Privatization. RWE Gas won the bidding for the Czech Republic's dominant natural-gas distributor and importer and eight regional distributors with a EUR 4.1 bn (CZK 133 bn) offer. Agrofert, a Czech-Swiss chemical maker backed by U.S. oil company Conoco Inc, won a bid to buy the Czech government's majority stake in Unipetrol. Agrofert's bid amounted to EUR 361 mil. (CZK 11.75 bn). The Czech government decided to postpone the sale of its majority stake in CEZ and six regional distributors after bids yesterday failed to meet its minimum price of CZK 200 bn.
Retail sales grew by 8.1% y-o-y. Particularly sale and repair of motor vehicles (9.8%, y-o-y) and sale of fuels (10.4%, y-o-y) rose significantly. It seems that domestic consumer confidence is still strong despite a negative economic sentiment in EU and USA. We can expect that household consumption will help to keep GDP growth and partly offset a negative influence of declining foreign demand.
Polish economy is still heading down. GDP growth decrease to 0.8%, y-o-y, in the third quarter after 0.9% in the second quarter and 2.3% in the first quarter 2001. The main reason of the slowdown is a decline of fixed capital creation (-13.6%, y-o-y). On the other hand, household consumption rose by 2.1%, y-o-y, and remained the most positive component of GDP figures.
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