Business News

Photo: European Commission

In Business News this week: Martin Jahn has been appointed general director of the Volkswagen Group in Russia; the American company which bought Čedok is also interested in buying Czech Airlines; Prague stock exchange has lost record 17.4 percent in January; the number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers is increasing and the Czech Republic raises its production of solar panels.

Martin Jahn to head VW in Russia

Martin Jahn and Klaus Dierkes,  photo: CTK
Martin Jahn the only Czech manager on the board of directors of Škoda Auto, a unit of the German car manufacturer Volkswagen AG, has been appointed general director of the car maker’s Russian operations. Mr. Jahn, who is 38, has been on the board of directors of Škoda Auto, since 2006. He was in charge of human resources and will be replaced by Klaus Dierkes, a veteran Volkswagen manager since 1984.

US group which bought Čedok also interested in Czech Airlines

The American company Odien which bought the biggest Czech travel agency Čedok is also interested in buying Czech Airlines, the internet news server Aktuálně.cz reported. A spokesperson for Odien Group told the news website the firm wanted to take part in the privatisation of the Czech national air carrier. No date has been set for the sell-off, though the Czech Finance Ministry has not ruled out it may take place before the end of this year. The Odien Group bought the biggest Czech travel agency Čedok last December, when it acquired a 98-percent stake in the firm from the Czech-owned Unimex Group, which had controlled Čedok since 1995.

Prague stock exchange loses record 17.4 percent in January

The Prague Stock Exchange saw the biggest fall of share-prices for January in its 15-year history. The index has decreased by 17.4 percent since the end of December and the PX index dropped to 1,499 points. Developers ECM were the biggest losers, with their shares falling by 34.5 percent. The shares of Erste Bank and Česká Spořitelna have also slumped by more than 30 percent. Analysts assigned the slump to developments on stock markets around the world and panic selling by foreign and domestic investors.

Number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers on the rise

Photo: European Commission
The number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers in the Czech Republic is increasing, according to the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry. The number of Romanian employees has grown 3.5 times last year to just over 4,000 and the number of Bulgarian workers has grown 2.8 times, coming close to 5, 000. Since Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007 their citizens no longer need a permit to work in the Czech Republic. Despite the rise, the number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers is still low compared to the number of workers from other countries, such as Poland and Ukraine.

Czech Republic increases production of solar panels

The Czech Republic is becoming one of the largest producers of solar panels in Europe, although the country itself doesn’t use solar energy too much. There are currently about 20 solar panel producers in the Czech Republic but their overall output has not yet been specified. Foreign producers have a significant share in the business. One of the largest is Japanese Kaneka Corporation, which opened a production plant in Olomouc last year and Germany’s Schott Solar with a plant in Valašské Meziříčí. Most of the solar panels produced here are exported to southern countries with a better climate, such as Italy, Spain and Greece.