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New probe in Alpe Adria bank scandal

Prosecutors in Carinthia have confirmed a new investigation around the Hypo Group Alpe Adria (HGAA) bank against 12 people. None of those under investigation were named.

BZÖ-Deputy party leader Stefan Petzner had already indicated that there were new investigations around the end of October and now this has been confirmed by prosecutors.

Spokeswoman Gabriele Lutschounig said that no further information would yet be revealed because the investigations were still ongoing.

Petzner said that shortly before the Hypo was taken over by 100 percent by the Austrian government there was corruption on the part of various people including bankers and local politicians. At the time the government said it was necessary for the bank to be nationalised to prevent its collapse.

Hypo Group Alpe Adria (HGAA) is an Austrian banking group with numerous cross-border activities in 12  countries of the Alps-Adriatic region. Its network of branches and offices extends from Austria through Italy and Liechtenstein, from Slovenia through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary and Germany on to Brussels.

In May 2007 the BayernLB bought 50% plus one share (controlling stake) of HGAA for 1.63 billion Euros. On 14 December 2009, BayernLB, Kärntner Landesholding and Grazer Wechselseitige Versicherung sold their stakes in the bank to Austrian government for one Euro each.

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