Business News


In this week’s business news: The Czech Republics foreign debt has reached 1.873 trillion crowns, a survey finds Czech salaries are above the international average, a shortage of white eggs is likely to hit the country over Easter, the popularity of specialty brews is on the rise and Prague’s Four Seasons hotel goes on sale.

Czech National Bank: Foreign debt reaches 1.873 trillion crowns

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
The foreign debt of the Czech Republic has reached 1.873 trillion CZech crowns, according to the latest figures from the Czech National Bank. It grew by 106 billion last year, to a sum of nearly half the gross domestic product. According to the bank’s experts, the growth was largely caused by an increase in short-term liabilities in the private sector. The state’s foreign debt accounts for 25.3 percent of the country’s total foreign debt.

International Labor Organization: Czech salaries above international average

Photo: Tomáš Adamec,  Czech Radio
The International Labor Organization has published a fresh survey on the average wages around the world. The mean salary, according to the latest data, is 1480 US dollars per month, about 27,000 Czech crowns. In the Czech Republic, the average monthly wage, according to the ILO’s survey, is some 24,000 Czech crowns. Since the data was adjusted to reflect differing costs of living in different countries, survey authors consider the income level in the Czech Republic to be above the international average. Some 72 countries are part of the survey; its authors decided to not include some of the world’s poorest nations.

Shortage of white eggs likely over Easter

A shortage of white eggs may hit some supermarkets in the Czech Republic ahead of the Easter holidays, when sales of white eggs are likely to soar. In supermarkets of the Albert chain, white eggs have already sold out. Czech egg farmers only produce a small amount of white eggs; the majority of domestically produced eggs are brown. As a consequence, in some stores the price of white eggs, which are the preferred choice for traditional Easter decorations, has doubled. In recent months, the EU’s egg production has seen a decline and prices have increased as a consequence. This was partly due to a new EU directive on the welfare of laying hens that went into effect this year and that some countries, including the Czech Republic, had failed to implement ahead of time and across the board.

Popularity of specialty brews on the rise

Specialty brews are becoming increasingly popular on the Czech market, the newest data from the Czech Beer and Malt Association indicates. While light, unflavored beers remain the most popular choice of Czech beer lovers, special edition brews account for 6.5 percent of overall sales, and experts expect the trend to continue. Beer drinkers are increasingly open to bottled beers as opposed to the preferred option, draft brews. The current trends are reflected in the offerings of breweries. Microbreweries have been offering specialty beers for quite some time, but larger breweries have also started adding special brews to their offer. Especially popular are so-called “radlers”, a German beer drink with juice or lemonade that has a lower alcohol content. Experts predict this category will see a significant growth over the next years.

Prague Four Seasons hotel goes on sale

Four Seasons Prague
The luxury Prague hotel Four Seasons is for sale. The Irish investment group Quinland Partnership has put the property on the market for an asking price of 80 million euro, nearly two billion Czech crowns, the daily Mladá fronta dnes reported. According to Quinland Partnership, the sale will not have any effect on the day-to-day operations of the hotel. The potential buyer will have to sign a contract with the Canadian hotel chain operator Four Seasons. The investment group’s management cited the unstable situation of Ireland’s financial market as the key reason for the sale. Four Seasons is one of the city’s most luxurious hotels. Last year, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stayed there. The Budapest branch of the Four Seasons hotel was sold for 75 billion euro in 2011.