By David Binar and Nicholas Watson of bne in Prague
CEZ made big changes to its supervisory board at its AGM on June 27, reflecting the shift in power since billionaire and now finance minister Andrej Babis arrived on the political scene, as well as dissatisfaction with the way the state-owned Czech energy group has been run for the past decade. Read more
By Tim Gosling of bne in Prague
Czech power utility CEZ said today it had cancelled a tender to expand the country’s Temelin nuclear plant. The move comes a day after the government made its strongest statement yet that it would not offer the €8bn-10bn project any public support.
State-controlled CEZ said it had informed the contending bidders – US/Japanese Westinghouse and a consortium led by Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom, as well as Areva of France, which had already been ejected – that the tender to build two additional 1,200 megawatt reactors at the plant had been halted. Read more
By Nicholas Watson of bne
A new Czech government is in the final stages of being formed, but its make-up will probably mean further delays at the very least for the state utility CEZ’s costly nuclear tender.
Czech President Milos Zeman is expected on November 21 to give a mandate to Bohuslav Sobotka, head of the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), which won the inconclusive parliamentary election in October, to form the next government. Sobotka has already started talks with the big winner of the election, the new ANO 2011 party founded by Slovak-born billionaire Andrej Babis, and the centrist Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL). Read more
Martin Roman (pictured), the skilled political player who helped turn the Czech Republic’s CEZ into one of central Europe’s largest utilities, announced Friday that he was resigning as the company’s supervisory board chairman.
Making the announcement on the first day of the country’s two-day parliamentary elections, Roman said in a statement “I did not choose to exit by accident,” and made it clear that the political environment was key in his decision. Read more
By Nicholas Watson of bne
Areva, the French nuclear company, has lost its latest appeal against its controversial ejection from the Czech Republic’s giant nuclear tender. The company has vowed to continue legal proceedings in the administrative court of Brno. Read more
By Tim Gosling of bne
CEZ, the Czech state-controlled utility, is to delay expansion of its Temelin nuclear power plant by a year, as the political crisis gripping the country prevents it from securing a final agreement to start the project.
Following the collapse of the centre-right government in June, the future of the estimated €8bn to €12bn project has been caught up in uncertainty over the interim administration installed by President Milos Zeman this month. Read more
By Nicholas Watson of bne
The Czech prime minister assured his Russian counterpart on May 27 that the process for choosing the winner of the country’s nuclear tender would be fair and transparent. Yet a growing split in the cabinet, a continuing stand-off with France’s Areva after it was ejected from the tender, and now sources saying CEZ is asking the remaining bidders to finance the €8bn-12bn nuclear expansion, have all cast further doubt on the project. Read more
Emerging markets usually warrant a risk premium because they tend to be pretty risky – as CEZ, the Czech utility, is finding out with its troubled Albanian investment.
CEZ is moving to claim a World Bank guarantee on its investment in CEZ Shperndarje, a power distribution company in which it holds a 76 per cent stake (with the Albanian government holding the rest) – and a complete writedown of its total €160m investment is looking increasingly likely. Read more
By Tim Gosling and Nicholas Watson of bne
Areva, the French nuclear group, is to launch a fresh appeal against its exclusion from a multi-billion euro tender by CEZ, the Czech utility, for two new units at its Temelin nuclear power plant.
The move threatens to bring the tender process to a halt. Its announcement came immediately after CEZ rejected an earlier appeal from Areva against its removal from the tender on October 5 for what are still unclear reasons. Read more
Generating electricity tends to make for a boring and stable industry, the kind of investment that draws widows looking for a safe place to stash their savings, except in the Czech Republic, where the power sector is an altogether more volatile business. Read more
The Warsaw Stock Exchange has long been hungry to play a role beyond just Poland – the peripatetic chief executive Ludwik Sobolewski has illustrated that in his attempts pull in new listings from across the region. Now the exchange is making that formal by launching a new WIG-CEE index.
The index can include companies from a country with at least two listings on the WSE as long as they come from different sectors. The 25-company list includes firms from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary, Estonia, Bulgaria and Lithuania. Read more