In Business News this week: The central bank raises interest rates for the second time this year in an attempt to keep a lid on inflation; Czech power giant CEZ is seeking to have a deal between the MUS mining company and E.ON banned; three quarters of Czech firms are failing to make their annual income statements public; the generation of wind power increases, but still supplies few households; and a new EU directive means Czech tour guides will face foreign competition for the first time.
Central bank increases interest rates for second time this year
The Czech National Bank raised interest rates by a quarter point this week, bringing the benchmark two-week repo rate to 3.00 percent. That rise puts the benchmark rate at its highest level for five years - though it still remains the lowest in the European Union. The move had been widely forecast, and most retail banks had already raised their lending rates in anticipation of Thursday's announcement. The increase - the second quarter-point hike in two months - is aimed at keeping inflation under control. Analysts say it may not be the last such interest rate rise this year.
CEZ attempting to block MUS-E.ON deal
The Czech power giant CEZ is seeking to prevent the MUS mining company from developing a large coal-fired power station in north Bohemia with Europe's largest power company E.ON, Mlada fronta Dnes reported this week. CEZ had itself been in talks with MUS on a similar project until last month, and has asked the Czech anti-monopoly office to ban the deal, the paper said. It argues that if MUS includes the important Vrsany brown-coal mine in the project there would not be sufficient brown coal available to other customers.
Czech firms failing to comply with law on publication of annual statements
Czech firms are rather slack when it comes to making their yearly income statements public. In fact up to three-quarters violate the law by not supplying such data to the Company Register, Hospodarske noviny reported this week, quoting a study by Dun & Bradstreet. The fine for not complying is a paltry CZK 20,000 (less than USD 1,000) and many prefer to pay the fine and keep their results to themselves.
Wind power on increase but still negligible in terms of consumption
PwC: Czech Republic services sector fourth most attractive among emerging markets
The Czech Republic is the fourth most attractive emerging market when it comes to investment in the services sector, according to a study carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers. However, the country figured rather lower in the field of industry, ranking 17th among emerging markets.