Business News

Photo: archive of ČRo 7 - Radio Prague

In Business News this week: The Czech economy is in recession for the fifth quarter in a row; every other Czech household has no system for organising its monthly budget; government bond sales exceed expectations; a new transformer facility should help protect the Czech power grid against Germany’s green electricity; the organizers of the Davis Cup final say they will make 10 million on the event; and the Czech football association plans to buy the world’s largest stadium.

Czech economy in recession for fifth consecutive quarter

Photo: archive of ČRo 7 - Radio Prague
The Czech Republic’s gross domestic product fell by 0.3 percent in the third quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter, and by 1.5 percent compared to the same period last year. The Czech economy has now been in recession for five quarters in a row, which is the longest such period since 1997. Low household spending and curbed corporate investment are continuing to contribute to the accelerating recession. Experts say the worst news is that the economy has shown no signs of recovery. Czech GDP is expected to drop by around one percent his year, while for 2013 most analysts forecast only fragile growth.

Every other Czech household has no system for monthly budget

Photo: archive of ČRo 7 - Radio Prague
With low household consumption considered one of the main reasons for the recession, a recent survey suggested that households’ lack of financial planning could also be a factor. Many Czech households are overstretched with debt, which in September amounted to 1.145 trillion crowns, or around 25 percent of the country’s GDP. The survey by the STEM/MARK agency indicated that around half of Czech households have no system for following and controlling their monthly spending. Only 5 percent of them have financial plans for periods longer than 12 months, whereas 15 percent of households plan for up to one year. Over half the people who took part in the survey said they had no financial reserves and lived from one paycheque to the next.

Government bond sales exceed expectations

Photo: Barbora Kmentová
The Czech Finance Ministry said this week that interest in the government savings bonds exceeded expectations. The ministry originally expected the third emission of the bonds to fetch around 20 billion crowns, or one billion US dollars. But it said that 31-billion-crowns worth of bonds have been reserved, and should be paid for by November 19. The various savings bonds available to the public had returns from 3.41 to 2.05 percent.

New transformer to help protect Czech power grid against Germany’s green electricity

Photo: archive of ČRo 7 - Radio Prague
The operator of the Czech power grid, ČEPS, is planning to build a new transformer facility in the north Bohemian town of Kadaň, near the border with the Germany, to protect the network against unplanned current flows, generated mainly by wind farms in the north of Germany. The facility should only allow some 1700 megawatts to enter the Czech grid, a volume that is considered safe and without a risk of overload. The Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade believe the transformer could be completed by 2017, and the costs, of around 2 billion crowns, could be partially covered by EU funds.

Organizers to make 10 million crowns on Davis Cup finals

Photo: CTK
Prague this weekend hosts the finals of the Davis Cup in which the Czech Republic takes on Spain. Whatever the result will be, the sports marketing firm Česká sportovní which has organized the event says they will make some 10 million crowns, or around 500,000 US dollars, on it. The firm’s boss, Miroslav Černošek, told the news website that around 4 million would come from TV commercials and the rest from ticket sales. The company also organized the Fed Cup finals and an exhibition match between the leading Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová and world’s number two Maria Sharapova. The latter event brought in much more profit, Mr Černošek said.

Czech FA plans to buy world’s largest stadium

Strahov stadium,  photo: Kristýna Maková
The Czech Football association is planning to buy Prague’s run-down Strahov stadium, which is the world’s largest structure of its kind, the news website reported this week. The association is ready to spend over 128 million crowns, or nearly 6.4 million US dollars on the venue, along with two smaller stadiums nearby. Strahov stadium, which in the past served for communist-organized mass exercises, hosted the first concert of the Rolling Stones in the country after the fall of communism. The stadium, which is owned by the Czech Sports Association, is today mainly used as training grounds for various sports clubs. The Football Association wants to build its new headquarters there and perhaps revive plans for the construction of a national Czech football stadium on the site.