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Czech Watch - 8 February 2001

8.2.2001 8:52
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The Czech Statistical Bureau will release January inflation and unemployment data today. We expect headline inflation to be 1.8 percent month-on-month and 4.2 percent year-on-year.

The Labor Ministry will release January rate of unemployment. Our forecast aims at an upward shift to 9.1% from 8.8% in December.

The Czech Republic on Wednesday said it would reconsider imposing visa requirements on Canadian citizens if Ottawa waives its visa requirement for Czechs. Last week the Czech government said it had decided to re-impose visa requirements on Canadians after talks on a visa-free regime between the two countries broke down.

The Czech central bank (CNB) board should discuss at the beginning of next month the possibility of tapping foreign markets for a bond issue, Deputy Finance Minister Eduard Janota said on Wednedsday. Janota said he considered issuing foreign bonds a realistic possibility, and that the costs should not be much higher compared to a domestic issue due to interest rate developments. He also said he was going to analyse investors' demand for euro or crown-denominated bonds. He gave no further details. Niedermayer told Reuters recently that the central bank was not against the state issuing more bonds to cover its debt load. The Czech state public sector deficit is expected to jump to as high as 190 billion crowns this year or 9.4 percent of GDP, up from 93.3 billion crowns at the end of 2000, or 4.9 percent of GDP and 29.8 billion crowns, or 1.6 percent of GDP, at the end of 1999.

The Czech koruna firmed slightly in light trading on Wednesday as the market paused before the release of January inflation and unemployment data on Thursday. Late on Wednesday the koruna was flat at the morning's 34.67/69 to the euro and up from late Tuesday's level of 34.69/74. Koruna/dollar was up to 37.11/14 from 37.25/29 in the morning and late Tuesday.

In bonds, the state 6.40/10 fell five points to 98.65/95 from late Tuesday, yielding 6.59/55 percent. State 6.75/05 was down five basis points at 102.65/95, yielding 5.99/5.90 percent. The recently auctioned state 6.95/16 down 10 points at 102.60/90, yielding 6.00/5.92 percent.

(David Marek)


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