Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
Michael's Feed
Dec 23, 2014

Austria sells Hypo Balkans network to private equity firm Advent

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.

Dec 16, 2014

Austria’s Raiffeisen looking to sell Polish unit -sources

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.

Dec 16, 2014

Next Austrian-Bavarian legal brawl over Hypo sale looms

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.

Dec 11, 2014

Austrian court upholds 2013 mobile frequency auction

VIENNA, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Austria’s highest administrative
court rejected on Thursday Deutsche Telekom unit T-Mobile’s
attempt to nullify an auction of mobile frequencies which
brought the state 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in 2013.

Had it ruled differently, the auction would have had to be
repeated, which could have delayed the availability of faster
mobile services in Austria and put a hole in Austrian finances.
Its ruling is now final.

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.

    • 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:
    • Contact Michael

    • Follow Michael