VIENNA, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Top bankers sought to play
down fears on Tuesday that they would abandon emerging Europe in
a rush to hoard capital that could cripple efforts to bridge the
continent’s economic divide, but one senior official warned the
process was already under way.
Western banks need to shore up their balance sheets under
regulatory pressure to ensure a debt crisis does not drag them
into the abyss again just as it seemed they had turned the
corner from the 2008/09 financial crisis.
VIENNA, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Governments, regulators and
international lenders have agreed to cooperate in trying to
avert a stampede out of emerging Europe by banks seeking to
slash their exposure to risk and ride out the euro debt crisis.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, national authorities,
European Union bodies and the international financial
institutions said they agreed to pursue a second “Vienna
Initiative”, loosely modelled on a 2009 pact that prevented a
financial meltdown in eastern Europe after the decade’s global
economic boom went bust.
VIENNA, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Moody’s held Austria’s top
sovereign rating with a stable outlook on Friday but warned the
debt crisis posed a credit risk for it and most euro zone
states, putting pressure on the region’s policymakers to take
“The longer the sovereign and bank funding markets remain
volatile, the more likely it is that further credit pressures
will develop for most euro area countries, including Aaa-rated
(ones),” the rating agency said early on Friday.
VIENNA, Dec 15 (Reuters) – UniCredit SpA’s
business in central and eastern Europe (CEE) is holding up well
despite the economic slowdown, a top executive said, adding it
was “nuts” to think Italy’s biggest bank by assets would quit
Gianni Papa, deputy group chief executive and head of
Unicredit’s CEE division, told reporters the case for staying
put remained intact because the region would on average grow
faster than western Europe and had greater demand for financial
VIENNA, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Austria’s Financial Market
Authority (FMA) does not think any big Austrian commercial bank
will require more state aid to meet capital strength targets,
despite market volatility, the supervisor said.
Domestic banks were well placed to refinance despite
“enormous” problems with this issue elsewhere in Europe, FMA
co-head Helmut Ettl told reporters, adding there were no “stress
situations” for liquidity in the domestic sector.
VIENNA, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Oesterreichische
Volksbanken AG (VBAG), the Austrian bank that failed
this year’s European stress test, will post a loss this year
which is at least 10 percent more than forecast last month, it
said on Friday.
The country’s fourth-biggest bank blamed volatile markets
and poor economic conditions in some countries for the latest
VIENNA, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank
International reported better-than-expected results
for the third quarter, boosting its shares, although emerging
Europe’s third largest lender gave a cautious outlook and
narrowed its return on equity target.
“Based on current economic developments, especially in CEE,
RBI is aiming for a return on equity before tax of around 15
percent in the medium term, with the inclusion of the
acquisition of (Polish bank) Polbank,” it said on Thursday.
VIENNA, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Western European banks’
efforts to trim balance sheets are putting the squeeze on
corporate fundraising from Albania to Australia, threatening the
health of economies both near and far.
Forced to raise capital by regulators who want to head off
another financial crisis akin to 2008, many banks are looking to
dump assets and focus on top clients, moves that could make it
harder for others to refinance.
VIENNA, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Three Austrian banks with
big businesses in central and eastern Europe have to fulfil
Basel III capital rules in full from January 2013, regulators
said, moving the timetable up by six years to boost safety in
The steps cover UniCredit unit Bank
Austria, Erste Group Bank and Raiffeisen Bank
International, which officials said had accepted the
guidelines and would stay in the region.
VIENNA, Nov 18 (Reuters) – It is not just France that
now risks sinking into trouble in the euro zone’s debt crisis,
with a string of the bloc’s “core” AAA-rated countries under
pressure to prove financial strength that markets no longer take
France’s cost of borrowing has jumped by more than half a
percentage point on worries that high public debt and its banks’
holdings of other governments’ bonds leave it exposed to the
collapse of markets in Greece, Spain and particularly Italy.