Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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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.

Feb 20, 2014

Slim eyes friendly takeover of Telekom Austria-report

VIENNA, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Carlos
Slim’s America Movil plans a takeover of Telekom
Austria via an accord with its top Austrian
shareholder that would trigger a public offer, News magazine

America Movil has said it does not plan a hostile takeover
offer for Telekom Austria, in which it holds 27 percent, but a
friendly or agreed offer for the majority of the Austrian
company has long been expected.

Feb 19, 2014

Austrian president weighs visit to Iran

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian President Hans Fischer has been invited to Iran, a country keen to revive ties with the EU member that for centuries was Tehran’s bridgehead to Europe.

If he accepts, he would become the first Western head of state to visit since the election last year of relative moderate President Hassan Rouhani on a platform of relieving Iran’s isolation by engaging constructively with its adversaries.

Feb 12, 2014

Hypo’s Balkans network sale moving ahead – Deutsche Bank

VIENNA, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The sale of Hypo Alpe Adria’s
Balkans banking network is moving ahead, unaffected
by a row over how to handle the group’s chronic need for state
aid, according to a senior executive from Deutsche Bank, which
is handling the deal.

The nationalised Austrian lender sees its network in
southeastern Europe (SEE) as its prime asset as it winds down
other businesses.

Feb 11, 2014

New haul found in Austria home of Munich art hoarder

VIENNA (Reuters) – An elderly German recluse whose spectacular trove of artworks hidden in his Munich flat probably include Nazi loot kept a further 60 paintings in his home in Salzburg, Austrian media reported on Tuesday.

The Salzburg haul includes works by artists such as Monet, Renoir and Picasso, the Austria Press Agency (APA) said quoting a spokesman for Cornelius Gurlitt, whose father, Hildebrand Gurlitt, dealt in “degenerate” art confiscated by Nazi Germany.

Feb 10, 2014

Austrian watchdog warns against letting Hypo go bust

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s markets watchdog has warned the government against letting nationalized lender Hypo Alpe Adria go bust, saying it was impossible to gauge the risks of such a move.

Austria had to nationalize Hypo in 2009 after a decade of breakneck expansion at home and in the Balkans – fuelled by debt guarantees from its home province of Carinthia – pushed the bank to the brink of bankruptcy.

Feb 4, 2014

Two Austrians get kidnap threats on eve of Games

VIENNA/SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Two Austrian competitors have received kidnap threats on the eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics, heightening security concerns at the Games and triggering an investigation by counter-terrorism experts.

It was not known who made the threats, in a letter to the Austrian national Olympic Committee, although Islamist militants have warned of attacks to undermine President Vladimir Putin’s hopes of using the Games to show Russia is a safe, modern state.

    • 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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