In Business News this week: Change of hands looms for Prague’s tallest office bloc; Dubai company launches arbitration over payments for Prague plots; Czech total of unpumped EU funds shrinks to 6.8 billion crowns; Czech Republic ranks 26th on BDO’s investment potential list; ČEZ applies for EIA over new blocks at Dukovany; Mortgage rates reach new low of 1.87 percent:
The REICO investment company, owned by one of the Czech Republic’s biggest banks Česká Spořitelna, is poised to buy the tallest office block in Prague, the City Tower. The pending purchase, with an estimated value of around 4.9 billion crowns, is being examined by the country’s competition office. The current owner is the PPF company of the country’s richest man, Petr Kellner. City Tower, at 109 metres, is the second tallest building in the country.
Dubai-owned company Alcor Holdings has launched an international arbitration proceeding against the Czech Republic. The company is claiming 483 million crowns connected with its claimed failure to get compensation for the use of around 23,000 m2 of land dotted around Prague. Most of the land has been built on for key highways around the capital. The proceedings were announced by the Czech Ministry of Finance.
The Czech Republic failed to pump 6.8 billion crowns in European funds earmarked for the county according to figures from the Ministry of Finance. The latest figure is an improvement on the 10 billion crown shortfall estimated by the Ministry for Regional Development at the start of this year and the 36 billion crown figure given in the middle of 2015. The Czech Republic is looking to use up 620 billion crowns earmarked for it under the latest spending period between 2014 and 2020.
The Czech Republic has placed 26th on BDO’s 2015 list ranking the investment potential of 174 states. The country slipped one place down the ladder compared to last year, but it is still the second best ranking since 2012, the ctk news agency reports. According to the BDO list, the Czech Republic is the most investment-friendly country of the post-communist bloc. The top three places went to Hong Kong, Singapore and the Netherlands. South Korea is bottom of the list. BDO, one of the world’s largest accountancy networks, ranks countries’ investment potential by comparing them over several categories using measurable factors relating to labour market performance. Countries are compared in three main areas: economic, political-legal and socio-cultural.
The energy giant ČEZ applied on Wednesday for an assessment of the environmental impact at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in case new reactors are constructed there. The analysis, known as an EIA, is necessary for reaching a decision whether or not the new blocks can be permitted and built. According to Dukovany spokesman, Jiří Bezděk, the step is part of the country’s National Action Plan for the Development of the Nuclear Energy Sector, which calls for at least one reactor to be built at Dukovany by 2037 to take over from the ageing reactors currently operating at the site.
Average mortgage rates in the Czech Republic reached an all-time low of 1.87 percent in June, according to consultants Fincentrum, who have been monitoring the market since 2003. The average rate last month was down slightly on the 1.89 percent recorded in May. Fincentrum’s Josef Rajdl told the Czech News Agency that lenders had agreed a record number of new mortgages – over 12,000 – in the pre-holidays month of June.
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