Last Week’s Major Economic Happenings
22. apríla 2003

MONDAY, April 14

Central Bank Reports Q1 Loss of SKK 5.754 Bln.

The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) closed the first three months of this year SKK 5.754 billion in red. In March alone, its loss deepened by SKK 2.324 billion. The central bank showed a loss of SKK 3.397 billion in Q1 2002, according to data released by the bank. It projects its loss at SKK 6.342 billion for 2003. The NBS found itself in negative territory for the first time in its history last year and the loss deepened to the final SKK 24.836 billion. Development of the Slovak crown was a key factor behind the negative performance.

Despite Falling Prices, Pig Numbers Increased in Slovakia Last Year

The number of pigs on Slovak farms rose 5.7 percent to 1.55 million in 2002, reads a report by the Slovak farms produced 226,940 tons of pigs for slaughter (live weight), which translates into a year-on-year increase by 0.7 percent. Pig imports reached 17,360 tons calculated in meat and compared with the previous year these grew by over a one-quarter.

Slovak Telecom Started Talks with Internet Providers on ADSL Service

Slovak Telecom (ST) on April 9 launched a series of negotiations with alternative telecommunications operators GTS Slovakia, ViaPVT , Internet SR, and eTel Slovensko on providing ISP Gate services through which these companies will provide to end users high speed broadband Internet access based on Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) transmission technology. According to company representatives, talks will be held this week also with other Internet providers interested in providing ADSL service.

TUESDAY, April 15

State Treasury IT Project is Continuing

Until the end of May, the Finance Ministry expects to know which functions of the information system for the state treasury and debt and liquidity management agency can be implemented already this year and which ones would be added later. Simultaneously, it should be decided whether the state treasury and the agency will continue operating as two independent budget subsidized organizations, or they will be transformed to organizations established by a special law.

Turnover on Slovak FOREX Market Up 89.8 % to USD 215.23 Bln in 2002

Turnover on the Slovak foreign-exchange (FOREX) market without the central bank totaled USD 215.227 billion last year, going up 89.8 percent y/y. Transactions between local and foreign banks amounted to USD 162.194 billion, while transactions among local banks stood at USD 53.033 billion, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) announced in its financial market report for 2002.

Government Bonds Dominated Capital Market Trading Last Year

The Slovak capital market reported significant turnover growth in transactions on the secondary market in securities with government bond operations still dominating trading. Stock trading was characterized by a decrease in total turnover as well as turnover in price-making transactions, and low market liquidity.

SKK 10,869 Billion Traded on the Money Market Last Year

Last year SKK 10,869 trillion was traded on the Slovak money market, 36 percent more than in 2001. The average daily volume traded was SKK 43.48 billion, compared to SKK 31.96 billion in 2001, according to the report by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) evaluating development on financial markets last year.

U.S. Automotive Industry Suppliers Interested in Slovakia

During last week’s visit of Slovak President Rudolf Schuster and his delegation to the United States, several U.S. companies declared their interest in investing in Slovakia. The company Visteon, the second largest producer of car spare parts in the world is at present considering its choice to establish an industrial park in Slovakia or in another Visegrad Group country. The U.S. company plans to build an industrial park in two years. Ronald Weiser, Ambassador of the United States to Slovakia pledged to cooperate closely with the Economy Ministry in order to convince Visteon that Slovakia is the best destination for its investment plans.

Association of Agricultural Cooperatives Announces Strike Alert

Crisis staff in the Association of Agricultural Cooperatives (ZPD) announced strike alert at its session on Tuesday. ZPD chairman Vaclav Fabrici said that the current critical situation in Slovakia’s agriculture. „We unable to compete with farmers from EU candidate countries. Pork prices fell in Slovakia from last year’s SKK 52-48 per kilogram to the current SKK 30, and less. There is a similar situation in milk products,“ said Mr. Fabrici.

Slovak Companies Could Participate in Renewal of Iraq

During its last week’s visit to the United States, the Slovak delegation offered cooperation during post-war renewal of Iraq and held talks with senior representatives of U.S. administration involved in this matter. Slovak Economy Minister Robert Nemcsics informed about the visit at a press conference in Bratislava on Tuesday.


Central Bank Verbally Intervenes against Crown’s Firming Again

The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) verbally intervened on the Slovak FOREX market on Wednesday morning. As a result of foreign banks‘ demand, the Slovak crown firmed from 40.90/40.93 SKK/EUR to 40.81 SKK/EUR (middle), which is its strongest-ever position against the euro. After it moved to 40.90 SKK/EUR, the central bank issued a statement that there is no reason for significant appreciation of the Slovak currency and that it is ready to intervene against its rapid firming. Following this statement, the local currency weakened to 40.93/40.98 SKK/EUR, UniBanka dealer Patrik Malec informed SITA.

Coca-Cola Invests More than SKK 3.6 Bln. over Ten Years in Slovakia

In ten years of its operation in Slovakia, Coca-Cola Beverages invested over SKK 3.6 billion as of December 31, 2002. Last year investments were chiefly oriented towards production technologies, ecological projects and information systems, Radovan Peknik of Coca-Cola Beverages Slovakia informed SITA.

Crude Oil Transport will Resume on Full Length of the Danube River

At its meeting on Tuesday, the Danube Commission lifted the ban on the transport of crude oil and petrochemical products on the Danube River. Slovakia has asked for this ban to be lifted after it was imposed in March 2001.

Stock Exchange Likely to Settle Slovnaft Share Deal of March 20

The board of directors of the Bratislava Stock Exchange (BCPB) at its session on Wednesday confirmed the decision of BCPB director general Maria Hurajova, suspending the settlement of a Slovnaft share deal made on March 20. The deal will remain suspended until April 22, but the stock exchange will have to settle it on April 23 after a 30-day period elapses for which the BCPB can suspend the settlement of a deal, BCPB director general Ms. Hurajova informed SITA.

THURSDAY, April 17

Refiner Slovnaft Group Ended 2002 with Profit of SKK 2.8 Bln.

The group of the Slovakia’s largest crude oil refiner Slovnaft a.s. Bratislava, reached a consolidated profit of SKK 2.745 billion over 2002. This represents a decrease from almost SKK 4.479 billion profit reported in 2001. The operating profit fell SKK 2.26 billion to SKK 4.007 billion. The group managed to reduce its loss from financial operations from SKK 870.9 million to SKK 171 million.

Shell Slovakia Wants to Expand in Two Directions in the Future

Shell Slovakia wants to develop its activities on the Slovak market in two directions, in order to expand its network of petrol stations. One of the possibilities is to build new petrol stations under its trademark. But the company is also interested in purchasing petrol stations from other companies. Apart from motor fuel, Shell also sells oils and lubricants in Slovakia, which make up 15-20 percent of the company’s turnover.

Jobless Rate in Slovakia at 16.48 Percent in March

The National Labor Office (NUP) registered 478,724 unemployed in March, of which 437,335 were ready to take up a job immediately. This represents a jobless rate of 16.48 percent, NUP informed SITA on Thursday. The number of job seekers decreased by 16,700 people, or 3.37 percent over March. Compared with March 2002 this represents a drop of over 67,500 people, or 12.36 percent.

Slovakia’s Tourism Revenues at SKK 5.14 Bln. in February

According to preliminary data from the National Bank of Slovakia, Slovakia’s foreign exchange revenues from tourism were SKK 5.14 billion in February, up 40.1 percent y/y. Foreign exchange expenses of Slovak citizens traveling abroad increased by 17.6 percent y/y to SKK 3.128 billion. The balance shows a surplus of SKK 2.012 billion, up 99.4 percent y/y, according to data released by the Economy Ministry.

MOL Already Appealed Against the Financial Market Office’s Verdict

Hungarian oil company MOL has appealed against the verdict by the Financial Market Office (UFT), which turned down its proposed bid for shares in the takeover of Slovakia’s largest crude oil refiner Slovnaft, a.s., Bratislava, chairman of MOL’s board of directors Zsolt Hernadi told SITA on Thursday. MOL still believes that the transaction with 202,000 Slovnaft shares on the Bratislava Stock Exchange (BCPB) from March 20, which raised the average price of Slovnaft shares for the past six months, was an attempted price manipulation.

Tento projekt je podporený z Európskeho sociálneho fondu


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