, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Telekom Austria AG
wants to claw back 20 million euros ($26.5 million)
from people suspected of bilking the company in a web of
corruption scandals that have damaged its image, Chief Executive
Hannes Ametsreiter said.
Near-daily headlines about allegations of slush funds,
political payoffs and share price manipulation have beset
Telekom Austria for months and prompted a separate round of
discussion at its annual results news conference on Thursday.