According to the data of the Czech Statistical Office, in July exports rose by 16.0% y/y and imports by 20.5% y/y in current prices. The balance of trade ended up with a surplus of CZK 6.3 billion, which was lower by CZK 5.4 billion y/y. The balance was negatively affected mainly by the deficit in trade in mineral fuels, which was higher by CZK 5.0 billion y/y.

The balance of trade with EU countries ended up with a surplus of CZK 45.6 billion, up by CZK 10.8 billion y/y. The negative balance of trade with non-EU countries deepened by CZK 16.2 billion to CZK 39.3 billion. The deficit in trade with China increased by CZK 9.4 billion, with Azerbaijan by CZK 2.2 billion, with Korea by CZK 1.2 billion, and with Russia by CZK 1.1 billion. In trade with Germany and France, the surplus increased by CZK 4.3 billion and CZK 1.6 billion, respectively.

“I would point out the trade with France, which is growing continuously. From the perspective of the bank guarantees issued to France, by means of which the bank is able to secure virtually any of its clients’ obligations, a significant increase in the volume and number of guarantees compared with last year is apparent. In this respect, we come across all types of bank guarantees, in particular in euro. This banking product is mainly used by our clients operating in the engineering industry, construction, the energy sector, the metallurgical industry, designing work, and also consulting services. We normally prepare guarantee certificates in French and pursuant to the local law,” said Jaromír Chabr, Director Division Trade and Export Finance at KB.

In 2009, the share of exports to France accounted for 5.8% of total exports and imports from France accounted for 4.1% of total exports. The balance of trade for the first half-year was also positive. Exporters’ interest in that country is considerable as was apparent from the turn out at the June export conference, traditionally organised by Komerční banka together with CzechTrade.

“As opposed to guarantees, documentary payments are used in trade with France only rarely, which is attributable to the proximity of the markets and also confidence in the legal environment,” added Jaromír Chabr.

“Similarly as with guarantees and documentary payments, the numbers and volume of other types of payment are also rising. In the period under review, the volume of payments from France increased by 17%. The record increase in the finances received from foreign banks for our clients, which started to occur in the second quarter of this year, is evidence of Czech companies’ exports performance and recovery of investment activities,” commented Jana Švábenská, Executive Director for Operations at KB, on the promising trend, adding: “Komerční banka offers direct and indirect payments with any foreign bank in the SWIFT network, and in any currency.”

Komerční banka is one of the best run universal banks in Central Europe. It provides comprehensive services to clients in the areas of retail, corporate, and investment banking. The Komerční banka Group’s 8,624 employees serve 2.7 million clients, who can use an extensive network of 395 points of sale throughout the country. Komerční banka currently operates 676 ATMs and 989,000 of its clients use one of direct banking channels.

Komerční banka is part of the Société Générale Group, one of the largest banking groups in the euro zone (in terms of market capitalisation), whose 157,000 employees serve more than 32 million individual clients worldwide.