BUSINESS IN SHORT

US Steel Košice to generate Sk17 billion in dividends

US STEEL Košice (USSK) has declared Sk17 billion (Ř450 million) in dividends, the majority of which will be used to settle inter-company obligations owed to USSK. Spokesman Ján Bača told SITA that the balance is expected to be used to support further investments in Europe.

The company has fulfilled its capital expenditure commitment to the Slovak government made at the time of acquisition in 2000. As of May 2006, the company had invested $700 million (Ř546 million) well ahead of the 2010 deadline.

Future investments will be in excess of our initial agreement, the company announced.

USSK has also exceeded its commitments toward regional development and local community support. USSK maintains stable employment and wages have grown according to profitability. The company has also invested more than Sk7 billion into ecological projects. Since 2000, the amount of solid pollutant emissions per ton of liquid steel produced has been reduced by 70 percent.

To support regional economic development, USSK established the Economic Development Center (EDC) in 2001. By performing specific services and creating suitable investment conditions for potential foreign investors, EDC's objective is to increase the flow of foreign direct investments into eastern Slovakia. Thanks in part to the EDC's assistance, twenty foreign companies with a total investment greater than $124 million have been established in the region, creating more than 3,200 jobs.

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