Monday, 29 June 2020


Czech cabinet feuds over bill seen as helping tycoon premier

Bloomberg |
3 June 2020

The Czech government approved a draft law that critics say may help obscure ties between the country's billionaire prime minister and his business empire as he faces a conflict-of-interest probe. The allegations are the biggest political burden for Andrej Babis and have complicated ruling of his minority administration since he won the 2017 election.

How a bet on China's consumers is backfiring for richest Czech

Bloomberg |
1 June 2020

Petr Kellner's push into China was meant to turbo-charge one of eastern Europe's biggest fortunes. Instead, the Czech billionaire saw a listing of his consumer lender collapse, followed by a fight to contain the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. That has cost him USD 2.5 billion since January, with mounting questions about what's next for his Asian expansion.

The Prague angel offering salvation for Macy's and Foot Locker

Bloomberg |
29 May 2020

Across the U.S., sales are cratering, bankruptcies are on the rise, and unemployment has hit unprecedented levels. Yet even as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on American malls and main streets, a billionaire from Prague sees something in the wreckage: bargains.

Macy's attracts Czech billionaire investor after share drop

Bloomberg |
12 May 2020

Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky took a stake in Macy's Inc. and plans to engage management on ways to improve performance of the struggling U.S. retailer. Kretinsky's Vesa Equity Investment amassed a 5% holding in Macy's for strategic investment purposes, according to a securities filing. The purchase makes him one of the company's top five shareholders, according to Bloomberg data.

CR fears historic drought threatening harvest, water supplies

Bloomberg |
30 April 2020

The Czech Republic is facing the worst drought in its modern history that's threatening to seriously damage harvest and limit the availability of drinking water, a cabinet minister said. The rain and snowfall has been declining in the past decade, while rising average temperature has led to periods of drought in the land-locked central European country. This year, the combination of almost no snowfall and warm winter resulted in a "catastrophic" situation, according to Environment Minister Jiri Brabec.

After bout with coronavirus, Czech billionaire finds new targets

Bloomberg |
14 April 2020

Locked at home in self-isolation after testing positive with coronavirus in the middle of March, Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky spent 12 hours a day on the phone running his businesses. He still found time to scour around for new investments as markets around the world tumbled.

Czech central bank rebuffs Prime Minister's attack on rate hikes

Bloomberg |
5 March 2020

The Czech central bank pushed back against billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis's criticism of its efforts to curb inflation with higher borrowing costs. The surprising February rate increase, the only one globally this year, prompted a rebuke from Babis, who said such moves are boosting banks' earnings while hurting the economy during a slowdown.

World gets first rate hike of 2020 with surprise Czech move

Bloomberg |
7 February 2020

The Czech Republic unexpectedly became the world's first country to raise interest rates this year, but policy makers quickly signaled the increase would be the last. The central bank raised the benchmark by a quarter-point to 2.25% on Thursday, their first hike since May and the ninth increase in two-and-a-half years.

Avast plunge exposes frailty of Prague's dormant stock market

Bloomberg |
4 February 2020

The Czech stock market just had its worst week in years, and it's mainly because of a company that didn't even plan to be traded there. A privacy scandal at Avast Plc wiped out more than a fifth of the Prague-based software maker's value last week, dragging the PX Index of 12 stocks down 6.2%. That was the worst slump among benchmarks worldwide after Hong Kong.

Czech lottery owner Sazka asks EU to probe gambling tax

Bloomberg |
27 January 2020

Sazka Group has urged the European Commission to investigate a Czech tax on lotteries that it says unfairly grants a state subsidy to other gambling services.

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