The secret rally of Austrian banks

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. MADRID (MarketWatch) -- After a year in which 70% of value was wiped off shares of two Austrian banks, the pair are clawing their way back in a big way.

    Shares of Erste Group Bank AG and Raiffeisen International Bank are both up around 50% on a one-month basis, coming well ahead of the pack of other European financials that have enjoyed a small rally this month along with global financial stocks.

    They've outperformed the European Stoxx 600 banking sector, which is down 1% on the year. Of course, lows for these stocks have been just as dramatic. Over a year, Erste has lost 71% and Raiffeisen has lost 75%.
    The flurry of news around these stocks has been well-flagged and abundant. About a month ago, Moody's Investor Service got the ball rolling with a report that cited concerns about Western European banks that are supporting subsidiaries in Eastern Europe against a rapidly deteriorating global macroeconomic backdrop.

    Raiffeisen and Erste, which each have huge exposure to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), got on the defense.
    Earlier this month, Raiffeisen Zentralbank, which owns more than two-thirds of Raiffeisen International loaned $160 million to Raiffeisen Bank Aval, the second-largest bank in Ukraine.

    Raiffeisen also said its CEE units are well-capitalized, and that it wasn't overly concerned about worries about the region because they know it well. See full story.

    Not to be left out, Erste Bank then followed up with its own comment that debt levels and external financing needs of the CEE countries are lower than generally perceived and the current gloomy picture of the region is based on inaccurate or out-of-date context.}&dist=hpts

    So far as to Moodys reputation....:mad: