Some 25 companies announce intentions to opt for 'squeeze out' buy of minority shareholder stakes; Hotels, language schools exempted from 19pct VAT; MPs look to prevent supermarkets from 'dumping' sales items; Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka submits 2006 budget... acknowledges failure to meet 19 of the EU 'convergence' targets; CzechInvest mid-year report: 70 deals worth 25bn mediated by the agency
Some 25 companies announce intentions to opt for 'squeeze out' buy of minority shareholder stakes
This was a slow week for business news, as Tuesday and Wednesday were state holidays. Most action this week came in reaction to legislation considered in Parliament last week. On Friday deputies approved an amendment to the "squeeze-out" provision of the commercial code that allows owners of 90 percent or more of stock in a company to force small shareholders to sell their stakes. The amendment aims at ensuring that small shareholders get a "fair" price for their shares. Some 25 companies have since called extraordinary general shareholders meetings to decide on how to proceed. Among them is the power utility CEZ, which has announced plans to spend 500 million crowns buying out minority stakes in four power distributor companies.
Hotels, language schools exempted from 19pct VAT
Last week, the lower house of Parliament also voted to grant hotels and language schools an indefinite exemption to the 19 percent VAT rate; if singed into law by the president, they will continue to pay 5 percent VAT. However, tighter controls were announced for bars and restaurants this week. They will be required to submit inventory lists to the customs office of all hard alcohols by the end of this month. All new purchases must have the appropriate stamps.
MPs look to prevent supermarkets from 'dumping' sales items
Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka submits 2006 budget...
... acknowledges failure to meet 19 of the EU 'convergence' targets
Finance Minister Sobotka, however, has said the overall deficit would be less than 3.8 percent of GDP, which is within the Czech Republic's EU convergence commitment. But he acknowledged that the convergence programme is not being met in some 19 budget areas. For example, whereas the number of state workers was to be reduced by 2.5 percent this year, their ranks actually grew by 2 percent.