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Austrian Banking Industry Headlines

European Court of Justice Looks into Heta Haircut Dispute

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) is looking into a preliminary question on Heta debts and the bond haircut. The court will have to determine whether debts with a public guarantee can be subject to a haircut at all. The commercial court in Vienna, which has referred the question to the CJEU, spoke of interpretative uncertainty.

5 hours ago

Valartis Posted Loss in 2015

Ailing Swiss private banking group Valartis closed in the red again last year: the loss totaled CHF 58.4 million (USD 58.9 million / EUR 52.6 million), which was slightly less than in 2014 (CHF 73.3 million). Operating loss deteriorated. Austrian Wiener Privatbank took over significant business areas of Valartis Bank in Austria as of 1 April 2016.


Austrian Banks Could Improve Market Trust, Access to German Investors after Heta Deal - Fitch

Austrian banks could regain some of the market trust as a result of the bad bank Heta deal, ratings agency Fitch wrote in a report of the deal signed by Heta and its creditors.

May 23, 2016

US Investigators Look into Bank Austria due to Iran Business

Bank Austria is the object of suspicions of US authorities. Investigators suspect the Austrian arm of UniCredit may have violated financial sanctions against Iran, Trend magazine reports. The investigation has taken already two years. Bank Austria meanwhile stresses that it has been collaborating with US investigators of its own volition.

May 20, 2016

Immigon Buys Back Subordinated Notes for EUR 162 Million

Immigon Portfolioabbau AG, the liquidation vehicle for Österreichische Volksbanken-Aktiengesellschaft (ÖVAG), has completed the buyback programme for subordinated liabilities. The bids submitted amounted nominally to EUR 195 million (USD 218.8 million), as a result of which the assumed bond buyback volume of EUR 150 million was exceeded. The board decided to accept offers for a total consideration amount including accrued interest of EUR 162 million.

May 20, 2016

Heta Claim - Commercial Court in Vienna turns to CJEU

The commercial court in Vienna has referred a preliminary question to the Court of Justice of the EU regarding the Heta case. The court has doubts on whether Austria’s bank liquidation and reorganisation law (BaSAG) also covers such bad-bank units as Heta, which do not hold a bank license. The question pertains to the case of RMF Financial Holdings, a Luxembourg company, vs. Heta, as RMF has made claims to the tune of EUR 235,000 against the bad bank. RMF holds secondary Heta debentures worth EUR 16.4 million, maturing in 2017. German law was determined as being applicable, unless they are contrary to Austrian laws. In the case in question Heta objected to payment of interest quoting Austria’s market regulator FMA’s decision of 1 March 2015.

May 19, 2016

Heta Creditors Sign MoU with Austria, Settlement Terms as in Previous Offer of Statement

Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling struck a basic agreement with bad bank Heta creditors on an out-of-court solution to the prolonged dispute over Carinthia region-guaranteed liabilities of the bank, he told a press conference. As proposed by Austria in a previous offer rejected by creditors, senior bond holders will receive 75 percent of their dues and subordinate debt holders 30 percent. The settlement is planned for mid-October.

May 18, 2016

Vienna-Based Sberbank Europe Suffers EUR 218.7 Mln Net Loss in 2015

The Vienna-based unit of Russian banking group, Sberbank Europe, suffered EUR 218.7 million (USD 247.7 million) net loss in 2015, far worse than a EUR 3.4 million net profit a year earlier, as one-offs burdened the bottom line, the company said.

May 17, 2016

RBI Recorded Loss in Q1 2016 Only in Albania

The results for the first quarter of 2016 were almost pushed to the background, as RBI not only announced its results two days ahead of schedule, but also officially announced its plan for merger with Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB). RBI shares dropped up to 11 percent during the day.

May 12, 2016

Office Furniture Market Rose in 2015 Thanks to Erste Office

The market segment of office furniture grew only thanks to the interior decoration of the Erste office (Erste Campus) at the new central train station in Vienna (Wiener Hauptbahnhof). Had it not been for that order, the revenue would have been in decline, rather than growing 4.5 percent y/y, a sector study by consulting firm Kreutzer Fischer & Partner indicates.

May 11, 2016