Average mortgage rates in the Czech Republic have again fallen, reaching a record low of 2.27 percent in February, according to an index kept since 2003 by financial services providers Fincentrum. The previous low – of 2.34 percent – had been registered in January. The highest figure recorded by Fincentrum was 5.82 percent in August 2008. However, Czech mortgage rates were considerably higher in the first decade after the fall of communism.
In Business News this week: the current account of Czech Republic’s balance of payments shows the first surplus ever recorded; Czech household debt reached 1.7 billion crowns last year; Czechs spent over 13 billion crowns in foreign online stores in 2014; Honeywell expands its innovation centre in Brno; Skoda Auto launches production of new Superb:
Czech President Miloš Zeman has said he will in all likelihood nominate former finance minister and caretaker prime minister Jiří Rusnok to be governor of the Czech National Bank when incumbent Miroslav Singer steps down. Zeman made the comments in an interview with the Czech daily Mladá Fronta Dnes. Singer’s mandate finishes in one year, Rusnok was Zeman’s first appointment to the Czech central bank when he was placed on the board in March last year. The president has previously said he want a new governor who will reverse the current low crown policy and will back early Czech adoption of the euro.
Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has proposed that all public institutions should have to publish the details of contracts signed worth over 50,000 crowns, including still valid contracts signed in the past, the ctk news agency reports. The minister told the news agency he is pushing for greater transparency in public spending both at the national and regional level and will propose a draft amendment to that effect in April of this year. According to the proposal public institutions would have to make public certain in-voices as well.
The first convoy transporting munition from a damaged munitions depot in Vrbětice to another storage site in Květná in the Svitavy area, some 178 km away, departed on Saturday at around noon. The convoy of five lorries, escorted by the police, is carrying propellant belonging to a private company Bochemie. The original depot was damaged by a massive explosion last October, which killed two people and led to dozens of uncontrolled blasts in the weeks to follow. According to the Interior Ministry, there were some 7,000 tonnes of ammunition at the site at the time of the blast. The ministry expects it will take between 350 to 400 lorries to remove all the material. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš visited the site on Saturday.
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