Final Word from Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Of all the banks in Europe, and of all the banks in the CR, the Chinese have decided to buy a stake in J&T Banka. Of all the banks in Europe, J&T is one of the few that doesn't have a credit rating. It fired Moody's after the agency cut the bank's rating to a subterrestrial E+ grade. The CNB hasn't shown any sign of being bothered by this, nor by the fact that J&T Banka's ownership is opaque. It's not clear who the final owners are. What is clear, though, is that J&T Banka's immediate owner, J&T Finance Group, was the founder of EP Holding and is a creditor to it. The CR has a proven track record of allowing obscure offshore companies to take stakes in its banking, infrastructure and media sectors. At the very minimum, CEFC of China - which is also opaque - will be acquiring creditor leverage over energy infrastructure in the CR, England and Germany. That's why it's ready to pay €700m for 30% of a bank with no credit rating. [Czech Republic EPH ENERGETICKÝ A PRŮMYSLOVÝ HOLDING China Energy Company]

Glossary of difficult words

subterrestrial - (in this context) very low; existing below the ground;

opaque - not able to be seen through; not transparent;

track record - the past achievements or performance of a person, organization or product;

leverage - the power to influence a person or situation to achieve a particular outcome.

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