Vienna as a Financial Centre
Sit in one of Vienna’s famed cafés and you may hear Slovak at the next table, Hungarian at another and Russian at a third. It may no longer be the imperial capital to which its imposing palaces and boulevards remain monuments, yet, once again, the city is a crossroads between east and west.
Although 2010 marked the return of relative calm, Vienna’s stock exchange has so far derived only limited benefit.
One measure of how far perceptions about Austrian banks have improved in recent months is that they have received only a cursory mention in the current media frenzy surrounding the stress testing of European financial institutions.
Austrians are known for their conservativism in saving and investing – fewer than a 10th of the population own shares. Yet the country is home to a small but lively alternative investment industry.
The sparsely populated, rural hamlet of Baumgarten, less than an hour’s drive east of Vienna, seems an unlikely meeting point for some of Europe’s most vital infrastructure.