Gross external debt of the Czech republic dropped to CZK 786.7bn at the end of the year 2001. The debt totaled CZK 813.9bn at the end of 3Q 2001 and 817.1bn at the end of 2000. Development of the external debt was influenced mainly by exchange rate changes. The debt denominated in euro and U.S. dolar increased slightly, CZK denominated debt fell thanks to the appreciation of the Czech crown. As a percentage of GDP the external debt dropped from 41.7% in 2000 to 36.7% in 2001 driven also by the GDP growth. The gross external debt has not been changing substantially for five years and probably it will not post a macroeconomic issue in following years.
The Czech republic's international investment position deepened by CZK 55.9bn to 247.8bn (EUR 7.7bn) last year. The saldo increased owing to continuing FDI inflow. The investment position deficit was 11.6% of GDP as of 31 December 2001 (1.8 percentage points higher than a year earlier).
CNB intervened again into the currency market yesterday. The bank’s move came at around 10 am after the CZK touched 30.0 CZK/EUR and the intervention weakened the CZK to 30.48 CZK/EUR. The rest of the day the crown ranged in 30.3 to 30.4 CZK/EUR.
Czech cabinet decided on further privatisation of Cesky Telecom yesterday. The cabinet asked two from three bidders to submit new offers by April 26. The two bidders are the consortiums led by Deutsche bank and Swisscom, Greek OTE is out of the competition.
Yesterday, the cabinet approved a draft on an agreement with Russia concerning Russia’s debt to the CR reduction. A part of the debt could be reduced by three very large transport planes An-70 as well as seven Mi-24 helicopters in value of USD 300 – 400mln. The agreement is to be signed by Premier Zeman during his visit in Russia.
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