VIENNA, May 1 (Reuters) – The mysterious drowning of Muammar
Gaddafi’s former oil boss in Vienna has shaken friends and
colleagues, who suspect he was murdered by enemies – who knew he
couldn’t swim and had reason to want him silenced.
In a case that reeks of international intrigue, the body of
Shokri Ghanem, who served for a time as Gaddafi’s prime minister
and ran the Libyan oil industry for years, was found floating in
the Danube River on Sunday morning a few hundred metres from his
home, fully clothed.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Libya’s former prime minister and oil minister Shokri Ghanem, a prominent defector from Muammar Gaddafi’s government, drowned in the River Danube, Vienna police said on Monday and a Libyan security source suggested he could have been murdered.
Ghanem’s fully-clothed body was found in the Danube in Vienna on Sunday, a few hundred meters from his home. According to a preliminary autopsy there were no indications of foul play or suicide, spokesman Roman Hahslinger told reporters.
VIENNA, April 30 (Reuters) – Erste Group Bank has
turned more cautious in its outlook for 2012 after pulling back
from some non-core activities that will hit income generated
from interest payments and commissions.
Emerging Europe’s No.2 lender now expects stable rather than
slightly higher operating profit for 2012, it said on Monday.
VIENNA, April 24 (Reuters) – Russia’s top lender Sberbank
will provide up to 300 million euros ($394 million) in
fresh capital for its new VBI eastern European arm this year to
finance expansion, VBI Chief Executive Friedhelm Boschert said
He also told reporters VBI made a profit in the first
quarter after posting losses last year.
VIENNA, April 5 (Reuters) – Ailing Austrian lender
Volksbanken AG lost 1.35 billion euros ($1.8 billion)
last year, it said on Thursday, its last annual results before a
state-led rescue ushers in new leadership.
Impairments on businesses in eastern Europe, losses on Greek
debt and other bad loans hammered Volksbanken, once Austria’s
fourth-biggest bank, which failed last year’s European stress
VIENNA, March 29 (Reuters) – Austrian group Raiffeisen is on
track to meet European Union capital requirements for banks by
mid-year even without a rights issue from listed unit Raiffeisen
Bank International (RBI).
RBI also proposed keeping its dividend steady at 1.05 euros
($1.4), making it the only major Austrian lender to make a
payout on 2011 results.
VIENNA, March 28 (Reuters) – UniCredit unit Bank
Austria forecast modest loan growth this year and dangled
prospects of boosting earnings back to 1 billion euros ($1.3
billion) in 2013 as one-off hits wane.
Net profit at emerging Europe’s top lender fell 71 percent
in 2011 as impairments in Kazakhstan and Ukraine and writedowns
on Greek debt eclipsed higher underlying operating profit.
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