Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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Apr 30, 2015

Ukrainian tycoon Firtash escapes extradition to U.S

VIENNA (Reuters) – An Austrian court refused on Thursday to extradite Ukrainian industrialist Dmytro Firtash to the United States, accepting his argument that political motivations lay behind U.S. efforts to try him on corruption charges.

One of Ukraine’s most influential oligarchs, Firtash, 49, was arrested in Vienna a year ago at the request of U.S. authorities, which have been investigating him since 2006.

Apr 29, 2015

Bank Austria still sees central, east Europe as growth engine

VIENNA, April 29 (Reuters) – Bank Austria’s market-leading
businesses in central and eastern Europe (CEE) will remain the
group’s “engine of growth” despite political tensions and
conflict in Ukraine, its new regional chief said.

“The only bank which was in loss in 2014 was Ukraine. Also
in 2015 it can’t be different,” Deputy Chief Executive and CEE
head Carlo Vivaldi told reporters.

Apr 27, 2015

Carinthia cash crunch gives Austria its own mini-Greece

VIENNA, April 27 (Reuters) – A newspaper cartoon depicting
the cash-strapped province of Carinthia as “Greece without the
ocean” captures the public mood as Austria weighs what to do
with a region facing ruin over unaffordable bank debt

The southern province, once the heartland of support for
late right-wing leader Joerg Haider, says it will run out of
money in June unless the federal government throws it a
financial lifeline.

Apr 23, 2015

Novartis posts first quarter profit beat despite dollar drag

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) beat first-quarter profit forecasts on Thursday, defying the impact of a strong dollar thanks to surprisingly strong margins.

The Basel-based group confirmed its guidance for sales and operating profit growth this year.

Apr 23, 2015

Novartis posts Q1 profit beat despite dollar drag

ZURICH, April 23 (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis
beat first-quarter profit forecasts on Thursday,
defying the impact of a strong dollar thanks to surprisingly
strong margins.

The Basel-based group confirmed its guidance for sales and
operating profit growth this year.

Apr 15, 2015

Austrian banks pay price for Heta woes: Deutsche Bank’s Polster

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian lenders are paying the price for a decision by the local financial watchdog to seize “bad bank” Heta and freeze its debt repayments, the head of the Austrian arm of Germany’s Deutsche Bank told Reuters.

Austria’s FMA supervisor last month took control of Heta Asset Resolution [HAABI.UL] after a capital hole emerged at the vehicle which is winding down the rest of defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria.

Apr 8, 2015

Austrian probe of Hypo bank scandal gets off to rocky start

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s probe into collapsed lender Hypo Alpe Adria began on Wednesday in a welter of wrangling over how much of the investigation into the country’s worst post-war financial scandal should be made public.

Several high-profile figures are expected to testify, but the exact list of witnesses is secret. An opposition party has named 200 people it wants to question, including current and former government officials in Austria and Bavaria, market watchdogs, and senior central bankers.

Mar 26, 2015

ECB queries banks on Austria exposure after Hypo move: sources

VIENNA (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has asked euro zone lenders to detail their exposure to Austria and provisions they plan to make after the country halted debt repayments by a “bad bank” winding down defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria, financial sources told Reuters.

The questionnaire sent to banks and a video conference to discuss the potential fallout underscore the sensitivity of Austria’s path-breaking move to invoke new European rules on ensuring creditors, not just taxpayers, fund bailouts.

Mar 25, 2015

Austrian bank RBI warns may post another loss this year

VIENNA, March 25 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International
(RBI) warned on Wednesday it may post a second
straight year of losses in 2015 as it books restructuring costs
for a major retrenchment after decades of expansion in central
and eastern Europe.

Emerging Europe’s second-biggest lender, which announced
details of its drastic restructuring last month, had said last
year it expected earnings in a range of around 500 million euros
this year.

Mar 23, 2015

Austria’s Immofinanz turns tables on CA Immo with counteroffer

VIENNA, March 23 (Reuters) – Austrian property group
Immofinanz AG plans to offer 18.50 euros per share for
a stake of up to 29 percent in CA Immobilien, turning
the tables on its rival, which is seeking to increase its stake
in Immofinanz.

CA Immo dismissed the 531 million-euro ($575 million) offer
as “emotional” and said it would press ahead with its bid to buy
more shares in Immofinanz.

    • 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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