News that Prague-listed utility ČEZ will sell one or two coal-burning power plants with a capacity of 800–1,000 MW in a bid to end a European Commission probe into suspected anti-competitive behavior (and in line with plans to divest from carbon-emitting power generation capacity) has been welcomed by the markets. State-controlled ČEZ — which denies any wrongdoing — had faced a fine of up to 10 percent of its 2008 global turnover of $5.2 billion.
The Czech Telecommunications Office (ČTÚ) has reportedly backtracked on plans to auction off the 800 MHz frequency — the most suitable spectrum to build a nationwide fourth-generation network and easiest way to introduce a fourth mobile operator in the country.
The Prague Stock Exchange (BCPP) has established a loosely regulated market for small caps, called START, which aims to attract small- and medium-sized companies with lower reporting and listing requirements than needed for companies trading on the main PX Index.
Mining company NWR, whose most lucrative market is the supply of coking coal to major Central European steelmakers, delivered first quarter sales and production figures and second quarter coking coal price agreement details which came in ahead of expectations.
A long-running legal battle between Czech ministries and the European Commission over high agricultural goods surpluses run up by the country before joining the EU has resulted in a court victory for Prague. The Czech Republic can now seek the return of the €12.287 billion fine which has already been paid.
The Czech branch of Italian UniCredit Bank on Wednesday reported a net profit of Kč 1.115 billion for 2011, down 62 percent on the previous year. At the same time the bank said that if it had not been for the write-off of Greek bonds, its net profit would have risen by over 11 percent to Kč 3.35 billion.
Czech fund Penta Investments has offered to buy 40% of Polish retailer Empik Media & Fashion (EM&F) for 410 million zlotys as part of a deal with the retailer’s man shareholder, Eastbridge, to jointly manage the group, with the intention to delist the company from the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
Zdeněk Tůma has been named to an advisory committee which should propose what reforms to make to the EU's banking sector. The advisory group has been put together to advise interventionist French Commissioner Michel Barnier, although Tůma has not been noted in the past for favoring too much central or local regulatory measures.
The Finance Ministry announced Tuesday that last year its Financial Analysis Unit (FAÚ) blocked Kč 808 million of “laundered” money, i.e. funds suspected of being diverted to avoid taxation and illegally-gained funds. Over the year FAÚ received 1,970 reports of suspicious transfers of money, 83 more than in the previous year.
The French bank BNP Paribas has won a tender called by ČEZ to find a partner to finance the Kč 200 billion expansion of its Temelín nuclear power plant — if the power company decides not to go it alone, Czech Position has learned from a trusted source within the domestic energy sector. BNP Paribas beat out six other invited contenders: Citibank, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Rothschild and HSCB.