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The koruna strengthened yesterday

16.11.2004 9:41
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The Czech koruna strengthened on betterthan- expected September’s current account which showed a very low deficit of CZK 6.3 bn. This favourable result is based on the high trade balance surplus, which was published previous week. However, the balance of income, the deficit of which fell for the second time in a row, improved even more than the trade balance. The balance of income deficit shrank to a relatively acceptable CZK 11.6 bn in September from a high of CZK 27.8 bn in July. A relatively high surplus in the balance of services also contributed to the good overall current account result. Nevertheless, we should view the latest data as a whole cautiously because the accumulative current account is still more than 6% of GDP. What is more, the danger of high repatriations of profits by foreign firms continues to threaten the overall current account balance.

The koruna in reaction to the release shot up to 31.40 EUR/CZK. Later on, the unit lost some gains, but it closed the session again at 31.40 EUR/CZK. PM Gross proposal to sell state stake in Cesky Telecom (51 % worth CZK 54.7 bn) on stock exchange was supportive for the koruna too. The government should start discussion on the issue today.

Today another test of the 31.40 level is likely. However, the market may lack corporate flow due to tomorrow’s national holiday. Thus the action of foreign banks should be decisive. Eventual government decision to sell Cesky Telecom on stock market should push the koruna higher. The development should be the same like in neighboring Poland where IPO of the biggest bank PKO caused significant zloty strengthening.

ČSOB - Investment Research


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