In Business news this week: Czech investment firm PPF enters a major new joint-venture with the Generali insurance firm, Billa is to take over the Czech Republic's Delvita supermarkets in June, a new bill to regulate relations between supermarket chains and suppliers has failed to get past its first reading in parliament, and the Czech National Bank raises its economic-growth forecast.
Joint venture announced between Generali and PPF.
Billa to take over Delvita supermarkets in June
Bill regulating relationship between retail chains and suppliers blocked by Parliament
A proposed new bill aiming to regulate the relationship between retail chains and their suppliers was rejected by MPs on Friday at its first reading in parliament. The proposed law sought to prevent supermarkets with a dominant position in their sector from abusing their economic power by imposing unduly tough conditions on suppliers in return for stocking their goods. Most MPs in the Civic-Democrat-led coalition government voted against the proposal. Nevertheless, Civic Democrat minister for agriculture Petr Gandalovic said that the government was aware that something needed to be done to regulate relations between large supermarkets and their suppliers. Many MPs said the law contained a number of legislative errors. It has now been sent back to its proponents for redrafting. Earlier this week a purchasing manager in the Tesco supermarket chain was charged by anti-corruption police with demanding a bribe of 1.6 million crowns or roughly 75,000 USD from an entrepreneur seeking a supply contract with Tesco.
Czech National Bank raises economic-growth estimates
The Czech National Bank has raised economic growth forecast for the coming year. The bank expects GDP to rise in 2007 by 4.9 to 6.5.percent, up roughly half a percentage point on its previous estimates. Besides any unforeseen economic developments at home and abroad, the bank says the biggest threats to this forecast are fluctuations in the crown's exchange rate with the euro and the government's planned reform of public finances. The governor of the Czech National Bank Zdenek Tuma said it was still impossible to evaluate the effect of the reforms because it was unclear what precise form they would take until they had been passed by parliament. The Czech Chamber of Deputies is due to discuss public-finance reform in August or September.