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Austrian report Austrian report
by Euro Reporter
2012-10-06 10:44:09
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Austrian banks gain after hitting targets

Austria’s biggest lenders were in demand this week after beating key capital targets set out by the European Banking Authority. The Austrian central bank said it expected Raiffeisen Bank and Erste Group to meet new Basel III rules, giving the two lenders’ shares a sturdy lift.

Investors sent Raiffeisen’s shares up 11 per cent over the week to close at €31.29, their highest level this year. Erste gained 5 per cent to €18.24. In June Moody’s cut its ratings on the banks, citing their “vulnerability to the adverse operating conditions in some of their core markets” in central and Eastern Europe. Vienna’s blue-chip ATX stock index gained 4 per cent to 2,172.70. News that Crédit Agricole was approaching the final chapter in the sale of its Greek bank Emporiki, gave investors renewed confidence in the French lender. Its shares rose 8.7 per cent to €5.84 after it emerged that it was in the process of negotiating a deal to sell Emporiki to Greece’s Alpha Bank for €1.

Investors reacted positively to news that the French lender will soon be rid of its Greek subsidiary. It has cost the French lender €9bn in writedowns, acquisition costs and capital injections, and the bank will have to inject another €550m before the sale goes through. France’s Cac index rallied 3 per cent over the week to 3,457.04. German carmakers had a flying start to October, as a steady flow of news from the sector revealed overseas appetite for luxury cars picked up in September.  Investors cheered BMW’s 55 per cent increase in car sales to China, sending its shares up 7.2 per cent to €60.99. Rival Daimler said global sales of its luxury Audi brand had reached a record high in September, aided by a 10 per cent jump in China sales. Its shares climbed 4.3 per cent to €39.27. The wider Xetra Dax gained 2.5 per cent over the week to close at 7,397.87.

Metro was the region’s worst performing stock this week after it issued a profit warning on Friday.  Shares in the world’s fourth-largest retailer by sales slumped 7.8 per cent to €21.46 after it cut its earnings outlook for the year.  The German group said it expected earnings before interest and tax to come in around €2bn compared with an earlier estimate of about €2.37bn, its 2011 Ebit. Across Europe, stocks were given a jolt on Friday after the US labour department announced strong US non-farm payroll data.  The FTSE Eurofirst 300 finished the week up 2.1 per cent at 1,111.53 Volumes picked up on more positive news flow towards the end of the week but turnover remained lower than a month ago as investors began to shun the region once again. A larger number of investors sold out of European equity funds over the past week than bought in, reversing a three-week trend of net inflows according to data provider EPFR.


Austria's trade deficit widens in July

Austria's merchandise trade deficit increased from last year in July, data released by Statistics Austria showed Friday. The trade deficit increased to EUR799.29 million in July from EUR773.69 million in the same month last year.

Export of goods increased 5.1 percent annually to EUR10.55 billion during the month. Shipments to non-European Union (EU) countries and EU states advanced 14.3 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

Imports rose 5 percent year-on-year to EUR11.35 billion. Arrivals from third countries climbed 19.6 percent, while those from EU states dropped 0.6 percent.  During the January-July period, the trade balance was a deficit of EUR4.71 billion. Exports and imports gained 2.1 percent and 1.9 percent respectively during the three-month period, data showed.


Ancient Austrian remains show woman in male trade

An Austrian museum says skeletal remains found in an ancient grave are that of a woman metal worker — the first indication that women did such work thousands of years ago. The Museum of Ancient History says the grave originates from the Bronze Age, which began more than 5,000 years ago and ended 3,200 years ago.

In a statement Wednesday, it said that although the pelvic bones were missing, examination of the skull and lower jaw bone shows the skeleton is of a woman. The museum says tools used to make metal ornaments were also found in the grave northwest of Vienna, leading to the conclusion that it was that of a female fine metal worker. It says such work had been commonly presumed to be in the male domain.

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