Dominant Czech telecoms operator Cesky Telecom signed an interconnection deal with rival Contactel which will allow the competitor to channel calls through Telecom's extensive network. The two firms said in a joint statement that Contactel would start offering fixed-line public voice services within three weeks, opening the Czech voice market to long-awaited competition. Telecom lost exclusivity on fixed-line calls in January, but competitors can at this stage only get clients by building their own end-lines. The market will be completely opened in mid-2002.
The Czech koruna was steady at 34.62/70 to the euro late Wednesday, after the morning's 34.61/66 and 34.64/65 late Tuesday, and it is expected to take its cue in the next few days from euro/dollar trade. The koruna/dollar fell to 37.71/74 from 37.60/63 in the morning and from 37.69/72 late Tuesday.
The longest state 6.95/16 bond jumped 90 points from late Tuesday to 106.00/30, yielding 6.31/28 percent. The state 6.75/05 rose 20 points to 104.15/45, yielding 5.58/5.50 percent.