In this week’s Business News: central bank talks up low crown policy; Asian and Middle East investors seen targeting Czech hotels; drug companies get pick-up from court decision; more, and more annoying Internet ads; and anonymous elephant shit deliveries promised by Prague firm.
The Czech National Bank has signalled that it ready to vigorously pursue its low crown policy. In a statement after the board meeting on Thursday, the Czech central bank said that it was ready to react automatically, without the need of a board decision, to weaken the crown if it started to strengthen beyond the target mark of 27 crowns/euro. And it significantly indicated that it is ready to shift that target to an even lower level if need be. Analysts have previously talked about a new target of 28 or even 29 crowns to the euro. The low crown policy should remain in place until at least the second half of 2016.
Investment in Czech hotels this year is likely to top six billion crowns. The main reason is the enthusiasm of investors from the Asia and Middle East to invest in Central Europe and boost their hotel capacity there, according to real estate consultancy Cushman and Wakefield. Some of the investments are expected to boost the number of beds on offer and quality of services, but are also expected to result in higher charges for guests. Room prices for top hotels have been on a gradual downward slope over the last 10 years.
Major pharmaceutical firms have won what has been described as a landmark ruling allowing them much bigger scope to challenge decisions and rulings by the State Institute for Drug Control. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that current procedures by the state body setting prices for drugs were unconstitutional in a case brought by major drug firms such as US-based Abbot. The ruling is expected to kick start a series of stalled court cases brought by the drugs companies.
Internet advertising rose by around 10 percent last year to total 14 billion crowns. That’s still around half as much as for the biggest advertising medium, television, but getting close to the spending on ads in newspapers and magazines. And a 15 percent rise in Internet advertising spend is expected this year as well. But the aggressiveness of Internet advertising is annoying an increasing number of surfers, according to the Czech advertising evaluation company Emerite. It found the number of antagonised Czech Internet users had doubled in four years to 16 percent.
And finally a Prague-based business has been launched delivering elephant shit to all destinations. The business ‘Give a shit’ is the brainchild of Jaroslav Šimek with deliveries of small consignments of the excellent manure guaranteed within a couple of days following the order - supplies permitting. Supplies can be sent anonymously, giving a perhaps not so subtle message to the receiver. And part of the profits are promised to help save endangered elephants in Africa.
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