VIENNA (Reuters) – The surging Swiss franc has dealt a double blow to homeowners in Austria, home of the trend for borrowing in the Swiss currency that has devastated mortgage holders across eastern Europe.
In the early 1990s, people living in the west of the country who crossed into Switzerland to work were lured by the ultra low interest rates offered in the safe-haven currency.
VIENNA, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Austrian oil and gas company OMV
warned 2015 would be tougher than last year as it cuts
investment plans , reflecting falling oil prices and uncertainty
It marks the latest test for Austria’s biggest company,
which has struggled to present a convincing strategy to
investors amid a management shakeup.
VIENNA, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International
sees no need for “fire sales” as it shrinks its
balance sheet, its finance chief said on Thursday, seeking to
reassure investors that it has the strength to withstand turmoil
in Russia and other markets.
RBI, which has said losses could exceed 500 million euros
($565 million) in 2014, said late on Wednesday that it was
planning to extend its capital buffer by reducing risk-weighted
assets (RWA) by at least 20 percent.
Chancellor Werner Faymann has called for Austria to withdraw from a Saudi-sponsored religious dialogue centre in Vienna that has become embroiled in controversy over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.
VIENNA, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Austrian banks’ longstanding ties
with central and eastern European neighbours provided years of
profits when they moved in quickly after the fall of the Soviet
But Ukraine’s descent into chaos, Russia’s economic crisis,
political turmoil in Hungary and sluggish Romanian growth caught
them out and led to a series of profit warnings, exposing risk
management failings and a culture of hoping for the best.
WARSAW/VIENNA, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Polish lenders may take
the biggest hit in central Europe from the Swiss National Bank’s
sudden move to scrap its cap on the franc on Thursday, after
Hungary forced lenders late last year to convert their mortgages
in francs into forints.
Poland’s stock of Swiss franc-denominated mortgages stood at
about $36 billion at the end of last November – almost 8 percent
of gross domestic product in central Europe’s biggest economy,
according to analysts at Citi.
VIENNA/BUDAPEST (Reuters) – The Swiss central bank’s surprise move to let the franc surge sent shock waves through the banking sector in central and eastern Europe (CEE), where widespread mortgages denominated in francs suddenly became much harder to service.
Analysts said Poland and Hungary looked especially exposed to the currency swing that could boost bad loans and poses a policy headache for governments watching citizens’ purchasing power dwindle.
VIENNA, Dec 23 (Reuters) – Austria has agreed to sell
nationalised bank Hypo Alpe Adria’s Balkans network to private
equity firm Advent and Europe’s development bank for up to 200
million euros ($245 million), as it pushes ahead with winding
down the defunct lender.
The sale, announced by the finance ministry and Advent after
weeks of complex negotiations, is expected to close by the
second quarter of 2015, pending regulatory approval.
WARSAW/VIENNA, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Eastern Europe-focused
Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is
looking to sell Raiffeisen Polbank, Poland’s No.8 lender by
assets, three market sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
“Raiffeisen’s Polish unit is for sale,” one source with
knowledge of the matter said.
VIENNA, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Austria’s government gave the
finance ministry approval on Tuesday to sue German bank BayernLB
for compensation over the 2009 nationalisation of
lender Hypo Alpe Adria, setting the stage for another legal
battle with Bavaria.
At stake is who pays for an expensive clean-up at Hypo, a
former BayernLB unit that hit the wall after a decade of
unbridled expansion at home and in the Balkans.