VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria will withdraw its peacekeepers from the U.N. monitoring force on the Golan Heights, after worsening fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels sent its soldiers scurrying into bunkers for cover earlier on Thursday.
Austrians account for about 380 of the 1,000-strong U.N. force observing a decades-old ceasefire between Syria and Israel, and their departure will deal a blow to the mission.
VIENNA (Reuters) – The central and eastern European banking empire that Herbert Stepic forged at Austrian lender Raiffeisen may be the casualty of a power struggle at the group exposed by his sudden exit.
Stepic, 66, has depicted his abrupt resignation last month as chief executive of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) as a selfless effort to protect the group from damaging publicity about his personal property investments.
VIENNA, May 31 (Reuters) – Nationalised Austrian lender Hypo
Alpe Adria agreed on Friday to sell its domestic
business to a British investor, the first step in a break-up
demanded by the European Commission as a consequence of the
bank’s rescue in the financial crisis.
The deal was announced just as Austria was sending the
Commission a revised plan for reorganising Hypo, a government
source said, declining to give any more details.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International (RBIV.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is counting on a gradual economic upturn in central and eastern Europe to help boost business later this year and reduce its reliance on Russia, where it in effect made all its first-quarter profit.
Emerging Europe’s second-biggest lender on Tuesday stuck to its 2013 outlook that net provisions for bad loans and its net interest margin, which edged higher year on year, would roughly match 2012 levels as customer loans rise slightly.
VIENNA (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is looking at ways to boost banks’ liquidity rather than cutting interest rates, ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny said in an interview with Reuters.
Sitting in his wood-panelled office at the Austrian central bank in Vienna, the ECB Governing Council member said he expected the economy to brighten eventually.
VIENNA, May 24 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International
Chief Executive Herbert Stepic resigned on Friday in
what he called an effort to spare his bank from negative
publicity over personal property deals that triggered scrutiny
by the lender and regulators.
Stepic, 66, again denied wrongdoing in using front companies
in the Caribbean and Asia to buy flats in Singapore in 2006 and
2008 – deals exposed by the Offshore Leaks investigative
journalism project – but said he decided to quit out of loyalty
VIENNA, May 23 (Reuters) – Austria’s central bank is to
investigate personal property deals by Raiffeisen Bank
International’s chief executive after media reports he
had made use of front companies.
In a career spanning decades at the group, Herbert Stepic,
66, forged Raiffeisen into central and eastern Europe’s
second-biggest lender and he remains a towering figure at the
bank. He has denied any wrongdoing.
VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria may pull its peacekeeping troops from the Golan Heights, evacuating the U.N. buffer zone, its defence minister warned on Tuesday, as Syria and Israel exchanged fire across a long dormant frontline now inflamed by civil war.
Vienna’s warning was aimed at Britain and other allies which want to help Syrian rebels by lifting an EU arms embargo – doing so, minister Gerald Klug told Reuters, would rob Austrian troops of their neutrality in a Syrian conflict that has already seen foreign peacekeepers come under fire and some even held hostage.
VIENNA, May 16 (Reuters) – Austria’s Kommunalkredit
could still be sold and does not need to be wound
down, the country’s market watchdog said on Thursday after
Vienna missed an EU privatisation deadline for the lender.
The sale of Kommunalkredit, a public-sector finance
specialist nationalised in 2008, was required under the terms of
Austria’s bailout. Its failure adds to the country’s problems
with the European Commission, which is already questioning state
aid to another Austrian bank.
VIENNA, May 15 (Reuters) – Austria’s banks are giving a
thumbs down to supporting the creation of a “bad bank” for Hypo
Alpe Adria to relieve pressure on state finances from
the nationalised lender.
Hypo Alpe Adria, rescued from collapse by the state in 2009,
has already swallowed more than 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion)
in government aid.