Bloomberg News

Central Europe Stocks Such as CEZ, Pliva Rise; SkyEurope Falls

August 31, 2006

Central European stocks including Pliva d.d. gained after Actavis Group hf raised its bid for eastern Europe's biggest drugmaker. CEZ AS (CEZ), the largest Czech power company, gained.

SkyEurope Holding AG, a Slovak low-cost carrier, fell after reporting a wider third-quarter loss.

The NTX Index of 30 companies in central and eastern Europe gained 0.1 percent to 1,537.35 at 3:15 p.m. in Vienna as 15 of its members rose, 11 fell and four were unchanged. The measure is still down 2 percent this month.

The Czech PX gained 0.5 percent, while Austria's ATX Index increased 0.1 percent. Poland's WIG20 Index lost 0.6 percent and Hungary's BUX Index declined 0.3 percent.

CEZ climbed 0.9 percent to 819 koruna. The Czech power company auctioned its wholesale power for next year at an average price 16.9 percent higher than this year, more than expected, as demand for electricity grows.

Results of its annual auction of electricity contracts sets prices for about 90 percent of all power CEZ provides to distributors and customers. All seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a price increase of 15 percent.

Pliva's global depositary receipts jumped 4.2 percent to $28.75 in London, while its shares traded in Zagreb were suspended today pending the announcement of a takeover bid from Iceland's Actavis Group hf.

Actavis trumped a rival $2.3 billion offer from U.S.-based Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., offering investors 795 kuna per share, up from earlier offer of 735 kuna a share.

Barr began buying shares in Zagreb-based Pliva at 743 kuna on Aug. 18, though has only acquired fraction of a percent of outstanding shares as investors awaited news of Actavis's bid.

Annual Meeting

Magyar Telekom advanced 2 percent to 885 forint. The Hungarian unit of Deutsche Telekom AG may hold its annual general meeting by year's end even as a legal inquiry at one of its units continues, Chief Executive Officer Elek Straub said today.

The CEO couldn't say when the inquiry's results may be published. Depending on the delay, the board may reconsider its original proposal of 70 forint a share dividend on 2005's results to compensate investors for the wait, Straub said.

Budimex SA (BDX) jumped 7 percent to 76 zloty. The Polish building company owned by Grupo Ferrovial SA signed a 73.4 million-zloty ($24 million) contract to build a shopping center in western Poland.

SkyEurope Holding AG slipped 5.1 percent to 1.87 euros. The low-cost Slovak airline said its fiscal third-quarter loss widened to 16.5 million euros ($21 million) from 10.1 million euros a year earlier as fuel prices rose and the company spent money opening new routes.

Bank Pekao SA, a Polish unit of Italy's UniCredit SpA declined 1.7 percent to 198 zloty, falling from a one-month low. The stock advanced 5.5 percent in the past two sessions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Igor Muller in Vienna at imuller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balduin Hesse at bhesse2@bloomberg.net


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