Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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Sep 23, 2013

Austrian insurer Uniqa launches $1 bln share offer

VIENNA, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Austrian insurer Uniqa
launched a share sale on Monday that aims to raise around 750
million euros ($1 billion) for expansion abroad and boost its
free float to as much as 36.7 percent.

Its “re-IPO” – so called because it will raise the free
float from just 7 percent – is set be the biggest deal on the
Vienna Stock Exchange since the 411 million-euro initial public
offering (IPO) of aluminium group AMAG in April 2011.

Sep 22, 2013

Austrian chancellor seeks another centrist coalition

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann wants to preserve the centrist, pro-European coalition his Social Democrats (SPO) lead with the conservative People’s Party (OVP) should his party win parliamentary elections next week, he told a Sunday newspaper.

But late gains by two small parties threaten to block a new version of the “grand coalition” of the two big blocs that have dominated post-war politics, opinion polls showed ahead of next Sunday’s vote in the Alpine republic.

Sep 19, 2013
via FaithWorld

Holy water in Austria unsafe to drink: researchers


(A cross is reflected in the water as Pope Benedict XVI celebrates a holy mass in St. Stephens cathedral in Vienna on September 9, 2007.  REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)

Holy water at religious shrines and churches in Austria is often contaminated with fecal matter and bacteria, researchers have found, advising the faithful not to drink it, especially in hospital chapels.

Sep 18, 2013

Parliamentary election to test if Austria “going to the dogs”

VIENNA (Reuters) – A business leader’s offhand pre-election comment that Austria is “going to the dogs” has galvanized a debate about whether the nation’s enviable prosperity will wither away.

The remark by Chamber of Commerce head Christoph Leitl held up a mirror to a comfortable and slightly coddled country that sailed through five years of economic crisis with little of the misery that euro zone peers like Greece or Cyprus endured.

Sep 16, 2013

Raiffeisen shares drop after raised bad debt estimate

VIENNA, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International
shares dropped on Monday after emerging Europe’s
second-biggest lender raised its forecast for bad loan
provisions by as much as a fifth, heightening concern about its
emerging markets exposure.

“This is a profit warning in our view,” Berenberg Bank
analyst Eleni Papoula told clients, keeping her “sell” rating
and 12 euro share price target – half the current level – on
expectations of a dilutive share issue from the lender.

Sep 16, 2013

Bank Austria plays down emerging market concerns

VIENNA, Sept 16 (Reuters) – UniCredit Bank Austria
said its business was largely unaffected by market turmoil in
Turkey and Slovenia as investors fled from high-yield assets in
anticipation of the U.S. Federal Reserve scaling back its
stimulus package.

Turkey, which relies on foreign capital to give it the hard
currency it needs to buy oil and other imports, has been hit
particularly hard in recent weeks as investors began to withdraw
much of the cheap dollar funding poured into the U.S. banking
system by the Fed.

Sep 12, 2013

Austrian central bank denies report on Hypo capital

VIENNA, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Austria’s central bank denied a
report on Thursday that it believed nationalised bank Hypo Alpe
Adria could need as much as 17 billion euros ($23
billion) in fresh state aid.

Der Standard newspaper had reported the figure as a
worst-case scenario, saying this came from an internal central
bank (OeNB) report on the troubled lender, which has already
received more than 3 billion euros from the government.

Sep 3, 2013

Hypo bank sell-off may cost Austria up to $7.1 bln more

VIENNA/BRUSSELS, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Selling off bailed-out
Hypo Alpe Adria bank may cost Austrian taxpayers up
to 5.4 billion euros ($7.1 billion) in fresh capital by 2017
under a plan approved on Tuesday by the European Commission,
Austrian finance ministry officials said.

Brussels’ blessing ends years of wrangling with Vienna over
cleaning up Hypo, which Austria had to nationalise in 2009 to
avoid a collapse that would have sent shock waves through
fragile financial markets across Europe.

Sep 2, 2013

Hypo Alpe Adria revamp plan gains EU approval – sources

VIENNA, Sept 2 (Reuters) – The European Commission has
conditionally approved the Austrian government’s reorganisation
plan for nationalised lender Hypo Alpe Adria, paving
the way for the bank to receive more state aid, three Austrian
sources close to the matter said.

The approval covers the bank’s plan to sell its Balkans
banking network by 2015 and wind down an Italian unit while
relying on state support. It has already agreed the sale of its
Austrian unit in a deal set to close this year.

Aug 30, 2013

EU ruling on Hypo Alpe aid decision due next week-sources

ALPBACH, Austria, Aug 30 (Reuters) – The European Commission
is expected to decide next week whether nationalised Austrian
lender Hypo Alpe Adria can accept the state aid that is keeping
it afloat, sources close to the matter told Reuters.

The Commission will decide on a revised reorganisation plan
for the lender, which has received nearly 3 billion euros ($4
billion) in actual or pledged state funds including 700 million
to cover first-half losses.

    • 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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