Business Briefs

AFE to invest 20 million euros in Martin
Talks broken off on Slovenské aerolinie carrier sale
Japanese entry into Devín financial house moves closer
ŽSR state rail company to move into telecoms
Funds from budget to go to highway construction
Banka Slovakia tender deadline put back
Exall confirmed as NCHZ tender winner

AFE to invest 20 million euros in Martin

French firm AFE Metal plans over the next four to five years to invest 20 million euros in production of steel moulds in northern Slovakia's Martin area, employing up to 500 people. Director of AFE Metal Roland Fraysse said that production would begin as of November 1 this year.


Talks broken off on Slovenské aerolinie carrier sale

The government at its regular sitting August 15 broke off discussions on the direct sale of its 34% stake in air carrier Slovenské aerolinie to investigate other methods of disposing of its interest.
It was also reported that new carrier SkyEurope, which has yet to launch planned flights to European hubs, was interested in the state's share.


Japanese entry into Devín financial house moves closer

Finance house Devín banka has said it expects central bank approval within the near future for the capital entry of Japanese investor Japan Grade One into Devín.
Devín banka has been struggling with low capital adequacy for more than 12 months and the expected passage of a new Bank Act, which would see stricter conditions set for bank capital adequacy, has sped up the finance house's search for an investor. The Japanese bank is expected to pour money into Devín to ensure that it meets capital adequacy requirements.


ŽSR state rail company to move into telecoms

The Telecoms Office market regulator has issued a 10-year licence to state railways firm ŽSR to develop its own communications infrastructure into a public telecoms network.
ŽSR heads have said that the company would like to enter the Slovak telecoms market and compete with current fixed line monopoly Slovenské telekomunikácie (ST). However, it has not set any firm deadline for doing so. ST loses its monopoly in January 2003.


Funds from budget to go to highway construction

Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová has said that most of the 16 billion Slovak crowns the government expects to see in above-forecast 2001 state budget income will be used to finance highway construction.
A programme of highway construction initiated under the previous Vladimír Mečiar government (1994-1998) was slowed when the present coalition came to power.


Banka Slovakia tender deadline put back

The head of the FNM state privatisation agency has said the deadline for bids for Slovakia's smallest bank, Banka Slovakia, will likely be extended by 60 days with only two parties having indicated interest so far.
The National Bank of Slovakia recently rejected the requests of three firms - prva paroplavebna, J & T Finance Group and Slávia Capital - to carry out an audit on the bank, saying that none of the subjects had adequate experience on the Slovak banking market.


Exall confirmed as NCHZ tender winner

The FNM privatisation agency has confirmed the Canadian Exall Resources Ltd. as the winner of a tender for an almost 40% stake in chemicals firm NCHZ. Exall had bid 275 million crowns ($5.8 million) for the holding.


Compiled by Ed Holt from press reports

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