Business News

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Share-prices on the Prague Stock Exchange have slumped to their lowest level since November 2006, Škoda car sales around the world increased by 14.5 percent last year and Visa has apologized for a glitch in its transaction system in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary that left an unspecified number of customers with duplicated withdrawals on their accounts.

Developers pull Prague stock prices to 13-month low

It was not a good week on the Prague Stock Exchange where share-prices slumped to their lowest level since November 2006, following further sell-offs by foreign investors. The index has decreased by 13.5 percent this year. The past two weeks has wiped out nearly all the profits made last year. Developers ECM were the biggest losers, with their shares falling by 10.15 percent. CME, Komerční banka and Orco Property losses ranged between four and six percent. Analysts assigned the slump to the situation in the USA that affected markets all over the world.

World sales of Škoda cars up 14.5 percent in 2007

Photo: Kristýna Maková
The Czech car maker Škoda Auto increased its sales around the world by 14.5 percent last year, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday. Total sales of Škoda cars reached over 630,000 in 2007. The firm’s biggest single market is Germany, while over half of its vehicles are sold in western European states. Škoda, which is owned by Germany’s Volkswagen, sold almost 65,000 cars here in the Czech Republic. Car making has been one of the main motors of the Czech economy in recent years.

Visa apologizes for duplicated transactions in Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary

Visa has apologized for a glitch in its transaction system in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary that left an unspecified number of customers with duplicated withdrawals on their accounts. The transaction error occurred at the start of the week and there are said to have been hundreds of duplicated operations. A Visa spokesperson categorically denied that the malfunction was the work of hackers and said clients’ money would be refunded.

Czech building output up 7 percent year-on-year in November

Czech building output grew by seven percent year-on-year in November after a 3.5 percent growth in October, the Czech Statistical Office reported this week. A marked increase was recorded in the fields of civil engineering and the modernisation and reconstruction of roads. Analysts attributed this boost to the fact that the municipalities had earmarked funds especially for this purpose.

Companies unwilling to employ people over 55

Czech companies do not want to employ people over 55 and some even consider them second-rate employees, the daily Pravo wrote Wednesday in connection with the government's plan to raise the retirement age to 65. If the government fails to change this trend, a considerable part of the country’s senior citizens may end up on the dole collecting unemployment benefits rather than salaries, the paper writes. People over 50 make up one-third of the unemployed and only 22 percent of men and women aged 60-64 are economically active, Pravo says.