Read the latest headlines about laws, jurisdictions and court decisions in Vienna and Austria with reference to the international interest
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Austrian Economic Legal Issues and Insolvencies

Naturalizations in Austria in 2018 on the Rise

Austrian citizenship was granted to a total of 6,971 persons in the first three quarters of 2018. The Bosnians are ahead, followed by Turks, Serbs and Kosovars. In total, there were 115 more naturalisations than in the same period of the previous year (+1.7%).

November 15, 2018

Austria Strengthening Venture Capital Structures with Seoul and Shanghai

Margarete Schramböck, Austrian Federal Minister for Digitisation and Business, visited Seoul, the capital of South Korea and China's greater Shanghai metropolitan area, together with a high-ranking delegation of experts from the fields of digitisation, science and business, with the aim of strengthening Austria as a location for innovation.

November 9, 2018

Austria in E-Government ahead of Germany and Switzerland

Margarete Schramböck is on the right course. According to a recent study on the e-government situation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Austria clearly holds the top position in the e-government country comparison.

November 7, 2018

Austria Continues to Deteriorate in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index 2019

The Ease of Doing Business Rankings provide measures of business regulations for local firms in 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational level. In 2019 Austria falls from 22nd to 26th place worldwide. Germany also loses ground, but remains one notch ahead of Austria. New Zealand leads the ranking for the third time in a row. The Kiwis replaced Singapore three years ago, which had previously held the top position for 10 years. In the 2019 Ease of doing business index, the following countries rank 3rd to 10th: Denmark, Hong Kong, South Korea, Georgia, Norway, United States, United Kingdom and Macedonia.

November 1, 2018

Growth of Foreign Controlled Enterprises in Austria

Statistics Austria reports a slight increase in the number of foreign-controlled companies in Austria. As at 31.12.2016 there were around 10,800 companies in Austria that are part of a foreign group. In comparison, the number of foreign subsidiaries of Austrian companies remained constant.

October 31, 2018

Ambassador Traina on Trade-War: "Donald Trump is Europe's Greatest Hope"

In an interview with the trend-magazine the US ambassador in Vienna, Trevor Traina, warns of the Chinese, and that the theft of intellectual property could also happen to Europe's key industries. Donald Trump's unpredictability is therefore "Europe's greatest hope" to avert such a scenario in time.

October 19, 2018

Facilitated Stock Exchange Access for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises at the VSE

As a result of an amendment to the Austrian Stock Corporation Act (Aktiengesetz), as of 21 January 2019 it will again be possible for small and medium-sized enterprises and growth companies registered in Austria in the legal form of a stock corporation (AG) with small free float to gain access to the Vienna Stock Exchange via the newly created market segments "direct market plus" and "direct market".

October 19, 2018

Kazakhstan and Austria Reinforce Reciprocal Extradition and Legal Assistance

During a visit to Vienna, Kazakh Attorney General Kairat Kozhamzharov was received by Josef Moser, Federal Minister for Reforms and Justice. A joint declaration was signed. The talks focused on Kazakhstan's multilateral efforts, current affairs, mutual extradition and mutual legal assistance with Kazakhstan.

October 19, 2018

Austrian State and Industrial Holding will be Reorganized Again

The holding company of the Austrian federal shareholdings (ÖBIB) is to be restructured and given a new boss. The existing structures created by the red-black predecessor government will soon be history again. The law for a new holding company of the Republic is to be examined in the next few days. Its boss is to be Thomas Schmid, general secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

October 3, 2018

US Termination of the Iran Agreement: Major Effects on Austrian Exports Expected

The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber fears that the Trump decision will have a massive negative impact on the Iran business of Austrian companies. It will probably be extraordinarily difficult in the future to establish the necessary payment channels for legitimate transactions.

May 17, 2018

Iran-Deal Withdrawal: Consequences for Iran-Austrian Economics Relations

About 50 Austrian companies have branches in Iran. Austrian exports to Iran rose by 9.2 percent to 301 million euros in 2017; imports increased by 18.5 percent to 119 million euros. A JCPOA supported only by the EU, Russia, China and Iran is not sufficient in the medium and long term to create the necessary investments and renewals in Iran. Without the US on board, international banks and large companies will continue to shy away from activities in Iran. Secondary sanctions will contribute to this.

May 11, 2018

Trump's Iran Deal Withdrawal Increases Uncertainty for Austrian Companies

Austrian companies react in a wait-and-see manner. The withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran means in practice that the suspension of sanctions will no longer be extended. Considerations range from an immediate halt to activities in Iran to the longest possible active participation within the new sanctions framework. It is unlikely that Austria's exports will reach the 300 million euro mark of the previous year.

May 11, 2018

Austrian Financial Market Authority Is Pleased With Whistle-Blowing System

In 2017 whistleblowers made 158 tip-offs regarding misconduct in the Austrian financial market. The FMA has been operating a special IT-based whistleblowing system since 1 February 2014 that allows the anonymous receipt of confidential information about possible instances of malpractice in supervised entities. FMA Executive Board: “Our whistle-blowing system is an important source of information for the FMA.”

April 20, 2018

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

New Double Taxation Agreement Between Israel and Austria

After almost 50 years, a new double taxation agreement (DTA) for income and capital taxes was signed between Israel and Austria, which includes substantial tax relief.

April 10, 2018

Money Laundering: RBI Is Fined EUR 2.7 Million

The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has imposed the highest fine ever imposed by the FMA, i.e. a fine of EUR 2.748 million against Raiffeisen Bank International AG.

April 1, 2018

Austria's Double Budget 2018/2019 - Cautious Optimism

Finance Minister Hartwig Löger (ÖVP) presented his first budget. Austria's new federal government wants to earn more than it spends. The double budget for 2018 and 2019 should herald a new era. The Austrian state has been spending more than it takes for 65 years and this is to be reversed for the first time in 2019. Debt policy is to be ended. A budget surplus of 541 million euros is to be achieved and thus a turning point in budget policy. Most money should be spent on pensions, least on health.

March 22, 2018

Austrian Attaché at Tel Aviv Embassy Poses in T-Shirt of Right-Wing Identitarians

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has recalled Jürgen-Michael Kleppich, Attaché at the Austrian Embassy in Tel Aviv. The reason for this are media reports that shortly after Kleppich moved to Israel in January 2018, he posted a picture of himself in a T-shirt from the shop of right-wing extremist Identitarian Movement on Facebook.

March 22, 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

Presidential Poll Result Overturned by Austrian Constitutional Court

Austria's highest court has annulled the result of the presidential election narrowly lost by the candidate of the far-right Freedom Party Norbert Hofer.

July 1, 2016

Tax Payers to Finance AvW Bankruptcy after all?

Tax payers may have to finance the bankruptcy of Carinthian financial company AvW after all, Presse daily reports in its online issue. The damage is estimated at EUR 148 million (USD 168.2 million).

June 8, 2016

Activ Solar Files for Reorganisation in Austria, Debts Reach EUR 500 Million

Vienna-based Activ Solar GmbH announced that it is bankrupt and that it has filed for reorganization in Austria due to its investment exposure in Ukraine. The company has amassed debts to the tune of EUR 500 million.

February 10, 2016

International Organizations Criticize Austria for Restricting the Press Uncover Cases of Grievance

Courts should take public interest into account in cases against journalists, say representatives of OSCE and Austrian Forum Informationsfreiheit, following Dossier trespassing case in the province of Burgenland.

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

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

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

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

Erste Bank Replaces Security Trading Platform Brokerjet with George

Erste Bank's Brokerjet service - that is tailored specifically toward the needs of online trading customers - will be discontinued as of the end of November. In the future the service will be offered via securities trading services George.

July 14, 2015

Immofinanz Files Lawsuit Against CA Immo

Immofinanz CEO Eduard Zehetner fulfilled his threat that the company would file a lawsuit against CA Immo and its subsidiary PHI. The complaint was filed with the commercial court in Vienna last Thursday, news magazine ‘profil’ reports in its Monday issue.

April 13, 2015

Former Ambassador Aliyev is Dead: Lawyers Doubt Suicide

Rakhat Aliyev, the former son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, is supposed to have hanged himself in his cell. Aliyev sat in Vienna-Josefstadt in custody for allegedly killing two bankers in his homeland Kazakhstan. Today he would have to testify against alleged blackmailers.

February 24, 2015

Raids at Romanian Affiliate of VIG

A number of business locations of Omniasig, the Romanian affiliate of Austrian insurer VIG, were searched by the police. Several employees are accused of forgergy and abuse of authority.

May 14, 2014

Austria: Creditors of DiTech Faced With Total Losses

The Austrian computer equipment retailer has filed for insolvency proceedings at the end of March.

May 12, 2014 · Updated: May 13, 2014; 10:55

New Serbian Government Wants Speedy EU Accession

The new Serbian government is determined to accelerate the EU accession progress.

May 2, 2014

Slovenia: ”Everything Will Stand Still”

Due to the current political crisis the fear about devastating impacts on the Slovenian economy is high.

April 28, 2014

Immofinanz: Ownership Problems in Romania

According to a court decision Immofinanz has took over not legitimately acquired property in Transsylvania.

April 17, 2014

Serbia: “Radical Measures” Needed to Tackle Grey Economy

Experts call for higher penalties to make tax evasion and gray economy less profitable and establish financial discipline.

April 14, 2014

Hypo Group: Disastrous Losses Revealed

Huge write-offs and value adjustments have sent losses of nationalized problem Hypo Group Alpe Adria soaring. Losses running into the billions are expected.

April 10, 2014

Hypo Group: Former CEO Sentenced to Prison

Former CEO of Hypo and investor Tilo Berlin was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

April 9, 2014

Hypo Group too Expensive for BayernLB

According to an official expert, regional German lender BayernLB’s fatal decision to take over Hypo Group Alpe Adria was based on questionable company evaluations.

April 7, 2014

BayernLB: “Odd“ Sponsoring Contracts in Carinthia

Former managers of the German regional bank are under suspicion of having bribed then-governor of the Austrian province of Carinthia.

March 31, 2014

Austria: Dispute about Hypo Credit to Alpine

The granting of a loan to Alpine Bau, which went bankrupt soon afterwards, in the amount of € 25m by Austrian problem bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria has become an issue of the Austrian prosecution.

March 31, 2014

Slovenia: Controversial Property Tax Fails

The Slovenian Constitutional Court has rejected the controversial property tax suggested by the government. This will jeopardize this year’s budget.

March 28, 2014

Serbia: Little Faith in Judiciary

The majority of the Serbian population does not trust state institutions, particularly the judiciary.

March 27, 2014

BayernLB Threatens Hypo Group with Damage Claims

BayernLB, former parent company of Hypo Group Alpe Adria International, is threatening to claim damages from its former affiliate.

March 26, 2014

Hypo Group: Spindelegger Still Rejects Investigation Committee

Today the opposition will call for a joint request for a parliamentary investigation committee with regard to ailing bank Hypo Group.

March 25, 2014

Austria: Opposition Criticizes Nationalization

On Thursday Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger expects a binding statement by ailing bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria about how much state aid will be required. The opposition heavily criticizes the nationalization by the Austrian state in 2009.

March 20, 2014

Hungary: Jurisdiction Affects FX Loans and Banks

Hungary’s constitutional court will exert influence on FX loans.

March 18, 2014

Hypo Group: Government Explains Downsizing Solution

On Tuesday the Austrian government will explain the decided downsizing solution for the ailing bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria. Carinthia only wants to pay € 300m in downsizing costs.

March 18, 2014

Serbia: Landslide Victory for Vucic

After Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s party saw an overwhelming victory in the early parliamentary elections the new government is facing a hard road ahead.

March 17, 2014

Serbia: Vucic Stands Good Chances of Becoming PM

Vucic is regarded new Serbian Prime Minister in the parliamentary elections.

March 15, 2014