Business News


In this week's Business news: a decision on whether to build a huge Hyundai car plant in Moravia has been postponed; over half the checks made on Christmas markets by the Czech Trade Inspectorate revealed shortcomings; three times more new coins are due to go into circulation next year than in 2005 - the final minting before adoption of the euro; and Czechs are expected to drink 3.5 million bottles of Czech "champagne" Bohemia Sekt on New Year's Eve.

Hyundai plant decision postponed

A decision on whether to build a Hyundai car plant in Moravia - which had been due by the end of the year - has been postponed. A Czech government delegation will travel to South Korea to hold talks with Hyundai's bosses on January 9th. If the much-discussed factory is built it will employ 3,000 people and be a major boost to the Czech economy.

Big increase in loans given by Czech building societies

The Czech Republic's building societies increased the volume of loans given by a whopping 30 percent in 2005, Lidove noviny reported this week. The biggest of the country's six building societies, Stavebni sporitelna Ceska sporitelna, granted over 350,000 loans between January and November this year.

Over half checks on Czech Christmas markets find shortcomings

Over half of 600 checks on Christmas markets by the Czech Trade Inspectorate revealed shortcomings: stallholders were caught overcharging for carp and Christmas trees, while other misdemeanors included not providing appropriate fire warnings with Advent wreaths and not providing information in the Czech language.

VAT decrease for sports centres not to be passed on to customers

It seems a reduction in VAT rates for gyms, sports centres and saunas will not be passed on to customers. As of January 1 these services will move from the 19 percent VAT bracket to the 5 percent bracket. But Czechs hoping to keep in shape for less are in for a disappointment: operators surveyed by Lidove noviny said they had no intention of lowering prices, as their running costs kept going up.

More new coins to be minted in 2006 due to shortage

Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka
Shoppers will find more shiny new coins in their pockets next year, with three times more new coins going into circulation than in 2005. The Czech National Bank ordered the extra minting, as the increased use of coins in shops led to a shortage this year, Mlada fronta Dnes reported. Small denominations are in shortest supply, though more 50-crown coins - which are now something of a rarity - are also being made. The central bank says next year's new coins should be the last before the country adopts the euro in four or five years' time.

Czechs to drink 3.5 million bottles of Bohemia Sekt "champagne" on Saturday

Many Czechs will be ringing in the New Year not with real champagne, but with the cheap Czech equivalent, Bohemia Sekt - they'll be downing three and a half million bottles of the stuff on Saturday night, according to Hospordarske noviny. The company's sales are up this year, as are sales of real French champagne in the Czech Republic. Bohemia Sekt is not the only Czech producer: Soare Sekt is the second biggest brand, and there's even a Pilsner Sekt, from beer makers Plzensky Prazdroj.