Vienna International Professional Services Industry News

Read the latest headlines about developments in the international service industry in Vienna and Austria

Austria's Constitutional Protection Agency Warns of Chinese Economic Espionage

The Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution has issued an urgent warning about Chinese industrial espionage. Small and medium-sized enterprises and research centers are particularly at risk.

May 20, 2024

Raiffeisen Bank International Withdraws from Controversial STRABAG Transaction

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) has announced that it will no longer pursue the planned acquisition of shares in STRABAG SE. This decision was made public in an ad hoc announcement in which the bank stated that it had not received the necessary comfort in discussions with the relevant authorities to proceed with the transaction. RBI therefore decided to refrain from the transaction for reasons of prudence.

May 15, 2024

René Benko Business Scandal: Abu Dhabi's Ruling Family Demands Millions Back

The ruling family of Abu Dhabi, led by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, is demanding the return of 250 million euros from René Benko via the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) in Paris.

May 14, 2024

RBI in a Balancing Act Between Sanction Risks and Solid Management

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is currently caught between geopolitical tensions and its own business progress. Recent developments have led the bank to take cautious steps to avoid sanction risks on the one hand and to present its robust quarterly results on the other, which show that the bank remains strong even without the income from Russia and Belarus.

May 2, 2024

Republic of Austria Opposes Restructuring of Signa Development

The Republic of Austria has filed an appeal against Signa Development's fiduciary restructuring plan, leaving the future of the restructuring process of the real estate conglomerate founded by René Benko hanging in the balance. This legal action could lead to a complete reassessment of the restructuring strategy.

May 1, 2024

Raiffeisen Bank International Expects ECB Call to Accelerate Withdrawals from Russia

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is facing increasing pressure from the European Central Bank (ECB) to reduce its business activities in Russia more rapidly. This follows a number of developments and the publication of an ad hoc announcement by the bank in which it is expected that the ECB will make an official request to accelerate the wind-down measures in the near future.

April 18, 2024

Vienna Stock Exchange Experiences First Record Quarter Despite Global Uncertainties

The Vienna Stock Exchange closed the first quarter of 2024 with a remarkable increase in bond listings, although the economic environment continues to be characterized by high-interest rates, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the Middle East, and high inflation. Despite these challenges, the exchange recorded a record 3,000 new listings, the best start to a year in its history.

April 14, 2024

Serbian Investor Plans Entry into Austrian Addiko Bank

A new investor is showing interest in Addiko Bank, a financial institution that emerged from the former Hypo Alpe Adria Balkan banks. The Cypriot company Agri Europe Cyprus, which is attributed to Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić, is planning to acquire a significant stake in the bank.

March 25, 2024

Raiffeisen Bank International Under Observation by U.S. Sanctions Authorities

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), a prominent financial institution based in Austria, is the focus of the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) due to its ongoing business relationship with Russia. OFAC has contacted the bank to request details of its transactions and processes related to Russia.

March 11, 2024

U.S. Ambassador Kennedy Will Lead Austrian Delegation to Major Investment Summit in the U.S.

In a major announcement from the US Embassy in Vienna, it has been revealed that US Ambassador Victoria Kennedy will lead a high-profile Austrian delegation to this year's SelectUSA Investment Summit. The event, which will take place from June 23-26, 2024 at the prestigious Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, is considered a key platform for promoting foreign direct investment in the United States.

March 10, 2024

Signa's Major Project "Lamarr" in Vienna Seeks New Owner

The prestigious "Lamarr" real estate project on the bustling Mariahilfer Strasse, a flagship property of the troubled Signa Group, is now officially on the market.

March 6, 2024

Austrian Technology at the Center of Gigantic Construction Projects in Dubai

The Austrian company Doka is continuing its international success story and will once again demonstrate its expertise in high-rise construction. The planned Azizi Tower in Dubai, which is to be completed within the next four years, aims to become the second tallest building in the world.

March 5, 2024

Financial Turbulence and Internal Conflicts Shake Signa Group Severely

The Signa Group's financial crisis reached a new peak when creditors filed claims totaling EUR 6.3 billion against Signa Prime, of which only EUR 2.6 billion were recognized by the restructuring administrator Norbert Abel. The hearing at the Vienna Commercial Court revealed that the group's financial difficulties are deeper than previously thought, with a significant proportion of the claims in dispute.

February 26, 2024

Financial Market Authority Initiates Investigations Against Raiffeisen Bank International

The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has launched an investigation into Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). The focus is on possible deficiencies in the implementation of money laundering prevention measures, as can be seen from the bank's annual report published today.

February 25, 2024

Signa Group's Luxury Properties up for Sale: A Glimmer of Hope for the Redevelopment

Signa Prime Selection AG, a major player in the luxury real estate market, is currently facing financial difficulties that could now be alleviated by the planned sale of some of its most prestigious properties. Karl-Heinz Götze, the insolvency manager of the credit protection association KSV1870, sees this step as a crucial "piece of the puzzle" for an orderly resolution of Signa Prime's insolvency proceedings.

February 14, 2024

Africa Day 2024: Austria Looks to Africa's Future Markets

This year's Africa Day was all about Africa's future markets and offered a platform to strengthen economic relations between Austrian and African companies. Organized by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ), the event attracted more than 1,200 participants from Austria, over 30 African countries, and guests from Europe, Asia, and the USA.

February 5, 2024

Signa-Retail Company Lamarr Declares Bankruptcy

The highly anticipated Lamarr Kaufhaus project on Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna, set to include a flagship department store and hotel, has filed for bankruptcy. This development comes as a significant blow, as the project, originally slated for completion in 2025, has faced financial turmoil. The insolvency was confirmed by the Creditors' Protection Association KSV 1870 on Friday.

February 4, 2024

Austrian Justice Minister Zadić Plans Reforms in Connection with the Signa Insolvency

The insolvency of the Signa real estate company has far-reaching consequences, which are now also prompting the Austrian Ministry of Justice under the leadership of Green Justice Minister Alma Zadić. In a five-point plan in response to Signa's insolvency, Zadić plans to significantly tighten the penalties for failing to submit balance sheets.

January 24, 2024

Signa Prime and Development: Future Secured Despite Insolvency

The future of the two important branches of the Signa Group, Signa Prime and Signa Development, seems secure for the time being.

January 15, 2024

Austrian Banking Sector Focuses on Sustainability: OeKB > ESG Data Hub Established

In a remarkable step towards promoting sustainability in the financial sector, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB) has successfully introduced the OeKB > ESG Data Hub. Around 80% of the domestic banking sector, including well-known institutions such as UniCredit Bank Austria, Raiffeisen-Sektor, Erste Bank, and Sparkassen as well as Oberbank, already use this central online platform.

January 11, 2024

Political Thriller Around the Abramovich Villa in Austria

The sale of a villa on Lake Fuschl to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's family in Salzburg has been revealed to have disappeared. The property was acquired through an offshore letterbox company and a British trustee. The Green Party is now calling for the sale to be reversed, requiring a trust deed. The party is seeking clarification on how the sale can be reversed without the deed.

January 9, 2024

Vienna Stock Exchange Overcomes Challenges in 2023 with Record Bond Listings

The Vienna Stock Exchange experienced a challenging year in 2023, characterized by high interest rates, persistent inflation and geopolitical tensions affecting the European equity markets. Despite these unfavorable conditions, which impacted trading activity, the exchange achieved a record year for bond listings.

January 8, 2024

Financial Crisis at Signa: Bankruptcy Proceedings Initiated for Subsidiaries

The financial difficulties of Signa's flagship Signa Prime Selection lead to further negative developments within the group.

January 8, 2024

Signa Crisis: Call to Investors for Financial Support

Signa Holding, a prominent real estate company, is facing financial difficulties. Erhard Grossnigg, the Chief Restructuring Officer of the Signa subsidiaries Prime and Development, has sent a letter to investors urgently requesting additional funding.

January 4, 2024

Emirati State Fund Mubadala Fails with Claim Against Signa Holding

The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala, has failed with a significant claim against the insolvent Signa Holding. The request to claim a payment of 713 million euros was rejected in emergency arbitration proceedings.

December 21, 2023

Vienna Stock Exchange Expands Offering with Focus on ESG and Digitalization

The Vienna Stock Exchange has announced a significant expansion of its offering in the global market and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) segments with a focus on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and digitalization.

December 21, 2023

New Second Home Tax in Vienna in 2025

Vienna is implementing new measures to regulate second homes. From 2025, an annual tax will be introduced for people who have a secondary residence in Vienna but do not have their main residence there.

December 21, 2023

Vienna Commercial Court Establishes Creditors' Committee for Signa Holding

The Austrian Signa Holding, founded in 2000 by René Benko, is currently facing major challenges. The Commercial Court of Vienna has set up a creditors' committee for the ongoing reorganization proceedings to examine the non-transparent structures of the Signa Group and to decide on the reorganization plan offered by Signa.

December 18, 2023

Ukraine Removes Raiffeisen Bank International from the List of "War Sponsors"

The Ukrainian government has temporarily removed Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) from the controversial list of "war sponsors". This step follows intensive bilateral talks and consultations with representatives of the European Commission. RBI, which was previously criticized for its business activities in Russia and the recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics by its Russian subsidiary, is now no longer suspected of supporting the Russian war of aggression.

December 17, 2023

Jan Marsalek's Deep Connections with Russian Intelligence Revealed

Jan Marsalek, once a high-ranking figure at Wirecard and now one of Europe's most wanted criminals, has been exposed as a long-time spy for Russia. Marsalek is reportedly currently in Dubai and is reorganizing Russian operations in Africa.

December 15, 2023

The Future of a Crumbling Empire: René Benko's Signa Group in Insolvency

The insolvency of the Signa Group, an Austrian company active in various sectors, including the real estate market, has far-reaching implications. Read more about the future of the Austrian flagship company!

December 6, 2023

Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce Hosts Libyan Delegations for Industry and Digital Transformation Talks

In a series of significant events, the Austro-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) in Vienna, Austria, played host to high-level delegations from Libya, focusing on industrial development and digital transformation.

December 5, 2023

Vienna Stock Exchange Strengthens International Presence with Barclays as New Trading Member

The Vienna Stock Exchange announced a significant step in its international expansion with the addition of Barclays Bank Ireland PLC as a new trading member. This marks an important milestone in the history of the exchange by adding one of the world's leading banks to its trading circle.

November 21, 2023

Uncovering of Money Laundering and Real Estate Fraud in Austria and Cyprus

New leaks have uncovered a complex network of opaque asset transfers centered around Russian oligarchs and Austrian real estate. According to the investigative project "Cyprus Confidential", Austrian real estate is particularly popular with wealthy Russians. Around 40 Cypriot companies own real estate in Vienna, often penthouses in expensive locations.

November 16, 2023

Signa in Upheaval: Rene Benko's Retreat and the Future of the Real Estate Giant

Significant changes have now taken place at the real estate and retail group Signa. Company founder Rene Benko is stepping down and handing over the reins to restructuring expert Arndt Geiwitz. This step follows pressure from investors and is intended to initiate a comprehensive restructuring of the group. Benko's removal from power was already apparent in the industry, but it has now been officially announced that Geiwitz will take over as Chairman of the Shareholders' Committee and the Advisory Board. However, the circumstances surrounding Benko's voting rights remain uncertain.

November 9, 2023

Rene Benko and the Future of the Signa Group: Silence Before the Storm?

The Austrian Signa Group once celebrated as a shining star in the real estate sky and a powerful player in the retail sector, is currently facing uncertain times and financial turbulence. Company founder Rene Benko, who has led the group from a non-operational position since 2013 and holds the majority of voting rights through his family foundations, is at the center of a heated debate about the group's future.

November 6, 2023

Vienna Pioneer for Circular Economy: Climate Lab as a Spark for Climate Transformation

In the heart of Vienna, more precisely at the Climate Lab in Vienna Spittelau, an innovative movement has emerged that has the potential to fundamentally change the way Austria's economy deals with its resources. Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler and the top representatives of Austria's largest companies came together to drive forward a sustainable transformation of Austria as a business location, with the Climate Lab playing a key role.

November 5, 2023

German Car-Sharing Company Under Suspicion in Vienna for Million Euro Fraud

In a sensational move, police authorities in Germany and Austria have launched extensive investigations into a German car-sharing company, overshadowed by a blatant suspicion of multimillion-dollar parking fee fraud. The investigations are targeting the company's directors and involve alleged offenses such as gang crime, fraud, and document forgery.

October 11, 2023

Austria Wants to Be One of the Most Sustainable Destinations in the World

The extent to which the issue of climate change now affects all areas of our lives was also evident at this year's Expo Real in Munich.

Birgit Adelsberger · October 8, 2023

Austrian Group Shows at Expo Real 2023 how Sustainable Real Estate Works

Sustainability was a big topic at this year's Expo Real in Munich. Many of the conferences, which again featured high-caliber participants, addressed the topic of ESG (Environmental Social Governance) in connection with the various aspects of the real estate industry.

Birgit Adelsberger · October 8, 2023

Buying Real Estate in Austria - Things You Should Consider First

Not only in the capital Vienna, which is almost regularly awarded for its high quality of life, in many regions of Austria nature, culture and safety are felt everywhere in daily life and allow a certain lifestyle. That's why expats often choose to establish residence in Austria, even after their professional activities here have ended.

Birgit Adelsberger · September 15, 2023

Discrimination on the Housing Market: A Growing Problem in Austria

A recent SORA study conducted on behalf of the Ombud for Equal Treatment highlights a serious problem in Austria's real estate market: racism and discrimination. People with foreign-sounding names or accents have significantly fewer chances of being invited to view an apartment compared to people with typical Austrian names.

September 14, 2023

Skills Shortage in Austria: Companies Feel Pressure, But Also Opportunities

A recent study by the recruiting platform Stepstone shows that the shortage of skilled workers is leaving a clear mark on Austria's companies. Two-thirds of respondents are concerned about the additional workload caused by unfilled positions. This is despite a slight increase in advertised vacancies of 2 percent in the first half of the year, with some sectors such as engineering, care, and construction even seeing significant increases.

September 13, 2023

Green Peak Festival 2023: Austria's Pioneer for Climate Protection and Entrepreneurship

The renowned Green Peak Festival, which has established itself in the heart of Vienna as Austria's flagship event for sustainability and entrepreneurship, impressed once again. For the second year in a row, over 800 participants gathered to network, exchange ideas and discuss the latest developments in sustainability. The project was supported this year by the Embassy of Israel.

September 11, 2023

Real Estate Prices in Austria Increased: Housing Increasingly Less Affordable

The cost of residential real estate in Austria has risen dramatically in recent years, significantly affecting affordability for many households. According to a recent analysis conducted by UniCredit Bank Austria, residential property prices in the euro area have risen faster than incomes. Austria has been particularly affected by this development, where property prices have actually fallen by almost 40 percent compared with incomes.

August 31, 2023

Vienna Stock Exchange: Focus on International Investors and Sustainability

The Vienna Stock Exchange continues its course of attracting international investors while promoting sustainable investment opportunities. A recently published study on the ownership structure of institutional free float in the ATX Prime, conducted every two years by S&P Global Market Intelligence (formerly IHS Markit) on behalf of the Vienna Stock Exchange, shows that international institutional investors continue to play a major role.

August 21, 2023

Austria's Consumer Protection Ministry Mandates Action Against Banks for Low Interest Rates

According to the Consumer Protection Ministry, the practice of Austrian banks of charging high-interest rates on overdrafts while granting no interest at all on credit balances is meeting with growing resentment among consumers.

August 16, 2023

Controversy Surrounds Jan Marsalek's Letter in Wirecard Scandal Trial

In connection with the Wirecard scandal trial, a letter from Jan Marsalek, a former Wirecard board member, is causing controversy. Marsalek, who has been on the run for three years, contacted the Munich Regional Court in writing through his lawyer.

July 19, 2023

Wealth of the Richest Austrians Grows Despite Global Trends

In its latest issue, the business magazine "trend" publishes its annual ranking of the "100 richest Austrians". In contrast to some global studies, which show a slight decline in the ownership of the super-rich, Austria shows a different development. The assets of the 100 wealthiest individuals and families increased by five percent to a total of around 210 billion euros.

July 11, 2023

Wirecard Trial: Entire Wirecard Asia Business Made Up

Wirecard's insolvency administrator, Michael Jaffe, has confirmed that the company's deal with supposed partners in Asia was completely fabricated, according to recent findings. This is according to Jaffe's fifth status report to the Munich District Court.

June 27, 2023