Business Briefs

Ministries propose plans for Slovak Telecom rival
Slovakofarma announces plans to cuts jobs this year
Globtel steering committee remains optimistic
Industrial output growth exceeds 10% mark

Ministries propose plans for Slovak Telecom rival

In an attempt to pave the way for the opening of the Slovak telecoms market economic ministers have proposed the formation of a new independent telecoms firm operating throughout Slovakia.
The company should consist of telecommunications facilities of six state-controlled power and energy companies in Slovakia (power producer Slovenské elektrárne, three power distribution companies, gas utility Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP), and crude-oil pipeline operator Transpetrol).
The aim of the move is to create a competitor for the monopoly fixed line telecoms company Slovenské telekomunikácie (ST).
It is expected that a foreign investor would enter
the new company sometime after that.
Under the plans the six companies would each invest 11 million crowns ($239,000) into what would be called EnergoTel. The Economy Ministry has said that it would like to see the company formed by the end of March this year.

Slovakofarma announces plans to cuts jobs this year

In order to preserve its competitive potential, pharmaceuticals producer Slovakofarma announced plans to lay off 307 employees as part of a series of organisational measures to be implemented this year, spokesman for the company Pavel Hraška said January 15.
He added that the move was necessitated by the critical situation in the Slovak health care sector, chiefly the high volume of Slovakofarma's claims for supplied medicines, amounting to 672.6 million crowns ($14 million).
The organisational changes in the company include a reduction in the number of members of the supervisory board and white-collar employees and mergers of some smaller production units.
Slovakofarma is one of the six largest pharmaceuticals companies in central and eastern Europe, exporting more than half its production to the Czech Republic.

Globtel steering committee remains optimistic

Negotiations with a private consortium interested in the purchase of the state's 36% stake in mobile telephone network operator Globtel, are continuing and the steering committee for the sale remains optimistic despite a postponement of the sale late last year.
"Our effort is to complete the whole transaction as soon as possible, and the steering committee asked the financial advisor for the same at the beginning of the year.
However, it does not mean that we want to sell Globtel at any price," head of the steering committee, Márius Hričovský, said January 15.
"Terms of any transaction must be satisfactory for both parties," added Hričovský.
The steering committee is analysing a bid from a consortium as well as the alternative of a sale through an initial public offering (IPO).
The project was postponed late last year because of poor conditions on global telecommunication markets at the end of last year.

Industrial output growth exceeds 10% mark

Growth in industrial output continued in November with a year-on-year increase of 10.6%.
Output in the manufacturing industry grew 11%, while output in the mining industry grew 0.8%, the Statistics Office has said.
In the first 11 months of 2000, industrial output grew by 9.8% year-on-year. Output in the manufacturing industry rose 11% year-on-year, while the production and distribution of electricity, water and gas increased 7.8%. Output in the mining sector fell 2.7% year-on-year.

Compiled by Ed Holt from TASR and SITA

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