Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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May 21, 2012

Deutsche Bank to run sale of Hypo Alpe SEE assets

VIENNA (Reuters) – Nationalised Austrian lender Hypo Alpe Adria HAABI.UL has launched the sale of its southeastern Europe banking network by picking Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to run a deal it hopes will raise at least 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion).

Hypo Alpe Adria Chief Executive Gottwald Kranebitter said Deutsche would begin the process by sounding out the market, which he acknowledged was a tough one, with the goal of being able to act quickly should deep-freeze conditions thaw out after banks hit mid-2012 capital targets.

May 13, 2012

Drowned Libya oil chief feared going home

VIENNA (Reuters) – Spat at in public by a fellow Libyan who called him a thief, watching his back on long walks through Vienna, eating poorly; Muammar Gaddafi’s fugitive oil supremo was a troubled man in the months before he was found drowned in the Danube two weeks ago.

Just whom, or what, Shokri Ghanem feared may hold a key to his mysterious sudden death, just as he was under mounting pressure to reveal what he knew of suspect deals with foreign oil buyers that made billionaires of the late dictator’s family.

May 9, 2012

Libya concerns eclipse solid OMV results

VIENNA, May 9 (Reuters) – Austrian energy group OMV
warned on Wednesday it faced production and security
issues in Libya that could make it hard to match output levels
from before the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.

Concerns about the north African country overshadowed news
that OMV’s first-quarter profit easily beat expectations.

May 3, 2012

Top Vienna murder unit gets Libyan oil boss case

VIENNA, May 3 (Reuters) – Vienna’s top homicide
investigation team is probing the mysterious drowning of Libya’s
former oil chief but that does not mean they think he was
murdered, prosecutors said on Thursday.

The body of Shokri Ghanem, a confidant of Libyan strongman
Muammar Gaddafi who fled to Austria after defecting last year,
was found floating in the river Danube on Sunday.

May 1, 2012

Suspicion surrounds Vienna death of Gaddafi oil boss

VIENNA/LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – The mysterious drowning of
Muammar Gaddafi’s former oil boss in Vienna has shaken friends
and colleagues, who say they suspect enemies may have hunted
down and killed the man who knew more than anyone else about the
Libyan dictator’s billions.

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.

May 1, 2012

Mysterious Vienna death of Gaddafi oil boss arouses suspicion

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.

Apr 30, 2012

Gaddafi-era Libyan oil chief drowned: Vienna police

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.

Apr 30, 2012

Erste slimming regime weighs on outlook

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.

Apr 24, 2012

Sberbank to inject up to 300 mln euros into VBI

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
on Tuesday.

He also told reporters VBI made a profit in the first
quarter after posting losses last year.

Apr 5, 2012

Austria’s Volksbanken loses 1.4 billion euros

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
tests.

    • 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"
      Hometown:
      Philadelphia
      Joined Reuters:
      1987
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