Czech Republic - Factors To Watch on Dec 18

    PRAGUE, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Here are news stories, press
reports and events to watch which may affect Czech financial
markets on Wednesday.
    ALL TIMES GMT (Czech Republic: GMT + 1 hour)        
=========================ECONOMIC DATA==========================
    Real-time economic data releases....................        
    Summary of economic data and forecasts...........           
    Recently released economic data..................           
    Previous stories on Czech data.............                 
  **For a schedule of corporate and economic events: 
    RATES: The Czech central bank will meet on interest rates,
with a decision expected at 1:00 p.m. (1200 GMT) and news
conference at 2:15 p.m. 
    The bank will probably keep rates unchanged until the end of
2020 as the board balances inflationary pressures in the
domestic economy with a weaker situation abroad, a Reuters poll
    PROTEST: Thousands of Czechs protested against Prime
Minister Andrej Babis for a second week in a row on Tuesday
after prosecutors reopened a case into alleged subsidy fraud and
Brussels declared a conflict of interest between his businesses
and political role.
    5G: The Czech Republic may postpone an auction of 5G next
generation telecom network frequencies from January to mid-2020
to widen participation, its industry minister said on Tuesday.
    CEE MARKETS: The forint fell 0.4% on Tuesday, weakening
beyond a key level against the euro, with investors on alert for
potential changes to the Hungarian central bank's unconventional
policy toolkit.
    HUNGARY RATES: Hungary's central bank left interest rates
unchanged on Tuesday as expected and maintained its loose policy
stance, saying inflation risks have become balanced again as
recession fears have subsided in the euro zone.
    Central Europe's most dovish central bank raised its 2020
Hungarian GDP forecast to 3.7% from a previous 3.3% projection,
and said it would extend the programme to buy corporate bonds
that it began in July by 150 billion forints ($494.45 million)
next year, to help local companies get access to funding.
    EUROPE POWER: European spot electricity contracts for
year-ahead delivery rose on Tuesday on strong gains in carbon
emissions and associated fuels prices, while a fall in wind
generation and delays in nuclear reactor restarts in France
buoyed day-ahead prices.

 ---------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT ------------------------
 Index/Crown Currency    Latest     Prev   Pct change Pct change
                                    close    on day     in 2019
 vs Euro                   25.416     25.422    0.02      1.09
 vs Dollar                 22.818     22.807   -0.05     -1.8
 Czech Equities         1,101.1    1,101.1      0.1      11.61
 U.S. Equities         28,267.16  28,235.89     0.11     21.18
 Pvs close or current levels vs prior domestic close at 1600 GMT
===========================PRESS DIGEST=========================
    REAL ESTATE: Funds Round Hill Capital and Blackstone have
begun talks on the possible sale of Residomo, which with 43,000
units in northern Moravia is the largest rental property owner
in the country. The price could be in the tens of billions of
crowns and foreign funds have shown interest, the paper said.
    Hospodarske Noviny, page 1    
    WAGES: Utility CEZ           agreed with unions on a pay
rise of 3-5% next year.
    Hospodarske Noviny, page 13
    CIGARETTES: The lower house formally approved a tax package
that includes a record rise of 10% for cigarettes.
    Lidove Noviny, page 12
    MORTGAGES: The average mortgage rate fell in November to
2.35% from 2.36% the month prior, according to Fincentrum's
    CTK news agency
   (Reuters has not verified the stories, nor does it vouch for
their accuracy.)
    Prague Newsroom: +420 224 190 477

 (Reporting by Prague Newsroom)