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UniCredit Group is still positive on the Austrian Stock Market

  • Selected top picks reflect cyclical as well as defensive aspects:  CA Immo Anlagen, IMMOFINANZ, Strabag, Andritz, Mayr-Melnhof and Österreichische Post.

UniCredit Group maintains a positive outlook for the Austrian equity market in the first months of the year and foresees a 10% increase of the ATX this year. Some reasons for caution still persist in the overall macro-economic scenario; therefore UniCredit Group suggests picking selected stocks and keeping a close look at the macro-economic indicators this year. The Austrian economy is out of recession, and should experience a slow recovery in the first half of 2010. After a fall of 3.8% in 2009, UniCredit expects the Austrian GDP to grow 1.3% in 2010 and 1.4% in 2011.

At its 'First Quarter Austrian Equity Scout' that was presented to the Austrian investors gathered at the annual investor's conference in Kitzbühel, UniCredit affirmed that the upward trend of the ATX index should continue this year with a target of 2,800 points in the first half of the year. The environment for Austrian equities is set to improve further over the next months, although the key question, still unanswered at the moment, is whether the outlook for 2011 can be confirmed after the forthcoming reporting season and during the course of 2010.

UniCredit Group expects that earnings will recover substantially and will rise by close to 30% in 2010 and in 2011. This high increase in EPS is mainly attributable to the combination of a lower cost base due to restructuring measures and the economy picking up. Higher EPS growth means that the ATX should be at a premium vis-à-vis other European markets. It is important to note, however, that, assuming this scenario proves correct, the level of earnings in 2011 would be still lower than that of 2006. 
UniCredit Group suggests a selective approach and recommends a list of six top picks, reflecting cyclical as well as defensive aspects. UniCredit remains positive on real estate for the next few months, keeping CA Immo Anlagen and adding IMMOFINANZ to its preferred stocks. Strabag remains in the top picks list, to which the bank adds Andritz on the back of rising order momentum from cyclical business areas. Mayr-Melnhof, which is also new to our list, represents a combination of cyclical business segments but low beta, which could become increasingly attractive as soon as the economic upswing loses momentum. Finally Österreichische Post represents the defensive part of UniCredit Austrian Equity portfolio.

Austrian Analysts – our coverage:
Roberto Odierna, Head of Small & Midcap Research. Tel.+39 028862 8912 Roberto.odierna@unicreditgroup.de

Peter Bauernfried, Tel.: +43 50505 82368, peter.bauernfried@unicreditgroup.at
BWT, KTM Power Sports,  Palfinger, SBO, Semperit, Strabag SE, Wienerberger AG, Zumtobel

Alexander Hodosi, Tel.: +43 50505 82359, alexander.hodosi@caib.unicreditgroup.eu
Atrium European Real Estate, CA Immo International, CA IMMOBILIEN ANLAGEN AG, Conwert, Immoeast, IMMOFINANZ,  RHI, Voest Alpine

Katharina Kastenberger, Tel.: +43 50505 82367, katharina.kastenberger@caib.unicreditgroup.eu
Mayr-Melnhof, Bwin, Intercell, DO & CO, Flughafen Wien, Pankl Racing Systems, Rosenbauer

Harald Weghofer, Tel.: +43 50505 82355, Harald.Weghofer@caib.unicreditgroup.eu
Andritz AG, EVN,  Österreichische Post,  Polytec Holding,  Telekom Austria AG,  Verbund

Gyorgy Olah, Tel.: +44 207826 7968, gyorgy.olah@caib.unicreditgroup.eu
Erste Bank, Raiffeisen International

Radena Georgieva, Tel.: +44 207826 7959, radena.georgieva@caib.unicreditgroup.eu
Vienna Insurance Group, Uniqa

Press contact:
Silvia Lamberti, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 52818, silvia.lamberti@unicreditgroup.at
Nicole Rappl, Tel. +49 (0)89 378-29319, nicole.rappl@unicreditgroup.de


About UniCredit
UniCredit is a major international financial institution with strong roots in 22 European countries as well as representative offices in 27 other markets, with over 10,200 branches, approximately 174,000 employees at 31 December 2008.
In the CEE region, UniCredit operates the largest international banking network with over 4,000 branches and outlets.

The Group operates in the following countries: Austria Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary,  Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

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