Business News

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In Business News this week: the OECD says the Czech Republic could catch up with western European levels of prosperity in ten years’ time; shares in a Czech coal mining firm are to debut on the London Stock Exchange; Czech firms spent nearly 50 billion crowns on advertising last year, and cigarette prices are set to go up in the Czech Republic.

OECD says Czech Republic could catch up with Western Europe prosperity in ten years

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, photo: CTK
The Czech Republic is one of the world’s ‘economic bright spots’ suggests a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released on Thursday. The OECD praised the Czech government for its recent public finance reforms package, though suggested that more would have to be done to prevent a collapse of the country’s pension system. Speaking in Prague on Thursday, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria recommended that the retirement age be raised to 66 or 67, to curb the effect of ‘fast ageing’, with two generations of baby-boomers readying themselves for retirement in the next couple of decades.

The OECD predicted 4.5 percent growth for the Czech economy this year, and 5 percent growth in 2009. According to the organization, the Czech Republic could catch up with West European levels of prosperity within a decade if such strong levels of economic growth continue.

Shares in Czech coal mining firm to be listed on London Stock Exchange

Shares in the Czech Republic’s largest coking-coal mining company are set to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, it was announced on Wednesday. The listing is set to generate as much as 1.1 billion pounds (2.18 billion USD), which would make it the most valuable share offering on the London Stock Exchange this year. New World Resources is the sole owner of the Czech Republic’s largest coking-coal mining company OKD AS. It is set to debut on the London Stock Exchange on May 8 with shares set at between 10.75 and 13.25 pounds each. The coal company said it is raising capital to expand further in one of Europe’s biggest and still largely untapped coal deposits, the Silesian basin in southern Poland and the northeast of the Czech Republic.

Czech firms spend nearly 50 billion crowns on advertising in 2007

Czech companies spent nearly 50 billion crowns (3.1 billion USD) on media advertising last year. This is a record amount, though growth was slower than in previous years. Nearly half of the money spent went on television advertising, with TV Nova receiving the lion’s share of the proceeds, followed by commercial TV Prima, with state broadcaster Czech Television coming in third. The printed press generated nearly 20 billion crowns from advertising, while radio stations brought in about a fifth of that amount. The biggest spender on advertising in 2007 was Telefonica O2, followed by its rival Vodafone.

Cigarette prices to rise in Czech Republic

Now here’s news that might leave smokers fuming… The price of cigarettes is set to go up in the Czech Republic as tobacco producers exhaust supplies they amassed before the government’s tax reforms came into effect at the start of the year. Under the new excise system, the price of a packet of cigarettes is expected to go up by around 8 CZK (around 50 cents). A spokesperson for Imperial Tobacco said that the time had come when the new higher excise tax would have an impact on the market, although it is thought that rival Philip Morris will be the first to raise prices. Over one billion packets of cigarettes are sold in the Czech Republic each year, roughly a fifth of them are bought by foreign tourists.