Chief Correspondent, Vienna, Vienna
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Sep 23, 2014

Raiffeisen sees loss of up to 500 mln euros

VIENNA, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Raiffeisen Bank International
could lose as much as 500 million euros ($645 million)
this year because of problems in Ukraine and Hungary,
underscoring the risks of operating in crisis-hit central and
eastern Europe.

Emerging Europe’s number two lender said the conflict in
Ukraine and Hungary’s campaign to make banks cough up money for
mispriced loans were unusual items and that it would make a
“mid-triple-digit million euro” profit next year.

Sep 16, 2014

OPEC’s Badri expects OPEC to lower output target

VIENNA (Reuters) – OPEC’s secretary general said he expected the group to lower its oil output target when it meets in late November, which would be its first formal output cut since the 2008 financial crisis.

Abdullah al-Badri was speaking after meeting Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Tuesday. Oil dropped below OPEC’s preferred level of $100 a barrel last week, which also marks the pain threshold for top world oil producer Russia’s faltering economy.

Sep 10, 2014

Austria pledges to help companies hit by Russia sanctions

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria pledged on Wednesday to shelter companies and workers from the brunt of the economic fallout from Ukraine’s political crisis, which officials said they feared could last some time.

Officials put no firm costs on steps agreed with employers, unions, farmers and industry to cushion the blow from western sanctions on Russia for allegedly fomenting a separatist uprising in Ukraine, and from counter-sanctions by Moscow.

Sep 9, 2014

Austria to cushion its firms against impact of Russian sanctions

VIENNA, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Austria’s government will adopt
measures to cushion the blow to a grumbling business community
of western sanctions against Russia, which officials said may
include tax breaks and subsidies to cover cuts to working hours.

The European Union adopted new sanctions against Russia on
Monday for its role in the Ukraine conflict – in which Moscow
denies direct involvement – but delayed enforcing them to leave
time to assess whether a ceasefire was holding.

Sep 5, 2014

Raiffeisen CEO meets angry Russia fans at Vienna club

VIENNA, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank
International remains committed to its business in
Russia despite uproar over the crisis in Ukraine, Chief
Executive Karl Sevelda told a gathering of Russia supporters
irate at the West’s stance against Moscow.

“We have always said clearly that we…are staying in
Russia, we stand behind our Russian customers and we still think
that Russia is a very attractive banking market even if it has
become tougher – hopefully just temporarily,” Sevelda said.

Sep 2, 2014

New Austrian finance minister vows tax reform, less bureaucracy

VIENNA, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Austria needs “tax reform – not
tax cuts” to help eliminate its structural deficit in 2016, new
Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said on Tuesday, less than
a week after his predecessor quit in a row over tax.

Addressing parliament for the first time in his new role,
Schelling vowed to start dismantling the country’s bloated
bureaucracy and simplify state finances as a way to free up
resources badly needed to boost a flagging economy.

Aug 31, 2014

Austrian conservatives pick Schelling as finance minister

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s conservative People’s Party (OVP) on Sunday chose as finance minister Hans Joerg Schelling, a politically connected millionaire lauded by supporters for whipping the social security network into shape.

The OVP, the junior partner in a government coalition with the Social Democrats, said the party leadership unanimously picked Schelling, 60, head of the national social security system, to replace Michael Spindelegger, who quit last week in a row over tax reform.

Aug 29, 2014

Austria’s Volksbanken faces stress test capital hole-sources

ALPBACH, Austria, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Part-nationalised
Austrian lender Volksbanken AG looks poised to fail a
health check of major euro zone banks’ balance sheets, two
sources close to the situation said.

Results of the European Central Bank-led Asset Quality
Review (AQR) and ensuing stress tests are not final and emerge
only in October, but preliminary estimates show the group needs
more capital, one source with direct knowledge of the matter
said on Friday.

Aug 28, 2014

Austria’s Volksbanken to hold talks on plugging capital shortfall

ALPBACH, Austria, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Part-nationalised
Austrian lender Volksbanken is to hold talks with its
shareholders on measures to boost capital as it faces up to a
shortfall likely to emerge by 2017, it said on Thursday.

Volksbanken, one of the Austrian banks to come under direct
supervision of the European Central Bank (ECB) in November,
expects its equity ratio to fall in the coming years as it
repays 300 million euros ($396 million) in state aid and applies
Basel III regulatory standards.

Aug 27, 2014

Austria begins search for new finance minister

VIENNA, Aug 27 (Reuters) – The new leader of Austria’s
conservative party said on Wednesday he would prefer not serve
as finance minister as well, a tricky dual role his predecessor
performed before suddenly resigning both posts in a row over tax

The government shake-up in the wealthy euro zone member
comes as French President Francois Hollande revamps his his
government after a similar political row over how to boost a
flagging economy without deepening the budget deficit.

    • 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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