Business Briefs

Loans to corporate sector and private citizens up in June
Slovnaft doubles exports over first half of 2000
DMD Lombardini to make Martin facility focal point
Budget deficit at 9.9 billion crowns at end of July
IMF praises banking and corporate sector progress

Loans to corporate sector and private citizens up in June

Loans to the corporate sector and private citizens grew 5.9 billion crowns in June from May's 401.6 billion crowns. May had seen a drop of 4.7 billion crowns from the month before.
Though the growth rate of loans to companies and citizens has increased to 2.3% year-on-year, it is still below the 3.7% level set by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) in its monetary programme for this year.

Slovnaft doubles exports over first half of 2000

Bratislava oil refinery Slovnaft processed 2.59 million tons of crude oil for the first half of 2000, down 55,000 tons year-on-year, but saw its exports double on the same period of last year. The company's sales grew almost 15 billion crowns year-on-year to 30.74 billion with its exports of 21.26 billion crowns accounting for 69.1% of Slovnaft's sales.
The firm said that the increase in sales was influenced by the price development of crude oil and a change in its product line following the launch of its new EFPA technological complex.

DMD Lombardini to make Martin facility focal point

Italian diesel engine-producer Lombardini officially opened operations at its plant in Martin, central Slovakia, August 1 and said it wanted to make the facility the focal point of its business operations.
The joint-venture of ZŤS TEES Martinské Strojárne, an engineering company based in Martin, and Lombardini, to be known as DMD Lombardini, will produce three and four valve engines. DMD Lombardini plans to manufacture 250 engines and 100 components in August, and to increase its monthly production capacity to 300 engines between September and December.
"Our ambition is to develop the joint-venture into the leader among all eight companies of Lombardini all over the world," Lombardini president Giani Borgi said at the official opening.

Budget deficit at 9.9 billion crowns at end of July

Slovakia's state budget deficit on July 31 was 9.9 billion crowns on revenues of 123.272 billion crowns and expenditures of 133.175 billion crowns. The deficit is 55% of the annual budget deficit, planned for 18 billion crowns for 2000.

IMF praises banking and corporate sector progress

The International Monetary Fund in a report released July 28 said that the Slovak Republic had made significant progress in the stabilisation of the economy and the acceleration of structural reforms, especially in the banking and corporate sectors.
The IMF said that the progress in the improvement of the banking system, including privatisation of state-controlled banks and companies, as well as important steps in strengthening banking regulation and banking supervision and initiating reform of the legislative system, had contributed to the current improving economic climate in the country.
Concerns had been raised by other international groups in the past that banking sector privatisation in Slovakia had been dragging, and that the government's commitment to restructuring the sector was waning.

Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA

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