America's third largest investment bank Morgan Stanley is planning to invest over 20 billion crowns (around a billion US dollars) in the Czech Republic, Hospodarske noviny reported this week. It will do so through the company Multi Development, in which it acquired a majority earlier this year. The amount involved is close to that being invested by Hyundai, though a spokesperson for Multi Development said, unlike the South Korean car maker, it did not require investment incentives.
The Czech Republic ranks 18th in the EU in terms of number of wind power stations, according to figures released by Eurostat this week. Wind power accounts for just 0.1 percent of electricity produced in a country still very much reliant on coal - in fact 66% of Czech electricity comes from coal-powered stations.
Excessive red tape is costing Czech companies billions of dollars a year, because they are required by law to report over 2,000 different activities to the relevant authorities, the head of the Czech Economic Chamber told Hospodarske noviny. Jaromir Drabek said applicants have to submit documents that are already available to state institutions, such as certificates from the land register. He also said officials take the longest permitted time to process applications.
The Czech Republic has the most hypermarkets per capita of any of the former communist states in central Europe, according to a study by market research firm ACNielsen. There are 19 hypermarkets per million inhabitants in this country, compared to 16 in Slovakia, nine in Hungary and six in Poland.
The Czech lottery and betting market grew by over 7 percent last year, the Finance Ministry said this week. Czechs bet a record four billion dollars in 2005, with over half of that money going into slot machines. The only area of the betting industry to report a fall was casinos.
Small cars are big business in the Czech Republic at the moment: sales of passenger cars in the smallest category increased by 60 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to figures released by the Car Importers Association. In contrast, the number of standard-class cars sold fell slightly. As for individual models, the best selling was the Skoda Fabia, followed by the Skoda Octavia and the Peugeot 206.
A Czech company is helping build the world's highest building in Dubai. Pega Hoist from Pardubice are supplying 14 hoists for construction of the building, with six of them already in use on the site. A spokesperson for the company said Pega Hoist's product was unique because it could carry a heavy load at high speed without a balance weight. The Burj Dubai skyscraper will be more than 700m high, 200m taller than the current record holder, Taiwan's Taipei 101.
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