Russian Gazprom demands settling EU antitrust case
Lower inflation in Hungary
Cheaper gas and more expensive cigarettes in Bulgaria
Hungarian Wizz Air leases new planes
Buying land in Ukraine is not going to be easy
Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria
Do you remember the announcement by Margrethe Vesteger, the EU’s competition commissioner, that Russia’s Gazprom is “pursuing an overall strategy to partition Central and Eastern European gas markets” and charges “unfair prices” in CEE countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland? She told so in April 2015 and the European Commission launched its biggest antitrust case against a state-owned company ever. Now, as Gazprom would have to pay a fine up to USD8bn (which is almost 10 per cent of its turnover in 2014) the company asks for formal talks to settle the antitrust case. Gazprom declared adopting more conciliatory stance towards the EU.
Hungarian central bank MNB lowered its inflation forecast for 2015 to 0.0 per cent from 0.3 per cent. The Bank’s Inflation Report also predicts that the inflation in 2016 would be 1.9 per cent instead of 2.4 per cent as previously projected.
But there’s more data from MNB. It reported that Hungary net external financing capacity (adjusted for seasonal effects) was EUR2.685bn in Q2’2015, which is 10 per cent of its quarterly GDP in the second quarter. MNB’s data also show net transfers from the EU totalled EUR1.9bn in Q2’2015 (it’s EUR859m more than in Q2’2014). And the current account surplus (unadjusted) is EUR1.042bn. FDI in Hungary in Q2’2015 fell by EUR1.37bn. And the FDI of Hungarian investors rose by EUR11m.
Wizz Air to lease six new planes
Hungarian airline Wizz Air has just signed a contract leasing six Airbus A321CEO aircraft. The leasing bank is China Development Bank Leasing (CDB Leasing). Two Airbuses would arrive to Wizz Air later this year. Before the deal the Wizz Air’s fleet was 55 units. But more important is a long-term relation that started between the airline and the Chinese bank. “We have established a solid relationship with CDB Leasing” – József Váradi, the CEO of WizzAir said. Net profit of Hungarian airline (excluding exceptional items) reached EUR146m in 2014 (it’s FYE is March 31st, 2015). That was up 67 per cent compared to the result of 2013. Revenues from ticket sales are EUR794m.
Price of natural gas in Bulgaria will drop by 14.26 per cent in October. It’s the result of an agreement between Bulgarian Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR) and the state-owned gas supplier Bulgargaz. 1000 cubic meters of gas will now cost (VAT included) BGN484.26. During 2015, the total gas price decrease will reach 30 per cent, compared to 4.3 per cent decrease in 2014. Also the prices at which Bulgargaz will buy gas from Russian Gazprome are 15 per cent lower than the rates from 2015. As the winter is coming Bulgaria will buy 56 per cent more of Russian gas than in Q2.
And more expensive cigarettes
Bulgarian parliament is now discussing a proposed increase in the excise duty on cigarettes. By January 1st, 2018 the country needs to reach the EU minimum excise duty rates. Parliamentary committee on budget and finance works on the amendments to the Excise Duties and Tax Warehouses Act. The excise duty will start increasing in 2016, and is supposed to bring BGN119.23m to the state budget within 2016-2018 if consumption remains unchaned. Of course higher excise tax would increase cigarettes prices. But there are two elements of the excise tax, so the rise will be split into different ways. The cheaper brands will be more expensive more slowly than the expensive ones. In 2017 and 2018 the excise duty will increase by 2 percentage points per year.
Arseniy Yatseniuk said that it’s impossible to lift moratorium on land sales in January 1st, 2016. “Either a set of laws and the formation of an actual basis for the land market relations [must take place] and only then we launch the market, or there’s no other way out” – he said in Poltava, at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.
What’s up in indexes?
Ukrainian index finally grows…
BUX index (of the Budapest Stock Exchange) dropped by 0.15 per cent on Wednesday, September 23 with 20687,22 index points (compared with 20717.92 index points the day before). From year-end it’s up 24.37 per cent.
BET (of Bucharest) ended up 0.43 per cent, increasing from 7121.27 index points on Tuesday to 7151,93 index points on Wednesday. And it is up 0.43 per cent from year-end.
PX (of Prague) fell by 0.74 per cent on Wednesday. The result was 960,01 index points while on Tuesday it was 960,65 index points. From year-end it’s up 1.40 per cent.
WIG20 (of Warsaw) dropped by 1.45 per cent. On Wednesday it was 2106,80 index points compared with 2137,88 the day before. But from year-end it fell by 9.03 per cent.
OMX (of Tallinn) ended up 0.02 per cent (from 876,92 index points to 877,12 index points). But it is up 16.17 per cent from year-end.
OMXV (of Vilnius) fell from 485.66 on Tuesday to 485,26 index points on Wednesday (0.08 per cent loss). And from year-end it is up 7.26 per cent.
SAX (of Bratislava) is still up. It increased 0.68 per cent on Wednesday with 269,67 index points (compared with 267,84 index points on Tuesday). And it grew by 21.30 per cent from year-end.
UX (Ukraine) was finally up by 0.70 per cent. Wednesday it ended with 914,35 index points (compared with 907,95 index points on Tuesday). But from year-end it dropped by 11.51 per cent.