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Austrian Investment News and Analysis

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

Analysis: Austrian Economy Falls Behind Eurozone Average

The latest "Attractiveness Survey" from consultancy Ernst & Young Global Limited shows, that espite strong fundamentals, Austria’s economy lost some ground on the Eurozone average in 2014, with growth of just 0.4% compared with 0.9% for the Eurozone as a whole. This comparative weakness will also continue in 2015, with Austria’s GDP growth estimated at 1.1%, against 1.5% in the Eurozone. This is despite a boost from lower energy prices, quantitative easing from the European Central Bank (ECB) and a weaker euro.

June 1, 2015

Make in India: Forum "Alternative India" in Vienna, Linz and Graz

As part of the trade promotion initiative of the Department of Foreign Trade of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Ministry of Economy “Going International - Going to India” the Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) together with the Austrian Trade Commission in Delhi, organized “Forum Alternative India” in Vienna, in Linz and in Graz.

May 28, 2015

The Eurovision Song Contest Village: "Let's Meet at Rathausplatz"

In the week leading up to the ESC finals in Vienna, Rathausplatz – the square in front of Vienna City Hall – will be turned into the Eurovision Village from 18 to 23 May 2015. It will be THE place to be for everyone interested in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2015. The programme starts on 18 May with the opening event featuring an international fashion show, and will continue with themed days, live performances by ESC contestants, a colourful family programme. On 23 May, the ESC finals will be broadcast live from Stadthalle and shown on Rathausplatz. For one week, the framework event under the motto "Hello Vienna. Welcome Europe!" will highlight the very best of the Eurovision nations, including culinary delights from different countries.

May 15, 2015

Make in India: Starting in Vienna

With the aim of bringing Austrian and Indian business people together to strengthen the bonds linking Vienna/Austria and India, the Embassy of India, in cooperation with the Vienna Business Agency, welcomed several guests in the context of the „Make in India: Starting in Vienna“ event held at the Vienna Expat Center.

May 5, 2015

Vienna Stock Exchange: ATX Upswing Drives Up Equity Trading in Q1

The Vienna Stock Exchange has seen the strongest monthly equity turnover since August 2011. The average monthly trading volume to date in 2015 is EUR 5.04 billion which represents a gain of 26.61% over the average monthly trading volume of the year 2014 (EUR 3.98 billion).

April 2, 2015

Austrian Export Day 2015 - Tomorrow is Today: Meet Trade Delegates at the Exporttag

On June 30, 2015, from 10am to 5pm the Export Day (Exporttag 2015) of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO) will take place in Vienna. Economic delegates from all over the world will be present.

March 27, 2015

Quality of Living Rankings: Vienna Tops the List Again

Vienna remaines at the top of the 2015 Quality of Living Rankings, boasting the best quality of living for expatriates. In the top 5 there are two other European cities, Zurich (place 2) and Munich (place 4). Also Auckland (3rd) and Vancouver (5th) are among the top five cities.

March 4, 2015

Spar to Relaunch "Huma” Shopping Park in Vienna-Simmering

The starting signal for building work to turn the HUMA Shopping Center into probably the most modern shopping center in the capital has already been given in December 2014. A shopping center with more than 90 shops, restaurants, catering outlets and services, 2000 free parking spaces and 800 jobs is being built at a traditional location in Vienna-Simmering on a gross leasable area of 50,000 square meters.

February 17, 2015

Vienna is Among the Top 10 Startup Cities Where Entrepreneurs Want to Meet Up

A search engine for finding entrepreneurs to meet up with has published a list of the top 10 international startup cities. Vienna made it to number six. Continue reading to see the full ranking of the top international startup cities where entrepreneurs want to meet up.

February 4, 2015

Japanese Mizuho Bank Sets Up Office in Vienna

Mizuho Bank through its Dutch subsidiary has acquired the approval to open a branch in Vienna. The bank is looking to develop its business in CEE. Simultaneously the Bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the Austrian Business Agency for services in connection with the setup.

January 28, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - The City at a Glance

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 27, 2015

Vienna as a Business Location - Areas of Strength

Vienna combines tradition, culture and quality of life with the factors of a top business location in a unique way. A stable political and economic environment, a research and technology-friendly climate, geographical and cultural proximity to the growth markets in the east and, not least, the highest quality of life in the world provide for a place at the very top of the world’s rankings.

January 22, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Vienna

In this post you'll find the top 10 reasons why your company or institution should consider investing in Vienna/Austria. In fact, we'll share the international studies which confirm the numbers and facts including its closest competitors. We look at the quality of living, the smart cities index, the prosperity, international congresses and conventions, the most reputable cities, the innovation cities index, online cities, business friendliness and other factors that influence the decision making.

January 20, 2015

How to Set-up a Limited Liability Company (GmbH) in Austria

There are a number of important considerations for investors when deciding on how to enter the Austrian market or when establishing a business in Austria. Investors will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. Vindobona will provide a series of articles to allow investors to make the choices most appropriate to the nature of their business.

November 3, 2014

Who is Private Equity Investor Advent International?

Advent International is an American global private equity firm focused on buyouts of companies in Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on international buyouts, growth and strategic restructuring in five core sectors. In 2008 the firm raised an additional €1 billion for investments in Central and Eastern Europe. Advent has acquired a number of companies in Central and Eastern Europe through its dedicated regional funds. These include Romanian Ceramica IASI, one of Romania’s leading ceramic bricks and clay roof tiles producers, Bolix, a leading Polish producer of construction chemicals, Dufa Deutek, Romania’s largest decorative paints producer, and LaborMed Pharma, which manufactures and distributes generic pharmaceuticals primarily for cardiovascular and central nervous system aliments, and now Hypo Group Alpe Adria's Balkan assets.

October 30, 2014

How to Set-up a Partnership (OG) or Limited Partnership Company (KG) in Austria

There are a number of important considerations for investors when deciding on how to enter the Austrian market or when establishing a business in Austria. Investors will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. Vindobona will provide a series of articles to allow investors to make the choices most appropriate to the nature of their business.

October 27, 2014

How to Set-up a Sole Proprietorship Company in Austria

There are a number of important considerations for investors when deciding on how to enter the Austrian market or when establishing a business in Austria. Investors will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company. If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. Vindobona will provide a series of articles to allow investors to make the choices most appropriate to the nature of their business.

October 20, 2014

IFM Global Infrastructure Fund: Public Offer for minority stake of Flughafen Wien AG

The IFM Global Infrastructure Fund intends to launch a public voluntary offer pursuant to §§ 4 et seq of the Austrian Takeover Act to acquire a non-controlling minority stake of between 20% and 29.9% of the share capital of Flughafen Wien AG through its indirect subsidiary, Airports Group Europe S.à r.l.

October 13, 2014

CEE Sovereign Bond Market Among Best Investment Destinations in Europe

The CEE sovereign bonds are among the best investments in Europe this year. High returns and low volatility increase investor appeal. The CEE sovereign bond market is 5th largest in continental Europe. Romania emerges as CEE regional champion among local currency bonds.

October 2, 2014

Mid Europa Partners' New Fund to Invest EUR 800 Mln in CEE

Mid Europa Partners, the British private equity firm focused on buyouts in Central & Eastern Europe, announced the final closing of Mid Europa Fund IV at €800 million, complemented by an additional pre-allocated co-investment program of €650 million. Fund IV represents the largest dedicated fund to the CEE Region raised in the last 5 years.

September 5, 2014

Signa Buys Karstadt for €1

Austria's Signa Holding takes over struggling German department store chain Karstadt. Signa acquires a 100 per cent stake in Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH from Berggruen Holdings. Berggruen Holdings is going to withdraw from Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH, Karstadt Premium and Karstadt Sports as well as from from each property. The deal ends weeks of speculation over the company's future after the CEO left in July. Rene Benko will pay just €1 for the department store chain. Karstadt operates more than 80 stores across Germany and employs more than 17.000 people.

August 15, 2014

Miba Expands Production Facilities in the US

Automotive supplier Miba Sinter USA, LLC, is opening new production facilities in Ohio. The extension will create 100 new jobs in the next three years and represents an investment of USD 8 million.

August 1, 2014

Cost of Living Rankings: CEE Capitals Cheaper, Vienna is 32nd Most Expensive City

The Mercer's 2014 Cost of Living Rankings have been published and cover 211 cities across five continents. While Western European cities have all risen in the rankings mainly due to the strengthening of the Euro against the US dollar, most cities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), however have fallen in the ranking as a result of local currencies depreciating against the US dollar. Bratislava (#84), Prague (#92), Kiev (#98), Ljubljana (#116), Zagreb (#120), Budapest (#135), Warsaw (#142), Belgrade (#184).

July 25, 2014

FDI in Austria up by EUR 25 Million

In the first half of 2014 the number of international companies setting up business operations in Austria with the assistance of ABA in cooperation with the regional investment promotion agencies climbed from 88 to 114. Total investment volume was up 15.9 % in the first half of 2014 to EUR 179.97 million from EUR 154.33 million in the prior year period.

July 11, 2014

UIAG to Take Over 40% of Mbi-Group for EUR 8 Million

Investments firm UIAG agreed to take over 40 percent in industrial machining manufacturing company mbi-group Beteiligung GmbH, parent of machine maker Anger Machining, for EUR 8 million in capital hike and funds, UIAG said.

July 2, 2014

Austrian Investment Funds Report Generally Positive Performance in May

Austrian investment funds recorded a mostly positive y/y performance at the end of May. Of the 1,604 funds operating on the market for at least one year, 1,338 showed a positive performance, while 262 of them saw a y/y negative performance. Four funds saw no change of the asset volume.

June 16, 2014

EBRD Provides €20 Mio Loan to Slovakia for Sustainable Energy Projects

The EBRD is deepening its support for sustainable energy investments in the Slovak Republic with a €20m loan to Slovenska Sporitelna, a.s. (SLSP), one of the country’s leading banks. The funds will be on-lent to private companies for renewable energy projects and energy efficiency in industry and buildings.

June 16, 2014

EBRD Committed to Moldova as the Country Moves Towards Greater Regional Integration

“The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) stands ready to support Moldovan companies and foreign investors in Moldova as the country moves towards even greater regional integration,” said András Simor, EBRD Vice President for Policy, during his visit to Chisinau.

June 14, 2014

Analysis: Bilateral Trade and Investments Between Turkey and Austria Decreased Slightly

According to the office of the Commercial Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in Vienna, Austria is Turkey’s 34th largest goods export market with exports worth US$ 1 billion.

June 9, 2014