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02.05.2007

The takeover fever gripping stock markets has reached Austria

  • UniCredit (CA IB) identifies many takeover candidates
  • Profit growth on the Viennese stock market continues unabated

The positive market sentiment prevailing on global stock markets and the vast amounts of liquidity sloshing around companies and investment companies looking for attractive investments give grounds for hoping for some exciting developments. "Victims or predators – currently both scenarios are possible among listed companies in Austria too", says Alfred Reisenberger, Head of Equity Research Austria at the UniCredit Group.

After the largely unexpected takeover of the blue chip company Böhler-Uddeholm, further transactions of this kind can be expected. UniCredit (CA IB) analysts have a list of listed companies which would be worth cash rich investors taking a look at. Since there are a particularly high number of companies in Austria, which are in excellent shape, the spotlight is going to be more closely focused on Austria.

The following stocks are distinguished by the fact that they are far too liquid and are not making sufficient effort to reduce this liquidity except by increasing dividends and through share buyback programmes: Austrian Airlines, Böhler-Uddeholm, BWT, CWT, Erste Bank, Polytec, RHI, SBO, SkyEurope, Telekom Austria, Wienerberger, Wolford and Zumtobel.

Hedge funds are swimming in money
Private equity and hedge funds currently feature particularly frequently as predators. The managers of booming hedge funds currently have USD 2,100 billion to manage worldwide, which is twice as much as last year. Further growth in volume of 15 per cent is expected in future. Since bond yields currently seem less attractive at the moment, the funds are generally invested in equities markets. The appetite for lucrative purchases has never been so great.

Slight increase in profit forecasts
As was announced at the beginning of the year, the analysts at UniCredit (CA IB) have increased their profit forecasts, albeit only slightly, following the announcement of consistently good results by listed companies. While an increase of 4.2 per cent was assumed until recently, the new forecast is assuming an increase of 4.9 per cent. The ATX should also gain further ground; it is expected to reach 5,080 points.

Recommendations
The top recommendations of the analysts at UniCredit (CA IB) are Wienerberger and Zumtobel, which will both benefit from the recovery in the Germany construction sector, as well as Austrian Airlines, Böhler-Uddeholm, Schöller-Bleckmann and Erste Bank.

Enquiries: Veronika Fischer-Rief
UniCredit Markets & Investment Banking, PR Office
Tel. +43 50505-82833,
veronika.fischer-rief@ba-ca.com

Disclaimer

This document does not constitute an offer to issue or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to acquire or buy any securities to any person in any jurisdiction.

In the United Kingdom, this announcement is directed exclusively at persons who have professional experience in matters relating to investments who fall within Article 19 or 49 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2001. In the United Kingdom, the securities will only be issued to such persons.

This press release is not an offer of securities for sale in the United States.  The Bonds and the shares referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act") and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under the Securities Act or an exemption from registration. There will be no public offer of the bonds or the shares referred to herein in the United States.