Foreign–based mother companies of some of the Czech Republic’s biggest firms last year claimed the second highest dividend yield from their local assets ever, according to calculations by the business daily E15.
The paper has estimated that around 270 billion crowns was passed on to the foreign mother companies in 2017. That’s the second highest total ever, only trumped by the estimated 288.7 billion crowns sent back in 2016.
The paper suggests that the figure was the result of the high profitability of many foreign owned companies across the board. Such companies include the likes of car maker Škoda Auto, most of the biggest Czech banks, and many utility companies with the notable exception of state dominated electricity producer ČEZ.
The paper adds nonetheless that many of the foreign owned companies last year invested substantial sums in their subsidiaries. According to preliminary figures from the Czech National Bank, a record 144 billion crowns was invested by such companies last year. That’s around a quarter more than was invested by them in 2016.
Some economic analysts say that foreign mother companies still appreciate the relative predictability and steady earning potential of companies in the Czech Republic compared with the relatively more volatile environment in such countries as Hungary and Poland. In Hungary in particular, the government has intervened with extra taxes and other surcharges on some foreign firms.
The outflow of Czech dividend earnings has become a political issue locally in recent years. It has been highlighted by the previous government which suggested that it could be one of the main factors in the slowdown in the country’s capacity to catch up appreciably with more developed West European countries and the fact that average local wages are still around a third of those in more prosperous countries such as Germany and Austria.
A study by the consultancy company Bisnode suggests that the domination of foreign owned companies of the overall Czech economy has been dropping in recent years. It estimates the foreign based companies account for around 37 percent of the basic capital of Czech companies, the lowest final figures since 2011.
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