In this week’s business news: the Greek ambassador to the Czech Republic has said that Greece must remain in Eurozone, the daily Lidové noviny writes that ČEZ may loose up to ten billion Czech crowns due to investments into Albania’s power grid, Russia’s oil delivery to Czech Republic is likely to fall short of target in May, the Finance Ministry is selling state bonds, and Czech Railways expands its fleet.
The new Greek ambassador to the Czech Republic Jorgos Paizis has said that Greece must push through strict austerity measures and remain in the Eurozone. The ambassador added that leaving the common currency union would be a disaster for the country and would throw it into deep chaos. He also said that he expects the formation of a unity government following last Sunday’s legislative elections is likely to fail reaching majority support. The ambassador expects snap elections may have to be held again.
After unsuccessful attempts by conservative leader Antonis Samaras, whose party gained the majority of the vote, and radical leftist Alexis Tsipras, whose party came in second, to form a government, all eyes are now on Socialist leader Evangelis Venizelos, who is holding make-or-break talks in a last-ditch attempt to find a governing majority in Parliament. Meanwhile, German leaders are keeping up the pressure on Greece and have issued a warning that the country must stick to the terms of the bailout plan.
According to a report by the Czech daily Lidové noviny, state-owned energy giant ČEZ may lose up to ten billion Czech crowns due to its investments into Albania’s power grid over the next three years. The Czech electricity producer reported a fall of 14 percent in its quarterly net profit due to a hike in purchase prices in Albania. Some 3.6 billion crowns of the expected ten-billion-loss over the next years would come as a result of regulatory tariff decisions by the Albanian power regulation authority, which doubled distribution fees. ČEZ has announced it is considering taking legal action over the Albanian authorities’ move. In 2009, the Czech energy company purchased 76 percent of shares in the Albanian distributor CEZ Shperndarje for nearly 102 million euro, or 2.8 billion crowns, in a privatization deal.
Russian oil exporters will most likely fall short of their planned delivery target of 345,000 tons of oil to the Czech Republic, according to reports by Russian media. To date, Russia has only confirmed a delivery of some 73,000 tons. The projected date for the delivery target is May 15. The Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade says it is unaware of Russia’s oil delivery shortcomings. The domestic oil distributing company Unipetrol has said that May’s oil delivery volume is still being negotiated. In April, Russia’s oil deliveries to the Czech Republic fell short of target by nearly 60 percent.
The Czech Finance Ministry on Thursday announced the sale of state bonds
worth 20 billion Czech crowns, which can be purchased by citizens through
the end of the month. The bonds will be released on June 12. For the first
time, regions and municipalities as well as public schools and institutions
such as Czech Radio or Czech TV will be able to buy such bonds. The bonds
can be purchased at nearly 400 locations across the country. Four types are
on sale: a discounted 1.5-year bond, which should bring the buyer a profit
of three percent, as well as two five-year bonds that bring between 3.2 and
3.4 percent and a seven year-bond with an expected profit of 3.3 percent.