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Slovnaft refuses to relinquish hold on Czech market

Officials for the Slovak oil refiner Slovnaft said on April 24 it would not give up its position on the Czech market, though a recently adopted Czech import deposit plan will cause problems. "The Czech market remains our dominant target and we will not give up our position there in any case," said Slavomír Hatina, Slovnaft's general director.
Hatima was responding to the Czech cabinet's April 16 unveiling of a package of measures aimed at revitalizing economic growth and eliminating budget and current account deficits.
Under the Czech scheme, (the Slovaks later introduced their own similar plan - see story on page 4), importers will be required to deposit 20 percent of the value of imported goods on an interest-free account for 180 days. Hatina said the measure will negatively affect Slovnaft's exports of motor fuels, heating oils and lubricants to the Czech Republic, which totalled 6.8 billion Sk, or 38.8 percent of its overall exports in 1996.


A handful of industrial works like Slovnaft's in Bratislava account for 60 percent of Slovak exports.
Courtesy of Slovnaft

Officials for the Slovak oil refiner Slovnaft said on April 24 it would not give up its position on the Czech market, though a recently adopted Czech import deposit plan will cause problems. "The Czech market remains our dominant target and we will not give up our position there in any case," said Slavomír Hatina, Slovnaft's general director.

Hatima was responding to the Czech cabinet's April 16 unveiling of a package of measures aimed at revitalizing economic growth and eliminating budget and current account deficits.

Under the Czech scheme, (the Slovaks later introduced their own similar plan - see story on page 4), importers will be required to deposit 20 percent of the value of imported goods on an interest-free account for 180 days. Hatina said the measure will negatively affect Slovnaft's exports of motor fuels, heating oils and lubricants to the Czech Republic, which totalled 6.8 billion Sk, or 38.8 percent of its overall exports in 1996.

"We have already taken necessary and serious moves to ensure the continuous flow of our products to the Czechs," Hatina said. He declined to give details on the moves, but hinted the situation would force the company to revise its business plans for 1997.

"It is logical that this will cost something," he said. "We must seek other opportunities in our business plan to save the money to cure this problem." Besides exports, Slovnaft runs 12 filling stations in the Czech Republic. In 1995, Slovnaft purchased a 51-percent stake in Benzinol, which runs another five petrol stations in the Czech Republic.

Slovnaft spokesman Ľubomír Žitňan said the company's first quarter exports were 3.44 billion Sk - almost two-thirds of which went to the Czech Republic - up from 3.0 billion Sk in 1996. Last year, Slovnaft exported about 50 percent of its production.

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