Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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Jun 2, 2015

New capital demands for Austrian banks bode ill for dividends

VIENNA, June 2 (Reuters) – New capital requirements that the
Austrian authorities will impose on their big banks are
undermining dividend prospects and underscore the fragmented
approach being taken to regulating the sector, despite efforts
to foster a European banking union, analysts and officials said
on Tuesday.

The national Financial Market Stability Board said Erste
Group, Bank Austria, Raiffeisen Zentralbank
and Raiffeisen Bank International should hold
an extra 3 percentage-point capital cushion by mid-2017.

May 29, 2015

Iran provides some information in U.N. nuclear inquiry: IAEA

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has provided some information about one of two open items in a U.N. nuclear watchdog investigation into whether it may have researched an atomic bomb, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Friday.

The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said Tehran had “shared some information in relation to one of these measures. The Agency and Iran agreed to continue the dialogue on these practical measures and to meet again in the near future.”

May 29, 2015

Iran provides some information in U.N. nuclear inquiry -IAEA

VIENNA, May 29 (Reuters) – Iran has provided some
information about one of two open items in a U.N. nuclear
watchdog investigation into whether it may have researched an
atomic bomb, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on
Friday.

The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said
Tehran had “shared some information in relation to one of these
measures. The Agency and Iran agreed to continue the dialogue on
these practical measures and to meet again in the near future.”

May 27, 2015

Austrian central banker defends role in Hypo affair

VIENNA, May 27 (Reuters) – Austrian bank supervisors did
what they could with the powers then available to keep problem
bank Hypo Alpe Adria on the rails in the “gold rush” era before
the global financial crisis, a senior central banker testified
on Wednesday.

Supervisors’ role is under scrutiny in a parliamentary
investigation into the meteoric rise and spectacular fall of
Hypo in Austria’s biggest post-war financial scandal.

May 27, 2015

For BAWAG owner Cerberus, Postbank bid is just one option

VIENNA/FRANKFURT, May 27 (Reuters) – It took years and a
small fortune for U.S. investor Cerberus Capital Management
to polish Austrian lender BAWAG PSK into a
retail gem. The question now is whether it wants to try to
repeat the trick with Deutsche Postbank.

The German retail bank is slated to be sold by Deutsche Bank
by the end of next year and investment bankers have
long pitched the idea of combining BAWAG PSK and Postbank, which
use post offices as outlets for selling financial services
products.

May 22, 2015

Austrian conservatives rebel over tax reform plans

VIENNA, May 22 (Reuters) – A group of conservative Austrian
lawmakers has broken with the party leadership over reform plans
that would give the taxman more power to snoop into the accounts
of suspected cheats, a sensitive topic in a country enamoured of
banking secrecy.

Resistance from rebel People’s Party (OVP) MPs from Styria
province may complicate efforts to adopt a 5 billion euro ($5.6
billion) tax relief package that also needs the support of the
opposition Greens party because it amends the constitution.

May 21, 2015

Raiffeisen Bank International profit nearly halves

VIENNA, May 21 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International’s
(RBI) first-quarter profit fell by nearly half,
showing the impact of a squeeze on the bank’s income even though
bad debt charges fell.

The second-biggest lender in emerging Europe also reiterated
on Thursday it might report an annual loss in 2015, partly the
result of booking most of an expected 550 million euros in
restructuring costs to help to hit a core capital ratio of 12
percent by the end of 2017.

May 12, 2015

BAWAG PSK on growth path as Q1 profit jumps

VIENNA, May 12 (Reuters) – Austrian lender BAWAG PSK
is on the lookout for retail-focused acquisitions in
its core western Europe markets, top executives told Reuters on
Tuesday while reporting first-quarter net profit rose by half.

Majority owner Cerberus Capital Management is in
the midst of a strategic review for westward-looking BAWAG,
which unlike other big Austrian banks has practically cut off
exposure to the volatile central and eastern Europe region.

May 8, 2015

ECB’s Nowotny – capital controls helpful in extreme situations

VIENNA (Reuters) – Imposing controls on the movement of capital may be helpful for countries in an emergency, European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny told Reuters on Friday, warning however that parallel currencies such as IOUs do not fit in the euro bloc.

The remarks from Nowotny, who is also head of Austria’s central bank, shed light on the debate within the euro zone as Greece struggles to persuade its international creditors to unlock badly needed funding and stay in the euro zone.

May 7, 2015

Erste boosts Q1 net profit as risk costs fall

VIENNA, May 7 (Reuters) – A brighter economic picture across
most of central and eastern
Europe is helping Erste Group to bounce back from a
record 2014 net loss, the region’s third-biggest lender said on
Thursday, as it beat first-quarter profit estimates.

Mortgage loans are on the rise and consumer lending is
picking up in places including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and
Romania, Chief Executive Andreas Treichl said, while corporate
loans are seeing better volume although weak margins.

    • 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"
      Joined Reuters:
      1987
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