Edition:
India

Robert Muller

Slavia Prague hope to turn Chinese cash into European success

07 Jun 2019

PRAGUE Fresh off a surprise quarter-final run in the Europa League and flush with cash from their Chinese owner, Slavia Prague are confident they can do what few clubs from the region have done before - play regularly in the Champions League group stage.

UPDATE 2-Czech PM, banks agree to set up fund to boost long-term investments

20 May 2019

* PM says banks agree to provide CZK 6 billion in initial equity

Tennis: Calf injury brakes Kvitova's French Open momentum

18 May 2019

PRAGUE Petra Kvitova heads into the French Open with two titles under her belt this year but a calf injury in a tournament tune-up match this week has hit the twice Wimbledon champion's momentum.

Tennis-Calf injury brakes Kvitova's French Open momentum

17 May 2019

PRAGUE, May 17 Petra Kvitova heads into the French Open with two titles under her belt since the beginning of 2019, but a calf injury in a tournament tune-up match this week may derail the two-time Wimbledon champion's momentum.

CEE MARKETS-Crown retreats as CNB delivers first and possibly last 2019 hike

02 May 2019

* CNB sees rate stability until mid-2020 * Czech crown, earlier backed by rate hike forecasts, retreats * Forint touches 5-month low, regains ground after strong PMI (Recasts with CNB decision and comments) By Sandor Peto and Robert Muller BUDAPEST, May 2 The crown fell on Thursday after the Czech central bank (CNB) delivered its first 2019 interest rate hike, possibly the last for over a year as Europe's economic slowdown is seen putting a lid on inflation in Central Europe as well. The bank increased its main interest rate by 25 basis points to 2 percent, its eighth hike in a tightening cycle which supported the crown in the past two years. A rise in inflation across Central Europe this year fuelled expectations for one further hike, but the bank's Governor Jiri Rusnok said its new economic outlook did not envisage a further rise in the coming year. The crown, which was flat before the CNB's meeting, weakened by 0.3 percent to 25.7 versus the euro by 1348 GMT. It retreated further from a 3-week high of 25.588 touched in international trade on Wednesday when domestic markets were closed due to the May Day holiday. Ongoing negative sentiment over European economies) will mean a relatively low pace of appreciation by the koruna, Erste analysts said in a note, adding that the Czech currency was generally overbought. The koruna also weakened versus its regional peers, the forint and the zloty, which firmed 0.15 and 0.05 percent respectively versus the euro. In early trade, the crown even touched its strongest levels since January against the forint. The Hungarian unit rebounded from a 5-month low hit at 324.85 early on Thursday. It has been under pressure since the National Bank of Hungary gave up its guidance for gradual monetary tightening in March after slightly increasing its overnight deposit rate to -0.05 percent in what analysts called "a dovish hike". Before the CNB's decision, Rabobank analysts said in a note that the Czech bank could deliver a "dovish hike". The CNB said risks and uncertainties to its forecasts included a more pronounced and possibly also longer-lasting euro zone slowdown, as well as potential protectionist measures affecting global trade and the crown currency's developments. Hungary's central bank said in its statements in March and April and its latest meeting minutes that inflation trends were ambivalent, with strong domestic demand pushing prices higher, but with international impacts weighing on them. Central Europe's first April 2019 inflation data, released in Warsaw early this week, showed a continuing acceleration. But Thursday's weak April purchasing managers' index (PMI) figures from Prague and Poland argued against monetary tightening, while Hungary's own index was robust. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1548 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.7000 25.6290 -0.28% +0.03% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 324.0600 324.5500 +0.15% -0.92% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.2810 4.2832 +0.05% +0.20% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7580 4.7580 +0.00% -2.19% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4135 7.4120 -0.02% -0.05% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 118.0000 117.9700 -0.03% +0.25% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1081.24 1068.720 +1.17% +9.60% 0 Budapest 42479.63 42520.11 -0.10% +8.54% Warsaw 2321.70 2334.21 -0.54% +1.98% Bucharest 8443.20 8441.95 +0.01% +14.35% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 887.95 887.95 +0.00% +10.41% > Zagreb 1839.27 1837.98 +0.07% +5.17% Belgrade <.BELEX1 744.04 744.04 +0.00% -2.32% 5> Sofia 571.94 575.06 -0.54% -3.79% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.7340 0.1270 +233bps +13bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.7750 0.0120 +220bps +2bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.8900 -0.0040 +188bps +0bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.7120 0.0200 +231bps +2bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.3690 0.0200 +279bps +3bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 3.0410 0.0310 +303bps +4bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.23 2.24 2.24 2.05 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.34 0.49 0.68 0.16 Poland 1.75 1.77 1.81 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Additional reporting by Radu Marinas in Bucharest Editing by Mark Heinrich)

CORRECTED-CEE MARKETS-Crown off 3-week highs as CNB meets after weak PMI figures

02 May 2019

(In para 12, please read publication date May 13 (rather than May 10) * CNB meets, hike is a close call; crown flat, off 3-week high * Czech, Polish PMIs stay in contraction territory * Forint touches 5-month low, regains ground after strong PMI By Sandor Peto and Robert Muller BUDAPEST, May 2 The crown traded flat on Thursday, off three-week highs against the euro ahead of the Czech central bank's (CNB) meeting where it may resume its interest rate hikes. Central Europe's first April 2019 inflation data, released in Warsaw early this week, showed a continuing acceleration, adding to the odds of a Czech rate hike. But Thursday's weak April purchasing managers' index (PMI) figures from Prague and Poland argued against monetary tightening. The main indexes were below the 50 mark, which separates economic growth from contraction, and the Czech index at 46.6 was below analysts' forecast of 47.6. At 0900 GMT, the Czech crown was at 25.63 versus the euro, retreating from a 3-week high of 25.588 hit in international trade on Wednesday when domestic markets were closed due to the May Day holiday. It failed to benefit from a softer dollar unlike the forint and the zloty which firmed slightly. In a Reuters poll published on Monday, most analysts predicted a quarter percentage point rise in the CNB's main interest rate to 2 percent at Thursday's meeting. But it was still regarded as a close call as six out of 14 analysts forecast no change in the rate. [nL5N22B41X Czech forward rate agreements (FRAs) pointed towards a 40 percent chance of a rate hike on Thursday, even though the latest comments from two rate setters indicated that a hike may have a majority in the CNB's seven-member board. The CNB's new inflation forecasts will almost certainly point towards a rate rise, Komercni Banka traders said in a note. That was the case in the bank's last forecasts, too, but that time a hike was "postponed mostly due to global risks – now with the Brexit moved to autumn a few of the CNB board members seemed to have joined the hawkish camp", they added. The Czech Republic is due to release April inflation figures on May 13. Hungary's own figures are due to come earlier, next week, and could trigger further forint volatility, market participants said. The forint weakened in illiquid international trade on Wednesday and set a 5-month low at 324.85 early on Thursday. It regained some ground after strong Hungarian PMI figures came out. It has been weakening as the National Bank of Hungary did not signal any further measures to fight inflation after its meeting on Tuesday. "If inflation comes in lower than expected next week, the forint may weaken out of its recent 320-325 range," one Budapest-based trader said, adding that a high figure could reignite expectations for monetary tightening. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1100 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.6300 25.6290 -0.00% +0.30% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 324.4500 324.5500 +0.03% -1.04% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.2797 4.2832 +0.08% +0.23% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7585 4.7580 -0.01% -2.20% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4140 7.4120 -0.03% -0.05% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.8800 117.9700 +0.08% +0.36% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1079.79 1068.720 +1.04% +9.45% 0 Budapest 42528.89 42520.11 +0.02% +8.66% Warsaw 2330.47 2334.21 -0.16% +2.36% Bucharest 8473.30 8441.95 +0.37% +14.76% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 887.95 887.95 +0.00% +10.41% > Zagreb 1835.98 1837.98 -0.11% +4.98% Belgrade <.BELEX1 744.04 744.04 +0.00% -2.32% 5> Sofia 572.97 575.06 -0.36% -3.62% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.7340 0.1270 +233bps +13bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.8000 0.0360 +221bps +3bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.8960 0.0020 +188bps -1bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.7040 0.0120 +230bps +1bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.3760 0.0270 +278bps +2bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 3.0320 0.0220 +301bps +1bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.24 2.26 2.26 2.05 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.33 0.49 0.69 0.16 Poland 1.76 1.77 1.82 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Additional reporting by Radu Marinas in Bucharest; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Reality check: Dip in growth has Czechs pinching pennies after splurge

15 Apr 2019

PRAGUE A year after embarking on a record spending splurge, the Czech Republic, one of the European Union's star fiscal performers, is falling back into deficit and has started tightening its belt to prevent an economic slowdown from wrecking its budget.

Late Alonso header, Kepa saves hand Chelsea win in Prague

12 Apr 2019

PRAGUE A late header by defender Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga's goalkeeping heroics helped Chelsea beat a stubborn Slavia Prague 1-0 in their Europa League quarter-final, first leg on Thursday.

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Late Alonso header, Kepa saves hand Chelsea win in Prague

12 Apr 2019

PRAGUE, April 11 A late header by defender Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga's goalkeeping heroics helped Chelsea beat a stubborn Slavia Prague 1-0 in their Europa League quarter-final, first leg on Thursday.

CEE MARKETS-Forint, Hungarian bonds ease ahead of CPI data, auction

08 Apr 2019

* Czech and Hungarian trade surpluses bigger than expected * Forint eases ahead of expected CPI rise, bond auctions * Crown seen firming, U.S.-EU trade war is a risk -analyst (Adds Hungarian bond yields rise, new analyst comments) By Sandor Peto and Robert Muller BUDAPEST/PRAGUE, April 8 The forint hit a 12-week-low against the zloty and Hungarian government bond prices fell on Monday, underperforming Central European peers, amid expectations for a further rise in inflation in Hungary. The dollar-based MSCI emerging market currency index shed 0.1 percent by 1306 GMT while emerging market shares were subdued after a rally last week. The forint eased while the zloty, gained 0.1 percent against the euro. Trading at 321.44 against the euro, the forint approached the lows of 322.63 set last week, after a plunge since the National Bank of Hungary's "dovish rate hike" on March 26. The bank increased its two-week deposit rate, which is not its main rate, but dropped its guidance for gradual policy tightening, saying policy would be driven by economic data. Hungary reported a higher than expected trade surplus for February on Monday, but the figures failed to support the forint. It crossed a key line at 75 against the zloty for the first time since the middle of January. While Polish inflation runs near the bottom of the central bank's 1.5-3.5 percent target range, Hungary is expected to report a rise to 3.5 percent in March, further above the midpoint of the central bank's 2-4 percent target. Hungarian government bond yields rose by 6-7 basis points, with the 10-year paper trading at 3.1 percent, while its Polish peer dropped 1 basis point to 2.905 percent. "The (Hungarian) government debt yield curve is deep below inflation, so I can understand if some people say that they no longer want it," one Budapest-based trader said. After a sharp decline in yields last month, positioning ahead of Thursday's bond auctions is also driving yields higher, the trader said. The Czech Republic also released a higher-than-expected trade surplus figure. The crown tested 3-week highs, trading at 25.61 versus the euro. Analysts in a Reuters poll last week projected a 2 percent firming of the crown in the next 12 months, the only meaningful currency gain seen in the region. "The outlook... could potentially improve over the 12 months, should the pace of economic activity in the Eurozone gain greater momentum, with focus on potential measures the ECB could implement to reignite growth," said Piotr Matys, emerging markets forex strategist at Rabobank. Demand-led inflation pressure should keep the Czech central bank in favour of gradually normalising its accommodative monetary policy, but a trade war between the United States and the EU is a risk, he added. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1506 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2019 Czech <EURCZK= 25.6100 25.6470 +0.14% +0.38% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 321.4400 321.3000 -0.04% -0.11% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.2873 4.2928 +0.13% +0.05% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.7510 4.7530 +0.04% -2.04% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.4370 7.4225 -0.19% -0.36% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 117.7800 117.9300 +0.13% +0.44% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2019 Prague 1084.85 1086.090 -0.11% +9.96% 0 Budapest 41874.65 41841.92 +0.08% +6.99% Warsaw 2353.23 2351.08 +0.09% +3.36% Bucharest 8254.38 8202.21 +0.64% +11.79% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 873.26 873.05 +0.02% +8.58% > Zagreb 1792.24 1792.29 -0.00% +2.48% Belgrade <.BELEX1 732.88 733.73 -0.12% -3.78% 5> Sofia 581.62 580.19 +0.25% -2.16% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.8460 -0.0280 +242bps -2bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.7430 0.0080 +218bps +1bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 1.8600 0.0000 +185bps +0bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.6670 -0.1110 +224bps -10bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.2510 -0.0010 +269bps +0bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 2.9210 -0.0100 +292bps -1bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.15 2.19 2.19 2.02 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.31 0.45 0.60 0.16 Poland 1.74 1.74 1.74 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Reporting by Sandor Peto Editing by David Goodman)

World News