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Austrian Investment News and Analysis

Austria's Capital Market for SMEs on the Brink of a Renaissance

Finance Minister Hartwig Löger plans to revive the Austrian capital market for SMEs by making trading of bearer shares of Austrian companies on the Third Market possible again.

April 11, 2018

Russia's Yelena Baturina Divests Grand Tirolia Hotel for €45 Mln

The billionaire and wife of Yury Luzhkov, the former Moscow mayor, is selling her Kitzbühel 5-star hotel for 45 million euros to an investor. Rumour has it that the investor is looking for an international operator.

April 10, 2018

Opel-PSA Group Plans Job Cuts in Vienna

By summer, 140 employees are to leave the Opel plant in Aspern. A further reduction could be avoided thanks to a new transmission order from Opel parent Groupe PSA. Engines will be produced for the previous Opel owner General Motors (GM) until 2019/20. What comes after that is still uncertain.

April 6, 2018

Austrian Budget Airline LaudaMotion: Fighting the Top Dog Lufthansa

LaudaMotion is to become a powerful low-cost airline. Ryanair ultimately intends to acquire a 75 percent stake. From June 2018, a total of 65 routes are to be served from Vienna, from seven German airports (Berlin/Tegel, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart) and from Zurich to the Mediterranean region and to the Canary Islands.

March 30, 2018

Eurowings also Expands Vienna Connections

With the summer flight schedule 2018 Eurowings, the discount airline subsidiary of Lufthansa, is adding new destinations from Vienna to Corfu, Larnaca, Catania, Chania, Kos, Heraklion and Rhodes.

March 30, 2018 · Sponsored Content

80th Anniversary of Mexico’s Protest Against Anschluss of Austria to Hitler-Germany

On 19 March 1938 Mexico submitted a note of protest to the League of Nations against the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany (known as “Anschluss”). At that time Mexico was the only member of the League of Nations to issue a written protest.

March 21, 2018

Mainland Chinese Billionaire Guo Guangchang to Take Over Austrian Asset Wolford AG

Shanghai based Fosun Group through its Hong Kong (Central) vehicle Fosun Industrial Holdings Limited (Fosun) has taken over control of one of Austria's last remaining lingerie assets. According to Wolford, its new strategic core shareholder has agreed to pay at least €36M for a 50.87% majority stake in Wolford AG. Wolford has been struggling with management problems for some time. It also has been loss making for several years. Fosun Industrial Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Fosun International Limited (British Virgin Islands) is an investment holding company with interests in asset management and entertainment services. Fosun wants full control of the lingerie maker. Upon the closing of the share purchase agreement Fosun intends to launch a takeover offer to the remaining shareholders. Fosun was co-founded in 1992 by Fudan graduate Guo Guangchang who meanwhile became the 34th richest person in China with a net worth of €7 billion.

March 3, 2018

Trevor Traina Looks Forward to Become the United States Ambassador to Austria

Today Mr. Trevor Traina testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Nomination Hearing. If confirmed, Mr. Traina is to become the next Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Austria. Traina: I am humbled to be President Trumps nominee to be the United States Ambassador to Austria. If confirmed, his grandmother, who just celebrated her hundredth birthday and who is the widow of his late grandfather Wiley T. Buchanan Jr. (who also served as U.S. ambassador to Austria), would have the confusing honor of being the wife and the grandmother of the Ambassador to Austria.

March 1, 2018

Chancellor Kurz Visits President Putin: "The situation in Syria is dramatic"

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz traveled to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin. The focus of the trip was a working meeting with the Russian President, with whom Kurz discussed, among other things, the bilateral relations of both countries, the relationship between Russia and the EU, the Ukraine conflict and the current situation in Syria.

February 28, 2018

Austrian Government Presents Double Budget 2018/19: EU Requirements Are Met - 2019 Balanced Budget

The new Austrian government is planning a zero deficit for next year, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) have announced. The planned reduction in corporation tax could be of interest to foreign investors and companies.

February 28, 2018

How do Russian Politicians and Oligarchs Withdraw their Money from Austria?

The Russian money nobility has begun to repatriate large amounts of its western-hoarded money back to Russia in order to deprive it of access by Western authorities. The countries of origin are above all Switzerland, but also Austria and Great Britain. Sberbank, Russia's largest and state-owned bank, speaks of an atypically high capital inflow to Russia. Within a few weeks, a tripling of such repatriation transactions took place compared to the same period of the previous year. The sum is hundreds of millions of dollars. The average transfer amount has increased within a year by 50% to 3 million dollars. This meets with the Kremlin's desire to repatriate Russian assets.

February 22, 2018

Moody's Lifts Outlook for Austrian Banks

Moody's lifts outlook for Austrian banks on positive, because the economic recovery in Austria makes it possible to improve the outlook for domestic banks.

August 24, 2017

Austrian Business Meets Foreign Diplomacy

In the context of the ‘Business meets Diplomacy’ series of events, representatives of the Austrian economy meet members of the foreign diplomatic corps for an exchange of views on Austrian business and the economy.

June 20, 2016

What Brexit Means for Austria: Mitterlehner, Kurz, Fiat Steyr

Mitterlehner hopes that the referendum will end in Britain staying in the EU. Kurz says, that Brexit would be terrible. Fiat could relocate production of agriculture and construction machine maker CNH (Case New Holland) from UK to Steyr in case of Brexit.

June 20, 2016

IMD Competitiveness Ranking: Austria Edged Up to Rank 24

According to the latest issue of the competitiveness ranking established by Swiss research facility Instituts für Management-Entwicklung (IMD), Austria edged up from rank 26 to 24 y/y in 2015.

May 31, 2016

Austria’s Business Community Welcomes Van der Bellen

Austria’s economic chamber head Christoph Leitl congratulated Alexander van der Bellen on the latter’s election victory. Leitl stressed Austria’s business sector was ready to cooperate. Also Industrialists Association (Industriellenvereinigung) head Georg Kapsch cheered on the new President, adding that the industrial sector wished the new President good luck.

May 24, 2016

Long-Distance Coach Operator Flixbus to Compete with ÖBB Austrian Railways

Austrian state-run rail company ÖBB Austrian Railways is facing increasing competition of German mobility provider Flixbus which has just launched its third connection for Austria's regional capital cities, between Graz and Salzburg. In January 2016 FlixBus announced its entry to the markets of Central and Eastern Europe with the new branch FlixBus CEE. This includes six countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Croatia) with new lines in the making. () am

April 27, 2016

175 International Businesses Relocated to Vienna

According to the Vienna Business Agency, last year a total of 175 international businesses relocated to Vienna. Compared to the previous year, the result of 159 relocations was further improved. Compared to the other federal states, Vienna was able to attract almost five times more international businesses than the second-placed Carinthia, which, according to statistics of the Ministry of Economy, recorded 36 new businesses, followed by Salzburg (25), Tyrol (20), and Lower Austria (18).

April 21, 2016

India-Austria Bilateral Foreign Trade Volume Increases to EUR 1.40 Billion

Last year was a very good year for India-Austria foreign trade. Experiencing a much faster growth rate than Austria’s overall trade, Austria imported items amounting to EUR 702 million from India and exported a volume amounting EUR 700 million to India.

April 20, 2016

VSE: International Investors Dominate Vienna Stock Exchange

International institutional investors are largest group of investors on the prime market of the VSE Vienna Stock Exchange. They account for some 78 percent of institutional free float of the prime market index ATX Prime stocks, according to a study.

April 12, 2016

Quality of Living - Vienna is still the Number One

Vienna again tops the quality of living survey in 2016. The results of the Mercer study show, for the seventh time in a row, that Vienna's approach to quality of living is internationally acknowledged. Vienna is followed by Zurich (2), Auckland (3), and Munich (4).Vancouver (5) is North America’s highest ranking city, and Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city, holding 26th place. London ranks 39th.

February 26, 2016

Czechs Jirí Šmejc and Karel Komárek Want to Take Control of Casinos Austria

The Czech consortium Austrian Gaming Holding (AGH) of billionaires Jirí Šmejc and Karel Komárek, headquartered in Prague may soon be new majority owner of Casinos Austria AG. According to the Federal Competition Authority (BWB), Austrian Gaming Holding intends to increase one hand its stake in Medial to 88.89 percent and on the other hand to acquire 16.79 percent of Casinos Austria AG shares. Through these acquisitions, AGH will hold directly or indirectly 50.82 percent of the shares and thus acquire sole control of the CASAG.

January 21, 2016

Central and Eastern Europe's Financial Elite Gathered at the CEE Forum in Vienna

The 21st Euromoney Central and Eastern European Forum ended in Vienna today, where 1000 delegates from the region joined local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead. The vast majority of the delegates have a negative outlook for the year 2016. Only one of the participants expects that this year CEE will grow more than 3.5%.

January 20, 2016

Black Diamond Equipment Relocates European Headquarters from Switzerland to Austria

Producer of climbing, skiing, mountain sports equipment Black Diamond will move its European headquarters from Basel to Innsbruck. Tim Bantle has been appointed Managing Director. Black Diamond is actively recruiting staff for the new office, with approximately 35 jobs across sales, marketing, customer service, operations and finance. The new office is expected to be operational in May 2016. Black Diamond Equipment was established in 1989 and has its headquarters in Salt Lake City in Utah.

January 14, 2016

Central and Eastern European Forum in Vienna next Week

The Central and Eastern European Forum - organized by Euromoney - is taking place in Vienna next week. 1,000 top level policymakers, issuers, and commentators from the region will join local and international investors to help plan, debate and analyze the economic agenda for the region for the year ahead.

January 13, 2016

Vienna Startup Welcome Package: International Startups Set Up in Vienna

Over the last few years, Vienna has become a bristling hub of activities - from education to tourism to international organizations, and finally it is transforming into an interesting place for startups. Individuals increasingly flock to Vienna to found their own companies, or to continue what they've already begun in another area of the world. The Vienna Business Agency is awarding the Vienna Startup Welcome Package 2016 by inviting international startups to explore Vienna for 3 months.

December 23, 2015

EU to Crack Down on Postal Rip-Offs including Austrian Post

The FT reports that Brussels is preparing a regulatory crackdown against rip-off pricing by national postal operators on cross-border parcel deliveries. According to a study, cross-border parcel deliveries are often five times more expensive than identical trips on the domestic market. While the price of a standard 2 kg parcel delivery in Austria with the national postal operator is €4.44, to have that same parcel send to neighbouring Italy would cost €14. Sending the same parcel back from Italy to Austria will rise to €25. In order to connect the common market, the EU wants to develop the potential of e-commerce and to boost cross-border trade. According to the FT, a spokeswoman of the European Commission said that early next year the Commission will “launch measures to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight” of the European parcel delivery market.

December 22, 2015

Austrian-Russian Friendship Society to Appoint Richard Schenz as New President

Dr. Richard Schenz has recently been appointed as new President of the Austrian-Russian Friendship Society (ORFG - Österreichisch-Russische Freundschaftsgesellschaft). He succeeds CEO Ludwig Scharinger who left office for health reasons. KR Sen.hc Richard Schenz is a Vice President of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO). He was formerly CEO of OMV and Capital Markets Advisor to the Austrian Minister of Finance.

December 22, 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

Biggest Viennese Real Estate Deal Ever - Sale of The Mall Closed

Bank Austria - via its subsidiary BAI - closed the sale of "The Mall", the largest and most modern shopping mall in the heart of Vienna. The buyer is a consortium led by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI). UniCredit Bank Austria did not disclose the price, but claims that the transaction is Vienna's largest real estate deal ever.

December 16, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jaguar Land Rover Signs Deal to Manufacture Cars in Austria

Tata Motors-owned luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said it has signed a contract manufacturing agreement with Austrian automotive firm Magna Steyr in another step to enhance its worldwide production line and build global footprint.

July 29, 2015

German Creditor Pool Brings EUR 1 Bln Action Against Heta Before Frankfurt Regional Court

The lawsuit demands almost EUR 1 billion and is brought in Frankfurt/Main against asset resolution company Heta. The creditor pool consists largely of German creditors which demand immediate repayment of bonds and promissory note loans.

July 16, 2015

Austrian Economy is Underperforming the Eurozone Average

Ernst & Young's latest analysis on the Eurozone forecasts that the Austrian economy is to grow 0.7% in 2015, underperforming the Eurozone as a whole for the second consecutive year. Investment is expected to remain subdued, while the contribution of exports will be only marginal as a consequence of the modest external environment.

June 24, 2015

S&P Upgrades Strabag's Rating from BBB- to BBB

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has raised the credit rating of publicly listed construction group Strabag SE by one level from BBB- to BBB. The outlook remains at “stable”.

June 23, 2015

OPEC Member Countries Discuss Global Petroleum Development Strategies in Vienna

The 6th OPEC International Seminar, with the theme "Petroleum - An Engine for Global Development", aims to build on the previous events from the past decade. It is currently taking place at the Imperial Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The Seminar intends to underpin OPEC’s commitment to stabilize the international oil market by promoting cooperation and dialogue with stakeholders around the world.

June 3, 2015