Wednesday news briefing — July 9, 2014

The Marshall Islands is a tax haven. Photo: Wikipedia
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Zeman, Kiska agree on extension of motorway connection; Hyundai produces 160,000 cars in H1; Czech firms using tax havens grows in H1

Zeman, Kiska agree on extension of motorway connection

Czech President Miloš Zeman and his Slovak counterpart Andrej Kiska agreed on the need to extend the motorway connection between the Czech Republic and Slovakia at their meeting today.

 

They also discussed military cooperation and possible cooperation on foreign markets.

Kiska is on his first official visit to the Czech Republic.

Special relations link the two countries, Kiska and Zeman agreed.

Zeman said there was still untapped potential in the two countries' cooperation.

There is only one motorway (from Prague to Bratislava) between the two countries.

A closer cooperation can be established on third markets, the two presidents agreed.

Kiska said he was for cooperation in the spheres of defense and security, such as in the air force.

“I can imagine cost sharing in many spheres, including the armament industry,” Zeman said.

Kiska arrived in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, but the official welcoming ceremony was only held at Prague Castle, seat of Czech heads of state, today.

Kiska will also visit a monument to Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880-1919), a Slovak-born founding father of Czechoslovakia.

Kiska, former businessman and philanthropist, won the March direct election and was inaugurated as president in June.

He followed Ivan Gašparovič who executed two presidential terms in the past ten years.

 

Hyundai produces 160,000 cars in H1

Hyundai car maker produced around 160,000 cars in H1, about the same amount as last year, and the Nošovice plant meets the business plan and has been running at full capacity, Hyundai spokesman Petr Vaňek told ČTK today.

The full-year target is 300,000 units, he said.

 “We must take into account that the plant will be shut down for two weeks for regular maintenance at the turn of July and August, and one-week closure will be between Christmas and New Year,” said Vaňek.

There will be fewer working days in the second half of the year and so production volumes will be lower too, he added.

Around 96 percent of the output went to 56 countries, mainly to Germany, Russia, Britain, Spain and Italy.

 “A total of 6,653 cars were supplied to the Czech market, an annual rise of 23.6 percent,” said Vaňek.

The Czech Republic ranks seventh by car sales, an improvement from the 11th position in the first half of last year, Vaňek added.

The sports utility vehicle Hyundai ix35 is the top-selling model, making up 55 percent of the firm's output.

Hyundai employs 3,400 people and another 7,000 people work for supplier companies in the region.

 

Czech firms using tax havens grows in H1

The number of Czech firms with a parent company in a tax haven increased by 89 to 13,189 in H1 this year, the consulting company Bisnode told ČTK today.

Firms are interested in Seychelles, the Marshall Islands and Panama, for instance, that is countries offering a high level of anonymity, Bisnode said.

Owners in tax havens controlled 3.3 percent of Czech companies at the end of June having invested Kc411.1bn in their capital or 16 percent of Czech firms' capital in total.

Firms active in the area of real estate and trade mostly have their owner in a tax haven.

The ongoing upward trend is no surprise also due to the ban on anonymous shares in the Czech Republic, said Bisnode analyst Petra Štěpánová.

Joint stock companies cannot issue bearer shares (anonymous shares) as of January. Their ownership structures should have been changed so as to comply with the new legislation by the end of June.

There were 11,254 firms with anonymous shares at the end of June, however, that is around 44 percent of the country's joint stock companies.

A total of 67 new firms, the highest amount, were registered in Seychelles in the first half of the year, 53 companies in Cyprus, 28 on the Marshall Islands, 17 in Panama and 11 in Belize.

A total of 94 firms left the Dutch market but there are still 4,274 or nearly one-third of firms in Holland.

The real number of foreign-owned firms in tax havens is many times higher, though, Stepanova said earlier.

Bisnode has been monitoring only direct links between Czech and foreign companies. Its data do not include businesses that create their foreign structures using as an interlink companies in London, a very popular destination in this respect.

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