NEWS: Austrian bank set to invest in a UK PR firm

London-based financial PR agencies are leading the race for a huge PR account from Austria’s second largest bank.

London-based financial PR agencies are leading the race for a huge PR

account from Austria’s second largest bank.

Creditanstalt Bankverein has invited five City agencies to pitch next

week for an estimated pounds 500,000 fee contract to increase its

profile in financial markets across the globe.

Creditanstalt press spokes-man Joachim Kuehnert confirmed that the bank

had made approaches to several UK financial PR firms but declined to

name them. However, industry sources indicate that Citigate, Dewe

Rogerson, Edelman and Ogilvy Adams and Rinehart are in the running. It

is understood that representatives from the agencies will make

presentations in Vienna next week to a special committee of

Creditanstalt’s commercial and investment banking wings.

The brief will focus on raising corporate awareness of the bank and

highlighting its activities in central and eastern Europe through a

media relations programme with additional investor relations work.

‘Creditanstalt is a well known institution but it is also a financial

group including investment banking activities, leasing and financing and

we intend to make it better known in these fields,’ said Kuehnert.

He added that a consultancy would also be expected to boost

Creditanstalt’s profile in the US, Latin America and in the emerging

markets of the Far East. An appointment is due later this month.

Privatisation work could also be on the cards. Founded in 1855 by the

Vienna Rothschilds, Creditanstalt is 49 per cent owned by the Austrian

state. Last month finance minister Viktor Klima announced plans to

resume privatisation talks with the bank’s board and advisers JP Morgan.

The government has been trying to offload its Sch18 billion (pounds 1.1

billion) stake in the bank for more than five years and has

provisionally scheduled a sell-off for mid-1996.

Creditanstalt is the latest big foreign bank to call on City agencies

for financial PR support. Last month Amalgamated Banks of South Africa

hired Shandwick Consultants while German-owned West Merchant Bank

brought in Citigate on a similar profile raising brief. In October

Dresdner, Germany’s second largest bank, appointed Dewe Rogerson to

handle corporate and financial PR in the UK.

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