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Business Briefs

FNM bond pay-off may start in February

The National Property Fund (FNM) is prepared to start settling matured FNM privatisation bonds in February next year. However, the start will depend on the preparedness of the RM-System (over-the-counter market), the technical organiser for the pay-off of FNM bonds, FNM president Jozef Kojda said December 18.
The FNM has so far redeemed, before maturity, 40.68% of the total volume of privatisation bonds it issued five years ago. The FNM has to raise approximately 29 billion crowns ($580 million) for the settlement of the remaining privatisation bonds maturing in 2001.
The fund wants to obtain the money from the privatisation of companies within its portfolio. Parliament December 15 approved a proposal for the use of 31.5 billion crowns ($630 million) of FNM assets in 2001 from privatisation to pay off bonds maturing next year. The government had said this year that it would use proceeds from privatisation to redeem maturing debt.


2001 National Labour Office budget approved

Parliament December 15 approved the 2001 budget for the National Labour Office (NÚP), with expenditures projected at 11.17 billion crowns ($220 million). The NÚP also envisages 8.9 billion crowns for the basic fund and 1.5 billion crowns for the administrative fund. The guarantee fund, which pays wages to employees of insolvent enterprises, was allocated 700 million crowns. However, the NÚP has warned that unemployment must be reduced if the budget is to be sufficient.


Unions and management at ST sign deal

The average number of employees of Slovak Telecom (ST) will drop from the current 13,400 to 12,560 next year following the signing of a collective agreement for the next two years between president of Slovak Telecom Ladislav Mikus and representatives of the OZS trade union and the Slovak Postal and Telecommunication Trade Union December 15.
Slovak Telecom will pay 253 million crowns ($5 million) in wage compensation for employees released because of organisational changes. Severance payments to dismissed employees will account for 7 to 17 times the average monthly salary, depending on the age and the number of years employees have been working for Slovak Telecom.


GDP up 2% over first three quarters of year

Based on preliminary estimates of the Slovak Statistics Office, in the third quarter this year gross domestic product in Slovakia totalled 230.10 billion crowns ($4.6 billion), up 2.5% year-on-year in real terms. Over the first three quarters of the year GDP amounted to 659.4 billion crowns, a rise of 2% year-on-year and 8.7% in current prices.


Average real monthly wage falls 3.8%

The average nominal monthly wage in Slovakia stood at 11,150 crowns ($220) in the third quarter of 2000, which is up 4.8% year-on-year in nominal terms, but down 3.8% in real terms after inflation is accounted for.


ŽSR to lay off 3,300 people in 2001

The board of directors of Slovak Rail (ŽSR) December 14 approved a documentoutlining plans for restructuring of employment in the company in 2001, according to which 3,338 people of the 45,500-strong workforce would be laid off. Unions at the railway company have said that they are still opposed to plans for the firm's transformation, in which many workers are expected to be laid off over the next three to five years.


Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA

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