Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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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.

Oct 17, 2014

ECB policymakers clash over how to treat sickly euro zone economy

RIGA/VIENNA (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers clashed on Friday over what policy medicine to administer to the sickly euro zone economy, laying bare deep-seated tensions within the Governing Council.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said he saw no need for fiscal stimulus in Germany, rejecting a thinly veiled appeal from ECB President Mario Draghi for Berlin to increase its public investment levels to help support the euro zone.

Oct 2, 2014

Austria’s Volksbanken AG to be wound down, bondholders spared

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s part-nationalized lender Volksbanken AG (VBAG) is to be wound down to avoid a looming capital crunch it was struggling to plug, it said on Thursday.

The bank said it had not coordinated the plan, which still requires regulatory approval, with the European Central Bank, which has been undertaking health checks of the euro zone’s biggest lenders before taking on direct supervision of them next month.

Oct 2, 2014

Austria’s Volksbanken AG to be wound down

VIENNA, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Austria’s part-nationalised lender
Volksbanken AG (VBAG) is to be wound down to avoid
taxpayers having to put in any more capital.

The flagship of the bigger Volksbanken group, which includes
dozens of regional banks, will liquidate its non-core businesses
and transfer its core operations to another group bank, probably
in the first half of 2015, it said on Thursday.

Oct 2, 2014

Ukraine crisis spotlights risks for Austrian banks

VIENNA, Oct 2 (Reuters) – There is no retreating from
central and eastern Europe (CEE) for Austrian banks who have
spent fortunes over many years to establish their franchise in a
region now feeling the effects of crisis in Ukraine.

Western sanctions on Moscow over accusations it is backing
separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine and the potential for the
Kremlin to hit back hard threaten Raiffeisen Bank International
(RBI) and UniCredit Bank Austria, whose
earnings depend heavily on Russia.

    • 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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