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Mar 10, 2014

Council of Europe to send observers to Crimea, look into Kiev unrest

VIENNA (Reuters) – Ukraine has asked the Council of Europe human rights watchdog to help investigate the clashes that led to President Viktor Yanukovich’s overthrow and to monitor minorities in Crimea, now controlled by pro-Russian forces.

Austria said on Monday that the Council, which it chairs until May, had also agreed with Ukraine to review the legitimacy of a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia.

Mar 10, 2014

Austria’s Hypo says may need more state aid soon

VIENNA, March 10 (Reuters) – Nationalised Austrian lender
Hypo Alpe Adria may need more state aid quickly to
close out its 2013 accounts and meet minimum capital standards,
the bank said on Monday, creating another headache for the

More than four years after being forced to take over the
bank to avoid a collapse with regional repercussions, Austria is
finally trying to wind the lender down, but has yet to agree on
the best way to do so.

Mar 7, 2014

Council of Europe offers to monitor treatment of minorities in Ukraine

VIENNA (Reuters) – The Council of Europe, the pan-European human rights watchdog, is offering to investigate violence and the treatment of minorities in Ukraine to try to defuse mounting tensions between Kiev and Russia, Austria said.

Sebastian Kurz, the foreign minister of Austria, which holds the revolving chair of the 47-member Council until May, told Reuters on Friday that he and the Council’s secretary general would visit Kiev on Monday to offer its services in the conflict.

Mar 3, 2014

U.S. urges Russia to support sending OSCE monitors to Ukraine

VIENNA (Reuters) – A senior U.S. diplomat urged Russia on Monday to support sending an OSCE observer mission to Ukraine to help monitor human rights and defuse the tense military situation.

But Moscow’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Europe’s leading human rights and democracy watchdog, was non-committal, saying some international missions may do more harm than good.

Feb 28, 2014

Subdued outlook sends Erste shares reeling

VIENNA, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Austrian lender Erste Group’s
subdued earnings guidance despite an economic upturn
in its core region of central and eastern Europe (CEE) sent its
shares reeling on Friday.

CEE’s third-biggest lender said it expects operating profit
to remain steady this year at about 3.1 billion euros ($4.24
billion) with lending to customers staying flat.

Feb 25, 2014

Foreign companies in Turkey face squeeze

LONDON/VIENNA, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Foreign companies in
Turkey are beginning to feel the effects of a sagging currency,
rising inflation and a growing political power struggle, adding
to fears the country may not be the source of future growth that
some companies had hoped.

As Western companies unveiled their 2013 results in recent
weeks, most of those with operations in Turkey said they were
committed to continuing to invest in the country. However, many
acknowledged bumps in their performance there.

Feb 25, 2014

Foreign investors in Turkey face squeeze

LONDON/VIENNA, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Foreign investors in
Turkey are beginning to feel the effects of a sagging currency,
rising inflation and a growing political power struggle, adding
to fears the country may not be the source of future growth that
some companies had hoped.

Like other developing economies, Turkey has been battered in
recent months by U.S. Federal Reserve plans to reduce its
monetary stimulus. This had allowed financial investors to
borrow cheaply in the United States and invest in high yielding
securities in faster growing, lesser developed economies.

Feb 25, 2014

Austrian govt backs review of Hypo nationalisation

VIENNA, Feb 25 (Reuters) – The heads of Austria’s two ruling
parties on Tuesday backed the idea of letting a commission of
experts look into the 2009 emergency nationalisation of lender
Hypo Alpe Adria, a step that could head off a parliamentary
investigation of the deal.

The takeover of Hypo from Bavarian state bank
BayernLB and other owners staved off a collapse that
would have sent shock waves across the region a year after Wall
Street bank Lehman Brothers went down.

Feb 21, 2014

Austria questions full payout for Hypo bonds bought at discount

VIENNA, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Austria’s finance minister
questioned on Friday whether bond investors who bought up the
debt of a bailed-out bank at a deep discount should expect to be
repaid in full when the bonds mature.

A task force headed by former central bank chief Klaus
Liebscher has warned the government that a debt haircut for
wholly state-owned Hypo Alpe Adria would ruin euro
zone member Austria’s reputation as a borrower.

Feb 20, 2014

Austria’s Hypo at a crossroads

VIENNA/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The fate of Austria’s nationalized lender Hypo Alpe Adria could be a harsh reality check for banks and investors across Europe.

If the Austrian government decides to let a bank with a balance sheet worth nearly 9 percent of economic output fail, wiping out creditors including Bavaria’s state bank BayernLB, it could be the biggest jolt to the euro zone since Cyprus hit savers in 2013 to avoid collapse.

    • 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"
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