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Vienna International Business News | Economic | Investment | Financial

Business Indicator: Recovery in Austria to Pick Up Momentum in 2016

According to Bank Austria, the Business Indicator fell again in November. Now sitting at -0.3 points, the indicator has reached its lowest reading of 2015 just before the turn of the year. Despite this downward trend Bank Austria assumes that the Austrian economy will have maintained its moderate growth trajectory at the end of 2015.

December 18, 2015

VSE: US Interest Rate Decision Likely to Increase Appeal of Austrian Stocks

The Vienna Stock Exchange can look back at a year of solid developments on the stock market in 2015. The uptrend in equity trading volumes has now been sustained for more than two years: trading volumes were up by 24.3%; the ATX gained 11.20%, and innovations in bond trading were the highlights of the year. Market capitalization on the Vienna Stock Exchange reached EUR 86.28 billion in December 2015. This was a gain of 7.86% over the year-end figure of 2014.

December 18, 2015

UniCredit Final Restructuring Program on Bank Austria's Retail Business

UniCredit announced a major step in its strategic plan execution, by launching a profound restructuring program on its Austrian retail business that will enable Bank Austria to develop its business in a sustainable way, while bringing down significantly its cost income ratio. The restructuring plan will allow to reduce by 2018 Bank Austria's overall costs by € 150mn per year on an ongoing basis on top of the Strategic Plan and with main focus on personnel expenses, leading to an overall cost decrease by almost € 300mn versus 2014 in order to ensure the business sustainability in the long-run.

December 15, 2015

IMF Report: Austria Should Make Cuts in Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Banks Should Raise Equity

Austria's outlook suggests a moderate improvement. The latest IMF report recommends Austria to conduct broad cuts in such areas of spending as healthcare, education and pensions. Also, Austrian banks should raise equity. Unemployment, although rising, has remained moderate at below 6 percent. Strengthening private consumption, investment, and exports are expected to raise growth to about 1½ percent in 2016. The current account surplus exceeds 2 percent of GDP thanks to sustained price competitiveness and robust tourism inflows. The authorities have made significant progress in revamping the regulatory framework for the banking sector. However challenges remain and further measures need to be taken. Therefore the IMF suggests three policy priorities: expenditure reforms, integrate immigrants into the Austrian economy and further strengthen financial sector resilience.

December 14, 2015

US Company Contour Moves European Headquarters from Paris to Vienna

The Vienna-based European headquarters will be the strategic centre for all thermal and renewable energy facilities in Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Armenia, Spain, Northern Ireland and Ukraine.

December 11, 2015

RBI Sells Slovenian Subsidiary to US Private Equity Firm Apollo

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) has reached an agreement to sell its Slovenian bank, Raiffeisen Banka d.d., to Biser Bidco, which is managed by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management, LLC. The purchase price has not been disclosed. The expected deconsolidation effect on RBI’s consolidated result will amount to minus EUR 49 million.

December 10, 2015

India Forum at the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce

Recently the Foreign Trade Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber organised an event focused on India. Entitled “Parameters for Your Success with Business in India”, the event counted with the participation of ca. 70 Austrian companies and entrepreneurs aiming for India or potentially being interested in doing business there.

December 3, 2015

Purchasing Managers' Index: More Moderate Industrial Growth in November

Bank Austria has published its latest "Purchasing Managers' Index" on the Austrian economy. The Austrian economy should manage to keep better pace with European and German growth rates in 2016. With the momentum of the recovery in Europe, the industrial sector in Austria has already improved since the beginning of autumn. In spite of a weaker result compared to the previous month the Bank Austria Purchasing Managers’ Index amounts 51.4 points. This still clearly indicates growth for Austrian industry, which in the meantime has largely caught up with the pace of growth in Europe.

December 3, 2015

Californian Woman Can Not Take Austrian Railways to Court in the US

Supreme Court says, Carol Sachs who was heavily injured in Innsbruck can’t sue in the US. Her lawsuit against the Austrian national railroad ÖBB for injuries that she suffered while attempting to board a train in Austria does not fall within the “commercial activity” exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and is therefore barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. The American wanted USD 20 million compensation from ÖBB.

December 2, 2015

VIG: Elisabeth Stadler to Replace Peter Hagen as CEO

Due to differences in opinion regarding the future strategic orientation and steering of the Group, Peter Hagen will be leaving his position as Chairman of the Managing Board of the Vienna Insurance Group on 31 December 2015. Elisabeth Stadler will become his successor.

December 2, 2015

Constantia Flexibles Acquires SE Asian Labels Producer Pemara

Constantia Flexibles Group strengthens its position in the Southeast Asia labels market by acquiring the Australian company Pemara Labels Group. The parties agreed not to disclose any financial details and the transaction is expected to close in the next few months. Pemara operates four plants in Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, along with sales offices in Sydney (Australia) and Manila (Philippines).

December 1, 2015

Andritz Subsidiary Schuler Lands Large-Scale Contract in China

Schuler AG has received a further major order from FAW Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. The Chinese company ordered press line with ServoDirect Technology and a servo tryout press for its Qingdao facility. With a total force of 81,000 kilonewtons, the servo press line will be mainly used to produce car body parts, such as hoods or doors. The order value is in the middle double-digit-million-euro range.

November 30, 2015

EBRD to Become 30 Per Cent Shareholder in Raiffeisen Bank Aval

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is about to become a 30 per cent shareholder in Raiffeisen Bank Aval JSC (RBA), a leading universal bank in Ukraine and a subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), under an agreement signed in Kiev today.

November 25, 2015

Large Securitisation Deal between EIB and UniCredit Leasing Austria

EIB participates in securitisation transaction of UniCredit Leasing Austria with EUR 230.9 mil. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will make available EUR 230.9 million to UniCredit Leasing Austria through the purchase of asset-backed securities (ABS).

November 24, 2015

Business Indicator: Austria's Economy Grows by 0.9 Percent in 2015

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. At the beginning of the final quarter of 2015, the already moderate economic recovery in Austria seems to have lost speed. The Bank Austria Business Indicator slipped into the red in October. A sharp decline in consumer sentiment has pushed the indicator to its lowest level in eight months, despite the continual increase in confidence within industry. In addition to a slowdown of economic activity in Austria in the meantime, the opposing trend in domestic and foreign demand can still be seen in the recent Bank Austria Business Indicator. The different developments of individual sentiment components highlight the fact that neither consumption nor investment activity have gained momentum, but demand from abroad is slowly increasing. The opposing trends in domestic economic activity and foreign demand appear to have strengthened in Austria for the time being.

November 18, 2015

VTB Bank Austria has Passed the European Central Bank’s Stress Tests

To meet these requirements, VTB Bank (Austria) AG boosted the capital, raising its consolidated capital ratio from 9.3% as of the end of 2014 to 13.7% as of the end of September 2015.

November 16, 2015

Austria was Elected to Five UNESCO Bodies

During the current General Conference of the Organization for Education, Science and Culture of the United Nations (UNESCO) Austria was elected to five steering committees. The successful candidacies prove the credibility of Austrian experts worldwide.

November 13, 2015

Bank Austria Posts Net Profit of EUR 660 Million for the First Nine Months

UniCredit Bank Austria announced that net profit in the three months to end-September dropped to 172 million euros from 291 million in the previous three months. As reported, the bank plans to terminate up to 14,000 jobs and restructure or exit its retail business in Austria and leasing operations in Italy as it seeks to strengthen its equity.

November 11, 2015

UniCredit - Bank Austria: CEE Operations Move from Vienna to Milan - Retail Business to be Sold or Restructured

Until the end of 2016, all CEE interests with currently 48,000 employees have to be transferred to Milan. Until now this division has been the most important earner for Bank Austria. The 13 banking subsidiaries of Bank Austria in Eastern and Southeastern Europe employ nearly 48,000 people - and thus the majority of the approximately 57,000 employees of Bank Austria. The retail banking business of in Austria with 1.6 million customers has to be sold or restructured, Unicredit announced in the afternoon.

November 11, 2015

Voestalpine Increased Revenue by 4.1% in First Half 2015/16

In the first half of the business year 2015/16 (April 1 to September 30), the steel group Voestalpine continued its performance despite an economic environment that – viewed globally – is inconsistent. In a year-to-year comparison, it increased its revenue by 4.1% from EUR 5.6 billion to EUR 5.8 billion.

November 11, 2015

Tensions Prior to Announcement of the UniCredit Savings Plans

It is rumored that the groupwide reduction of up to 14,000 jobs will be announced today. It is also about the future of Bank Austria. Bank Austria's parent UniCredit may withdraw the group's CEE head office from Vienna.

November 11, 2015

Insolvent DIY Chain BauMax Ended Its Operations

Insolvent DIY chain BauMax ended its operations completely on Friday with many stores sold to Obi of Germany. Seven stores did not attract a buyer. Some 700 employees in total are at risk of losing their jobs.

October 30, 2015

Purchasing Managers' Index: Pace of Austria's Industrial Growth Increases

Bank Austria has published its latest "Purchasing Managers' Index" on the Austrian economy. At the end of the first quarter in 2015 subtle signs of a pick-up in Austrian economic activity were detected for the first time in about six months.

October 30, 2015

VIG Completes Acquisition of Latvian Non-Life Insurer Baltikums AAS

Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) has finalized the 100-percent acquisition of Riga-based Baltikums AAS. As a result of the acquisition, Vienna Insurance Group is now one of the top five insurers on the Latvian market.

October 27, 2015

Recommendations from the EU to Help Austria Improve Its Economic Performance

The Austrian economy has stagnated since the second quarter of 2012. Energy prices have helped lower inflation, but core inflation is stable. The labour market has performed strongly, but challenges lie ahead. Fiscal consolidation has slowed down in 2014 due to the cost borne by the government for the financial sector, which translated into higher deficit and debt ratios. Despite a solid, but moderate current account surplus, Austria has suffered a pronounced loss in world trade market shares. While the economy is free of major imbalances, maintaining competitiveness and long term growth prospects requires constant attention and consistent policy efforts. The Commission has made four country-specific recommendations to Austria to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of public finances, taxation and pensions, labour market and education, services, and the financial sector.

October 26, 2015

Bank Austria Sells Prominent Property "The Mall" to Morgan Stanley Consortium

UniCredit Bank Austria AG announces that the purchase agreement for the shopping centre The Mall at Wien Mitte was signed with Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI), pending approval by the antitrust authorities.

October 22, 2015

Xi Jinping's Strategy Represents a Significant Threat to European Industry

AEGIS Europe, the manufacturing alliance of 30 European industry associations express skepticism at Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks to the media during London visit. The alliance called into question Mr Xi's comments to the media about China's orientation towards a more open and transparent market.

October 21, 2015

RBI’s Russian Subsidiary Sells its Pension Fund Business

RBI’s Russian subsidiary (AO Raiffeisenbank) closed the sale of its pension fund business (ZAO NPF Raiffeisen) to the Russian BIN Group. The transaction will result in a one-off gain before tax of around EUR 87 million for RBI, which will be booked in the fourth quarter of 2015. It has been agreed that the parties will not disclose the price at which the transaction took place.

October 19, 2015

Austria's Economy Undergoing a Very Modest Recovery Despite Increasing Uncertainties

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. Despite increasing global uncertainties, the recovery of the Austrian economy is continuing into the start of autumn. The Business Indicator remained the same in September at 0.1 points compared to the previous month. The improved confidence in domestic industry as well as an increased tailwind from Europe compensated for the deterioration in consumer confidence.

October 19, 2015

How Can Exporters Benefit from the "Go-International Initiative" of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce?

Even in a challenging global economic environment, exports remain the driving force behind the Austrian economy. The go-international initiative of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce encourages companies to step across the border by offering advisory services, events and support, as well as making it easier for existing exporters to enter additional foreign markets.

October 19, 2015

Bank of China to Open Branch in Vienna

Bank of China, one of the 5 biggest state-owned commercial banks in China intends to open its first branch in Vienna in the near future, as its Chairman Tian Guoli recently said while visiting Vienna.

October 16, 2015

Life Sciences Field is Booming in Vienna

Nine percent revenue growth, five percent increase in the workforce and a large increase in business startups - Vienna as a location for life science businesses is attracting companies at a rate never seen before.

October 14, 2015

Executives of Austrian Companies in the US and Canada Met in Chicago

For the second time, the Annual Conference for Executives of Austrian Subsidiaries returned to Chicago. A group of renowned financial, legal, economic experts and consultants presented an outlook on the business environment as well as forecasts for the US and Canadian economies to an audience of some 100 top-level Austrian executives and important decision makers from a variety of industries.

October 8, 2015

Indian Women Empowering Austrian Women

On October 2nd the Ladies Organization of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FLO) is a guest at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. Thirty-eight Indian entrepreneurs from the sectors of textile, crafts and jewelry are expected. In addition, the fields of education and arts management are represented.

September 28, 2015

CEE in the Autumn of 2015 is the New Safe Haven

The key conclusion of UniCredit’s CEE Quarterly 4Q 2015 is that the CEE region, despite its heterogeneity, looks better positioned than most other large emerging markets to cope with potential challenges. In particular they found that market volatility spiked in 3Q15, with the uncertainty surrounding the anticipated Fed rate hike augmented by growing worries about a “hard landing” in China.

September 25, 2015

PayLife Becomes SIX Payment Services

In September 2013, the Swiss financial services provider SIX acquired PayLife, the market leader for cashless payments in Austria, from the Austrian banks. With the acquisition and integration of PayLife SIX underlines its goal of driving international growth and its ambition to be among the leading European providers of card-based payments. Starting today, PayLife Bank GmbH is renamed SIX Payment Services ( Austria ) GmbH.

September 23, 2015

Erste Group Extends Andreas Treichl’s CEO Mandate to 2020

The Supervisory Board of Erste Group Bank AG extended Andreas Treichl’s mandate as Chairman of the Management Board until mid-2020.

September 17, 2015

Export Award: Austria's Best Exporters

The success of exporters on international markets secures prosperity and jobs in Austria, with six out of every ten euros generated by exports. Recently the 2015 Export Award winners were selected by an independent expert panel. The Austrian Export Award gives annual recognition to the most dedicated and successful companies.

September 11, 2015

Vienna as a Congress City Takes Second Place Worldwide

Austria's capital city, Vienna, has once again confirmed its standing as one of the world's most popular congress cities in 2014. In the 2014 ranking of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Vienna took second place with 202 international congresses, thereby climbing one place against 2013. Paris (with 214) was at the top of the ranking.

September 11, 2015

Austrian Airlines Returns to Shanghai

The return to Shanghai highlights the continued importance of the Chinese market to Austrian Airlines and the high value attached to its outbound market in particular. Austrian Airlines had already included Shanghai in its flight schedule starting on April 28, 2004. However, flight service was terminated in January 2007 as part of the redimensioning of the airline’s long-haul fleet and the related decommissioning of all its Airbus A330 and A340 long-haul aircraft.

September 10, 2015

British Police Orders Surveillance Aircraft from Austrian Airborne Technologies

The UK National Police Air Service (UK NPAS) has awarded the contract to deliver 4 role-equipped fixed-wing surveillance aircraft to Airborne Technologies from Wiener Neustadt. In addition to substantial German police units, another important police force will now rely on the Austrian company that has established itself as potential partner for police aviation.

September 10, 2015

BDO Austria Expands Consulting Expertise

Ten partners together with their teams have switched from a renowned Austrian competitor to BDO Austria. Thanks to this switch, BDO Austria is able to expand its consulting expertise in the areas of SMEs and family business.

September 10, 2015

Austrian President Fischer is First European Head of State to Visit Iran

Austrian President Heinz Fischer is the first European head of state to visit Iran following the successful conclusion of nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1.

September 7, 2015

InEquality: Economic Symposium at Forum Alpbach Launched

The Economic Symposium of the Forum Alpbach has been launched in the presence of business executives, politicians, students and the media. The core topic of this year's conference is InEquality.

September 2, 2015

Expat Insider: Country Report Austria - Safe & Sound

InterNations shares with you a detailed picture of life abroad in Austria: why people relocate, what their daily life is like, and how satisfied they are. Known for schnitzels, mountains, and bodybuilders turned governors, Austria has excellent rankings in the Quality of Life, Working Abroad, and Family Life Indices, but settling in isn't easy. They provide an in-depth country profile of Austria. Read on and find out what expatriate life in your dream destination Austria is actually like.

August 25, 2015

Erste Group Presents Net Profit of EUR 487.2 Million in H1 15

Erste Group closed the first half of 2015 with positive results, reflected in strong improvements in profitability, asset quality, lending and capital. The group reported a net profit of EUR 487.2 million in H1 2015, compared to a negative result of EUR -929.7 million in the similar period last year; all countries except Hungary made a positive contribution to this development. Total assets increased to EUR 197.5 billion, compared to EUR 196.3 billion at the end of 2014. This balance sheet growth reflects a 2.2% advance in net lending to customers compared to the end of 2014, to EUR 123.5 billion, supported by the 1.7% growth in loans to households, 2.0% to SMEs and 5.9% to large corporates.

August 7, 2015

Telekom Austria Appoints Alejandro Plater as CEO

Telekom Austria announces that its Supervisory Board has allocated the Chief Executive Officer responsibilities to Alejandro Plater (47) as proposed by the two majority shareholders América Móvil and Österreichische Bundes- und Industriebeteiligungen GmbH (ÖBIB). This appointment will be effective as of 1 August 2015.

July 24, 2015

Low Interest Rates are Costing Every Austrian 2,366 Euro

Due to the ongoing low interest rate environment, Austrian savers had to forego around EUR 35.5 billion in interest income over the past five years (2010-2014). On average this amounts to approx. 4,156 euro per capita. Of this, interest earned on deposits alone on average amounted to EUR 24 billion less than in the years 2005 – 2009. Anyone who invested his money in residential real estate has reason to be pleased, as prices have risen by more than a third since 2009. On stock exchanges significantly larger gains could be achieved as well, but only 3.3% of Austrians are directly invested in equities.

July 21, 2015

Trafomodern Joins Hands with Indian Salzer Electronics

India based Salzer Electronics has entered a technical licensing agreement with Trafomodern Transformatorengesellschaft m.b.H, an Austrian manufacturer of dry type transformers.

July 21, 2015

Niki Lauda Acquires Stakes in Benko's Real Estate Firms

The private foundation of former Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda will acquire 1% of Signa Prime and a 10% stake in Signa Retail.

July 17, 2015