The Czech electricity supplier CEZ has seen its shares rocket on the back of surging electricity prices in western Europe, according to reports emanating from Prague.

CEZ is the largest issue on the Prague stock exchange, and the stock helped drive the bourse to record highs at the start of 2006. Indeed, with its share price up by 4% to 779 Czech crowns on the morning of January 4, 2006, CEZ became the largest listed company in central Europe.

The utility is a major power exporter to western Europe, where electricity prices have surged amid a cold winter and concerns over power supply security. CEZ is also in a takeover battle with three other foreign utilities to acquire the largest power distributor in Macedonia, AD ESM, according to the Prague Daily Monitor.