The US media giant Time Warner will acquire a 31-percent stake in CME, a media corporation that owns the Czech Republic’s largest commercial station TV Nova, according to a statement issued by CME on Monday. Time Warner will pay over USD 241 million for the share. CME’s founder Ronald Lauder said that the alliance with Time Warner would accelerate CME’s development. Apart from the Nova in the Czech Republic, CME owns TV stations in Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Rumania and Ukraine.
Plastic bags are one of the most visible symbols of the post-Communist Czech consumer society. The disposal bags are just that – discarded and littering the capital and countryside alike. Czech Environment Minister Martin Bursík has now vowed to act. In today’s Talking Point we explore the arguments that have erupted between the minister and retailers.
In Business News this week: the Czech Republic’s richest man Petr Kellner gains influence over the most valuable parts of Czech-Slovak group J&T; the Czech government sees no reason to bail out the country’s banks; Czech firms say they are experiencing a sharp fall in orders, and waiting longer for payment; and the Buddha Bar chain opens its first ever hotel in Prague.
The government agency CzechInvest said that it secured a record number of
foreign investors in 2008, but that the amount invested in the Czech
Republic fell overall. Some 213 new foreign investors poured their money
into the Czech Republic in 2008, but the value of this investment came to a
total of 30 billion crowns (1.41 billion USD), 41 billion crowns less than
in 2007. Most of this money went into research and development and the
service industry, a spokesperson for CzechInvest said.
At the briefing on Thursday, the agency’s general director Alexandra Rudyšarová said that the Czech Republic lost two major car contracts in 2008 due to the ongoing global financial crisis. Ms Rudyšarová said that the two contracts were worth several billions of crowns each, but both were scrapped when the automobile industry started to feel the effects of the economic downturn.
Some 26,143 new firms were established in the Czech Republic in 2008, suggests data released by Czech officials on Sunday. This figure is up on the previous year’s tally by more than 3,500. Nearly 80 percent of the new companies founded last year were established in Prague, this was also the case in 2007.
The Czech currency is losing its muster. The crown, one of the world’s fastest appreciating currencies in 2008, is now rapidly weakening. It has sunk to its lowest point since November 2007, trading on Thursday at over 27 crowns to the euro and just over 20 crowns to the dollar. Chief financial markets analyst of ČSOB bank Jan Čermák explains what is happening to the Czech crown.
In this week’s Business News: The Czech Republic’s state debt currently stands at almost one trillion crowns, the prime minister unveils an economic council to help steer the country through the global economic crisis and the gas supplier Česká Plynárenská secures extra deliveries from Norway to offset the impact of the gas crisis.
Six percent of the firms operating in the Czech Republic are planning redundancies in the next three months, suggests the Manpower Labour Market Index, which came out on Tuesday. The last such index released in September found that only one percent of firms in this country were planning job cuts. The situation is worst in Moravia, suggests the study. The index, however, does indicate that the situation overall in the Czech Republic is more favourable than elsewhere in Europe, such as in Ireland, Spain and Italy, where larger-scale redundancies are predicted.
Ever since the onset of the global economic crisis, the Czech Republic has been spared some of the stronger side-effects of the financial slowdown, particularly when compared to its western neighbours. However, a new set of economic data suggests that the country’s period of economic upswing is over. Although talk of an actual recession is still rare, the forecast, with job losses, a growing trade deficit and decreased consumer demand, is becoming increasingly gloomy.