Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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Dec 10, 2014

Banca Transilvania to buy Volksbanken’s Romania business

VIENNA/BUCHAREST, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Banca Transilvania
, Romania’s third-biggest bank, said on Wednesday it
will buy part-nationalised Austrian lender Volksbanken AG’s
Romanian business in a deal triggered by
Volksbanken’s radical shrinking cure.

Neither side disclosed financial details of the acquisition
although Banca Transilvania described the price as “reasonable”
for both sides.

Dec 5, 2014

Germans resist ECB money-printing move, but Draghi gets key support

FRANKFURT/VIENNA, Dec 5 (Reuters) – European Central Bank
policymaker Ewald Nowotny on Friday backed ECB President Mario
Draghi on steps to revive the euro zone economy with new
stimulus, while Germany firmly maintained its opposition to
buying sovereign bonds.

The support of Nowotny, Austria’s central bank chief, may
prove crucial for Draghi as he seeks to expand the scale of ECB
action next year, most likely including quantitative easing
(QE), the printing money to buy government bonds.

Dec 2, 2014

Panel blasts Austria’s handling of stricken Hypo

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria bungled its handling of stricken lender Hypo Alpe Adria [HAABI.UL] and let former owner BayernLB off the hook when nationalizing Hypo in 2009, a panel of experts looking into the affair said on Tuesday.

Under pressure over the mounting costs of winding down Hypo, the government created the five-member panel of financial and legal experts in March.

Nov 28, 2014

Austria re-opens sale of Hypo Balkan network – sources

VIENNA, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Austria has re-opened the sale of
the Balkan network of nationalised bank Hypo Alpe Adria
, with no exclusivity for a bidder group led by Advent
International, sources close to the matter said on Friday.

Hypo had agreed in principle to sell the asset to U.S.
private equity group Advent and the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Nov 24, 2014

Poland’s Belka concerned zloty will rise against euro

VIENNA (Reuters) – Polish central bank head Marek Belka is worried that the zloty will rise against the euro, a move that would hamper business and could affect interest rate policy, he told Reuters on Monday.

The zloty is not overvalued now, he said in an interview at an economics conference in Vienna.

Nov 24, 2014

Austria’s Nowotny throws cold water on quick launch of state bond buying

VIENNA, Nov 24 (Reuters) – A senior European Central Bank
policymaker played down prospects on Monday for any immediate
buying of government bonds by the ECB, underscoring scepticism
about such a move to print money in the euro zone.

Asked by reporters what would prompt further ECB action,
such as adding state bonds to its shopping list of assets, Ewald
Nowotny, a member of the ECB’s governing council, said that
while that question could arise, it had not done so yet.

Nov 20, 2014

Asian coal mine exposure adds to Raiffeisen woes

VIENNA, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International
added Asia to its headaches in Ukraine and Hungary,
seeing a hit from exposure to Asian coal mines the bank
inherited when a loan went sour.

The Austrian group’s third-quarter profits also fell in
Russia as a weakening rouble undercut strong operating results.

Nov 19, 2014
via FaithWorld

Muslim, Christian, Jewish leaders unite to condemn jihadi violence


(A militant Islamist fighter waving a flag, cheers as he takes part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer)

Senior Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders condemned violence by jihadi militants such as Islamic State (IS) at a Saudi-backed conference on Wednesday in a rare display of inter-faith unity aimed at promoting tolerance and diversity.

Nov 18, 2014

Vienna Insurance sees Romania, Italy businesses on the mend

VIENNA, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Vienna Insurance Group
is turning round its problematic Romanian business but may still
post a small loss in Italy next year as it unwinds a disastrous
foray into car insurance there, Chief Executive Peter Hagen

Hits from Italy and Romania had pushed 2013 pretax profit
down 37 percent at Austria’s biggest insurer, but profit in the
first nine months of 2014 rose 36 percent, fuelled by central
and eastern Europe units that make over half of group earnings.

Oct 22, 2014

ECB cools speculation over bank health checks ahead of results

MADRID/VIENNA (Reuters) – The European Central Bank cautioned on Wednesday against speculation over the outcome of its stress tests after a media report said at least 11 banks had failed the landmark financial health checks, driving some banking shares lower.

Austria’s Erste Group (ERST.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) rejected the report from Spanish newswire Efe, which said that it along with banks from Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece, had failed the ECB review based on preliminary data, but it gave no details of the size of the capital holes at the banks.

    • 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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