Czechs spent about EUR277m on books in 2015

Brno, Czech Republic (Börkur Sigurbjörnsson, CC BY)

Bank of China in Serbia

Ukrainian households are getting poorer

Czech Republic

Czechs are the biggest bookworms in Europe. According to the data released by the Czech Association of Booksellers and Publishers in 2015 Czechs spent around CZK7.5bn (EUR277m) on books. It’s up 5 per cent compared to 2014.

“The book market sales volume also increased in 2015, after several years of stagnation, mainly thanks to a lower VAT on books and overall economic growth. In January 2015, Value Added Tax on books dropped to 10 per cent from the 15 per cent that were in the previous two years. Nevertheless, VAT on books in the Czech Republic still remains one of the highest among European countries,” the Radio Praha reports.

The share of online bookshops in 2015 grew to around 25 per cent. The Radio Praha writes: “The electronic books market amounted to CZK106m, including VAT. That figure made up 1.38 per cent of the total turnover of the Czech book market. Out of the newly published books last year, 8 per cent were also available in an electronic form.”

According to the Association of Booksellers and Publishers, some 16,600 book titles were published in the Czech Republic in 2015 (so the number decreased by 400 y/y). The market leader (with 885 titles published) is Albatros Media group. In terms of annual turnover, the Euromedia Group publishing house is number one with CZK1.305 bn.

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Serbia

After opening its doors in many European countries, Bank of China will start operating in Serbia. As  the Balkan Insight reports it will receive a full licence to start operating at the beginning of 2017. It will fund investment projects up to USD1.7bn. It will not only serve businesses in Serbia but will also be its main hub for conducting business with other Balkan countries and Greece.

Jorgovanka Tabakovic, the governor of Central Bank of Serbia, confirmed that Bank of China will be fully registered by the end of the year. Mrs. Tabakovic also said: “I am proud that one of the world’s five largest banks is coming to Serbia and the shortness of the period in which the preliminary licence was given says a lot about this bank and its cooperation with the Central Bank of Serbia.”

China has been expanding its influence in Serbia with long-term projects related to investments in industry and infrastructure (for e.g. modernization of the steelworks in Smederevo, agreed between the Serbian government and He Steel company in June 2016, and the Chinese-financed construction of a fast rail link between Belgrade and Budapest).

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Ukraine

Ukraine households are becoming poorer. As the Interfax reports household wealth declined by 18.5 per cent or USD10bn in the 12 months through June 2016.

According to the annual report of Credit Suisse investment bank “the long-term outlook household wealth mainly depends on the pace of the country’s economy, deposits and demographic factor. In the short-term outlook the indicator is influenced by the cost of assets and exchange rates.”

There were two factors impacted the pace of Ukrainian household wealth over the period. The market capitalization of assets decreased by 96.8 per cent, and the exchange rate of the national currency by 15.4 per cent.

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What’s up in indexes

BUX (of Budapest) was up 0.45 per cent d/d and up 26.42 per cent from year-end. It increased from 30103.57 index points Monday, November 21st to 30240.38 index points Tuesday, November 22nd.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) was up 0.23 per cent d/d – increasing from 6840.88 index points Monday, November 21st to 6852.19 index points Tuesday, November 22nd. From year-end it dropped by 2.14 per cent.    

PX (of Prague) was up 0.94 per cent – increasing from 884.00 index points Monday, November 21st to 892.29 index points Tuesday, November 22nd. From year-end it dropped by 6.70 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) was up 1.10 per cent – increasing from 1756.35 index points Monday, November 21st to 1775.66 index points Tuesday, November 22nd. From year-end it dropped by 4.49 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) dropped by 0.24 per cent – falling from 1031.72 index points Monday, November 21st to 1029.27 index points Tuesday, November 22nd. From year-end it’s up 14.49 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) was up 0.14 per cent d/d and up 24.14 per cent from year-end. It increased from 736.79 index points Monday, November 21st to 737.80 index points Tuesday, November 22nd.

OMXV (of Vilnius) dropped by 0.24 per cent – decreasing from 559.74 index points Monday, November 21st to 558.40 index points Tuesday, November 22nd. From year-end it’s up 14.90 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) decreased from 314.37 index points Monday, November 21st to 307.32 index points Tuesday, November 22nd. So it dropped by 2.24 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 5.12 per cent.

SOFIX (of Sofia) was up 1.17 per cent d/d and up 18.45 per cent from year-end. It increased from 539.61 index points Monday, November 21st to 545.95 index points Tuesday, November 22nd.

UX (of Kyiv) was up 0.01 per cent d/d and up 17.16 per cent from year-end. It increased from 803.49 index points Monday, November 21st to 803.54 index points Tuesday, November 22nd.

CROBEX (of Zagreb) was up 0.11 per cent – increasing from 1982.94 index points Monday, November 21st to 1985.21 index points Tuesday, November 22nd. From year-end it’s up 17.49 per cent.

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