One of the Czech Republic’s biggest four banks, Komerční Banka, announced a 15 percent rise in net profit to 7.7 billion crowns for the first half of the year on Wednesday compared with the same period in 2017. Loans over the period rose by 5.1 percent to 600 billion crowns. The bank is just over 60 percent owned by France’s Société Generale.
The Czech Republic’s state budget surplus had risen to CZK 25 billion at the end of July, up from CZK 4.6 billion at the end of the previous month, according to data released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Finance. But the surplus is some way below the CZK 75.6 billion recorded at the end of July 2016.
Prague is undoubtedly a hub for the use of the alternative cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But Bitcoin is now very much at a crossroads as some of its technological flaws start to catch up. A sort of civil war has developed around its future development with, as the cliché goes, only likely to tell who the victor will be.
ANO leader Andrej Babiš’s Agrofert got more in grants last year than it paid in taxes, according to the company’s freshly published annual report. Agrofert, which is a major player in the food, agriculture, chemicals and other sectors in the Czech Republic, paid taxes of CZK 1.505 billion and received CZK 1.533 billion in operating subsidies and green bonuses. It made a net profit of CZK 7.8 billion. The report also reveals that Agrofert’s staff was reduced in 2016 and that the company plans to make layoffs in Germany, where it runs bakeries.
A recent poll conducted by Equa Bank asked respondents whether they had a good overview of their partners’ finances and apparently for good reason: four in 10 Czechs, according to the poll, are not completely honest about how much they make or have saved. The reasons may be various: from maintaining a feeling of financial independence to maintaining the freedom to surprise their partner or spouse with an unexpected gift from time to time. There are also more underhanded reasons such as purposely hiding away funds in the case of a future breakup
The price of flats and houses in the Czech Republic grew by 12.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, according to figures released by Eurostat on Wednesday. This was the fastest growth rate in the entire EU in the first three months of 2016. Analyst Lukáš Kovanda of the company Cyrrus told the Czech News Agency that the reasons for the rise were excessively slow building planning processes in the Czech Republic, as well as increased demand caused by low interest rates stemming from the central bank’s now discontinued weak crown policy.
The Czech crown on Wednesday reached its highest level against the euro since November 2013, when the Czech National Bank launched a currency intervention policy aimed at keeping the crown weak. According to Patria Finance, the crown stood at 26.02 to the euro on Wednesday morning. Under the central bank’s weak crown policy – which came to an end in April – the exchange rate hovered around the 27 to the euro mark.