Business briefs

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France Telecom joins Blackstone/CVC/Providence consortium bidding for Cesky Telecom; Number of foreigners seeking work in the Czech Republic up 250 pct since 1995; Czech Airlines' profits up threefold year-on-year in 2004; Dentists may demand up-front cash payments 50-300 percent above current imbursement rate; Adidas behind COI sweep of Kaufland stores

France Telecom joins Blackstone/CVC/Providence consortium bidding for Cesky Telecom

France Telecom will join with the consortium Blackstone/CVC/Providence in a bid for Cesky Telecom. The French company will have a minority stake in the consortium. Final bids for the Czech state's 51.1 percent stake in the dominant fixed-line operator are due on March 29. The consortium of firms PPF, J&T, InWay and Tiscali has pulled out from the tender.

Number of foreigners seeking work in the Czech Republic up 250 pct since 1995

The number of foreigners residing in the Czech Republic has increased by about 250 percent over the past decade and reached over 254,000 at the end of 2004, according to the Czech Statistical Office. Almost half of them live in the capital, Prague. The number includes only foreigners legal residing in the country, most of whom come to earn a better income than they could at home. The majority of the foreigners are Ukrainians (over 30 percent), followed by Slovaks (18.6 percent), Vietnamese (just over 13 percent), Poles (6.4 percent) and Russians (5.8 percent).

Czech Airlines' profits up threefold year-on-year in 2004

The national carrier Czech Airlines increased its net profit last year more than threefold compared to 2003 due to growing passenger numbers. In 2004, Czech Airlines posted a preliminary net profit of 250 million crowns, roughly 11 million US dollars, up from 70.6 million crowns a year earlier. The carrier this week also announced plans to build a new maintenance centre for the ATR, Boeing and Airbus planes at Prague's Ruzyne International airport. The investment worth 60 million US dollars should be completed in the first half of 2008.

Dentists may demand up-front cash payments 50-300 percent above current imbursement rate

Photo: CTK
Czech dentists have compiled a price list for services in the event that they decide not to renew their contracts with health insurers. They would, for example, charge 50 to 300 percent more than the 350 crowns for a check-up they are now reimbursed — which dentists say does not even cover their operating costs. The Ministry of Health is alleged to have drawn up plans to determine dentists' patient lists, and regulate wages and equipment purchases. Czech dentists say they will begin demanding up front cash payments from patients if the Ministry doesn't agree to a compromise plan by mid-2006.

Adidas behind COI sweep of Kaufland stores

The athletic sporting goods maker Adidas has said it was behind a one-day inspection at Kaufland stores in the Czech Republic this week. The .Commercial Inspectorate Office was looking for counterfeit tennis shoes with Adidas stripes. .The Inspectorate confiscated some shoes and said it would take up to three weeks to check them. Kaufland said that it pulled the shoes pending the outcome.