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Private Equity Confience Survey

 

Investors increasingly believe in Central European (CE) private equity (PE). After a small dip in the last survey, respondents are again positive about the region’s prospects, according to the latest Deloitte CE Private Equity Confidence Survey.

 

Respondents are more upbeat about the economy, which historically has influenced the index. This may be down to the ECB’s fresh round of quantitative easing, with a third of deal-doers suggesting debt markets will be more liquid. This is more than twice the figure last time. “We are encouraged though not surprised that an impressive 43% of respondents expect deal doing to increase in the coming months,” says Deloitte CE Partner and Private Equity Leader Garret Byrne. “With nearly a third of respondents feeling more optimistic about the economy, and lenders expected to put more money to work, we feel the market is likely to see an uptick in activity. People have more confidence in the market.”

 

For the first time since the survey was launched, CE deal-doers expect to split their time fairly evenly between fundraising (30%), portfolio management (33%) and new investments (37%) over the next six months. “This is the highest level of fundraising intention we’ve seen,” says Byrne. “The market is driven by local houses backing businesses close to them, so we expect the institutional investors will have a few high-quality, mid-market opportunities to choose from.”

 

For more information about the survey please visit: www.deloitte.com/ce-private-equity-confidence.

 

 

Deloitte Technology Fast 50 – the Contest for the Fastest-growing ICT Company Begins

 

Deloitte has announced the 16th annual contest for the fastest-growing technology company in Central and Southeast Europe. As in the past, small and medium-sized technology firms can register within three categories – Technology Fast 50, the main category; Rising Stars and Big 5. Compared to the previous years, the companies that wish to register for the Technology Fast 50 main category must be newly in operation for the last four years (previously five years). The registration will be opened for two months, until 15 July 2015, and the results will be announced in the second half of October 2015.

 

More information about the entire Technology Fast 50 project and the terms, conditions of the contest and last year’s results may be found at www.deloitte.com/fast50ce.

The winner of the Act of the Year 2014 survey, in which entrepreneurs, companies and experts voted for the best legislative achievement of the year, is the amendment to the Employment Act and the Trade Licencing Act, reducing the administrative burden and the minimum penalty for entrepreneurs. The amendment to the Tax Code, introducing the possibility of the cancellation of the late payment penalty and default interest, won second place. Such were the results of the sixth edition of the Act of the Year survey, which was organised by Ambruz & Dark Deloitte Legal in cooperation with the survey’s partners. 424 leading Czech companies took part in the voting.

 

The vast majority of entrepreneurs also agreed on the need to introduce a single effective date for legislative changes that concern entrepreneurs: when voting for the worst legislative achievement of the year (the “Flop of the Year”), they drew attention to the negative impact that the complicated nature of tax regulations and their last-minute changes have on running businesses (three VAT rates and the reverse charge VAT treatment may serve as examples).

 

Results of the Act of the Year 2014 Survey

 

Act of the Year 2014 – Best Legislative Achievement for the Business Environment

%

1.

Less administration and restrictions (Employment Act, Trade Licencing Act)

34%

2.

Fair payment of taxes pays off

32.5%

3.

Transparent adoption of acts (amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies)

17.3%

4.

Partner for a private sphere (Civil Service Act)

8.9%

5.

Public regulation at the right place (Act on Cyber Security)

7.3%

 

Flop of the Year 2014 – Worst Legislative Achievement for the Business Environment

%

1.

Tax regulations once again more complicated and passed at the last minute (three VAT rates and VAT reverse charge)

44.2%

2.

Hit and miss: amendment to the lawyers’ tariff

29.7%

3.-4.

Useless information obligation of entrepreneurs (information on the origin of food)

9.4%

3.-4.

Civil service act: aims not achieved

9.4%

5.

Useless administrative burden instead of solutions to real problems (bio-waste sorting instead of waste purchase facilities regulation)

7.3%

 

The results of the Act of the Year 2014 and Flop of the Year 2014 were decided by entrepreneurs, companies and experts. The voting took place between 18 March and 18 May 2015 on the www.zakonroku.cz webpage and through ballots placed in the client suite of the Prague Deloitte office.

 

The nominations in both categories were selected by the Nomination Committee, which consisted of selected lawyers from various legal specialisations, and other businessmen and businesswomen. The goal of the survey is to foster discussion among Czech entrepreneurs, politicians and experts on the quality of the legal regulations adopted in the past year and on their impact on the business environment, as well as on the standard of the Czech legal environment. 

 

Rules of the Act of the Year 2014 Survey

Only Czech or EU generally-binding legal regulations which became effective in the past year may be nominated in the survey: fundamental laws, acts, ministry regulations, government decrees or EU directives and regulations. The nominations can also apply to new international treaties with an impact on the Czech business environment.

 

In the category of the worst legislative achievement of the year, voters can also choose legal regulations that were cancelled in a relevant year, in particular as a result of the decision of the Czech Constitutional Court or the Court of Justice of the EU. The initiators, or anybody who contributed significantly to the adoption of the regulation, are stated as the authors of the nomination.

 

You will find more information about the Act of the Year 2014 Survey and the results of the previous survey at: www.zakonroku.cz.

The Czech Economy: Back to the Good Times

David Marek, Chief Economits, Deloitte

The latest published data on gross domestic product have astonished many. In comparison with the previous quarter, GDP increased by 2.8% in the first three months of this year and the year-on-year growth rate climbed to 3.9%. To a certain extent, this was also caused by extraordinary short-term factors; however, the Czech economy has without a doubt seen significant improvement. Already previously published partial sector data and information about the decreasing unemployment rate showed that the growth rate was starting to accelerate.

 

The results at the beginning of this year were partially influenced by last year’s changes in excise tax from tobacco products. Before the tax rate increased, sellers were buying large reserves of tobacco products and the related excise tax liability increased the gross domestic product in the given quarter to the detriment of the following one to two quarters. Last year, this tax actually changed twice, as of 1 January and 30 September, which caused significant turbulences in the time series of quarterly GDP data. The impact was positive in the first quarter of this year, both for the quarter-to-quarter and the year-on-year comparison.

 

What caused the acceleration of economic growth? Most probably a combination of the following factors: the improved economic situation in countries that are the Czech Republic’s main business partners (Germany, Slovakia, Poland, France, the United Kingdom), a positive fiscal impulse (at the cost of the once-again deteriorated situation of public finance) and monetary policy support in the form of a historical low in interest rates and a weakened CZK exchange rate.  

 

In terms of economic sectors, industry is the main driving force behind the growth of the economy, in particular car manufacturers and engineering companies. As far as domestic demand is concerned, higher household and government expenditure, company investments and changes in inventory also contributed to faster economic growth. The contribution of foreign trade should be negative, as indicated by the data from the trade balance.

 

Thanks to the intense growth of the economy at the beginning of this year, the pre-crisis peak of the Czech economy – ie the performance it achieved in the third quarter of 2008 – has finally been overcome. It took the country more than six years to get over the consequences of the economic crisis, which is not to be taken for granted: The Eurozone as a whole is still lagging 0.4% behind its pre-crisis peak.

 

Compared to other countries, the Czech Republic is also doing very well in terms of the current dynamics of growth. Romania is the only country that boasts a higher year-on-year growth (4.2%) at the moment, based on the results from the comparison of countries that have already published their GDP data for the first quarter.

 

The promising beginning indicates that GDP growth should be between 3-4% throughout this whole year, which could take us to 85% of the EU’s average of GDP per capita adjusted by the purchasing power parity.

 

After two recessions that followed in short succession, it was high time we were reminded that the Czech economy has the potential to be on the top of the list among European competition. However, we must keep in mind that Europe is not an ideal benchmark, as the rest of the world is more dynamic, and we are also facing the difficult task of coping with an ageing population. In conclusion, we must not rest on our laurels!

 

Deloitte Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility forms an integral part of Deloitte’s strategy. This year, apart from helping other non-profit organisations, we actively support the St Charles Borromeo Sisters of Mercy hospital in Prague. We not only contribute to purchases of medical equipment, but together with our clients, the members of the ladies Deloitte SheXO club, we also visit children from the Detoxification Ward of the hospital.

 

 

 

One Minute Story: This is Josef Kotrba

For the Deloitte Office Managing Partner, Josef Kotrba, work is not his only hobby. What unexpected activity would you guess he likes to spend his free time doing? See our video.

 

 

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