CEOL
Czech Republic

Local Press Digest

PRAGUE, Apr 28, 2000 (Rtr)


HOSPODARSKE NOVINY

President Vaclav Havel appointed Petr Lachnit regional development minister and Jaromir Schling transport and communications minister. Jaromir Cisar and Antonin Peltram were dismissed from these posts, respectively.

The crown fell to another record low against the dollar - 39.48. The strengthening U.S. currency is pushing for a rise in Czech prices. The dollar was being sold in exchange offices yesterday for more than 40 crowns.

Japanese Nomura Securities , which controls a 46-percent stake in Investicni a Postovni Banka , confirmed yesterday that it is looking for a new partner for the Czech bank, although it wants to keep a stake even after selling to a new investor.

Jiri Tesar left his post as chairman of the supervisory board of Investicni a Postovni Banka to Nomura's director Randall Dillard yesterday and became first vice-chairman of the board. Board of directors member Libor Prochazka will move to the supervisory board at the end of May.

The board of directors of USX, which belongs to U.S. Steel , approved a plan from the management of the company to buy VSZ Kosice .

MLADA FRONTA DNES

The board of directors of power company CEZ dismissed general director Stanislav Svoboda from his post due to an absolute loss of confidence in him. Svoboda, who is still a board member, did not comment on the matter.

Seven investors out of the 16 who bought the information memorandum on Paramo presented offers to buy the state's stake in the refinery yesterday. Unipetrol , Russian Lukoil and Canadian Norex Petroleum all presented offers.

Japanese Mitsubishi Electric Corp. wants to build assembly and manufacturing facilities in an industrial zone in Slany. The investment is estimated at $33 million and should create jobs for 270 people by the end of 2001.

Trinecke Zelezarny posted gross profit of Kc 77.3 million in the first quarter of this year with revenues of Kc 5.172 billion, compared to gross profit in the first quarter of last year of Kc 11.2 million.

Moravske Naftove Doly will pay a total of Kc 150.2 million crowns for dividends from last year's profit of Kc 256.78 million, Kc 180 per share.

LIDOVE NOVINY

The cabinet approved a law yesterday that should ban all advertisements for cigarettes from billboards, magazines, newspapers, sporting facilities and cinemas in the Czech Republic. The tobacco industry invests several billion crowns into advertising each year.

More than three quarters of the more than 13,000 employees of the largest Czech steel company Nova Hut will join a warning strike on Thursday. The company lacks money for manufacturing, and workers demand help from the state.

The chairmen of the Freedom Union (US), the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), the ODA and the DEU signed a coalition agreement yesterday no nominate joint candidates for autumn Senate elections.

While the state's 51-percent stake in Ceske Radiokomunikace should be sold this year, a majority stake in Czech Telecom will not be sold until 2001, said newly appointed Transport and Communications Minister Jaromir Schling.

PRAVO

Civic Democratic Party (ODS) chairman Vaclav Klaus said during his testimony in court yesterday in the Libor Novak trial that he does not remember the details of the problems with sponsoring in the ODS between 1995 and 1997.

Due to the absence of witnesses, the trial against former ODS vice-chairman Libor Novak has been postponed until June.

The cabinet proposed a new law on weapons and guns yesterday, which should lead to tougher gun control.

Talks on the proposal for completing the privatization of energy companies ended yesterday. On Friday, material from the Finance Ministry and the Industry and Trade Ministry should be presented to the cabinet.

According to the material, privatization should take place at a faster pace, within the term of the current lower house of parliament.



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