FDI in Bulgaria grows

Sofia, Bulgaria (Михал Орела, CC BY)

Which CSE leaders will go to Davos this year?

Lithuanian pension funds with positive outlooks

Spring elections in Macedonia and Serbia

Bulgaria

Foreign direct investment in Bulgaria in the period of January – November 2015 was up 20.6 per cent y/y – shows the data published by the Bulgarian National Bank. The value of FDI was EUR1.467bn. The main investor is the Netherlands with the net direct investment reaching EUR681m. The second one is Germany with EUR187m. “Investment for the respective period constituted 3.3 per cent of GDP, compared to the previous year’s 2.8 per cent of GDP (EUR1.216bn),” Novinite.com writes.

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Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet with Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Peter Maurer of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands in the Swiss city of Davos. Between January 20th and 22nd the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting will take place in Davos. Poroshenko will join the discussions over “Imperatives for 2016” and “Fight Against Hybrid Challenges,” as his office informs.

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Poland

Witold Waszczykowski, the Foreign Minister of Poland, will also go to Davos this year. He plans to deal with the question of migrant crisis in Europe by taking part in the discussion “Europe at the turning point” with Emmanuel Macron, the Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Davin Milliand, the chief of the International Rescue Committee and Federica Mogherini, the EU Foreign Minister.

Lithuania

“Lithuania’s pension funds in 2015 managed to maintain positive operational trends and their long-term performance remains robust,” LETA/BNS quotes Sarunas Rugzys, the president of the Lithuanian Investment and Pension Funds’ Association. Pension funds have been growing for almost 7 years. Last year the value of single unit of the pension funds rose by 3.61 per cent on average. The average annual return totaled 4.65 per cent in the past five years and 3.56 per cent in the past decade. The average annual inflation over the past ten years was 3.21 per cent, as Baltic Course reports after the data from the central Bank of Lithuania. The total value of investment portfolios of the pension funds amounted to EUR2.118bn by the end of 2015, a rise of 13.5 per cent, or EUR251.98m euros, from the end of 2014.

There are 21 funds operating in Lithuania with 1.21 million members saving for retirement (up 4.3 y/y) (as of December 31st, 2015). Rugzys points out that due to the nervousness of the markets it is difficult to do any predictions for 2016. “Last year was rather volatile, intensive, not entirely calm. In any case, it’s not worthwhile to draw any special conclusions from that, whether it’s a positive or a negative change one year, it doesn’t mean anything from a long-term perspective and performance. And performance is not bad – even with the crisis of 2008 taken into account, we had record growth, which is probably the main thing,” he explains.

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Macedonia

“The ruling majority in parliament verified the resignation of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and voted to dissolve parliament and elected a new government, paving the way for elections on April 24th,” Balkan Insight reports. The ruling majority ignored the opposition’s arguments that Macedonia is not ready for democratic polls. Now, after Nikola Gruevski resigned, the President Gjorge Ivanov nominated Emil Dimitriev, the secretary-general of the ruling VMRO DPMNE party as a head of an interim government. New government with Dimitriev at its top was elected by 72 votes deputies. It will be in charge until the elections on April 24th, 2016.

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Serbia

Serbia will also have early parliamentary and local elections this spring – in the mid-May, 2016. Aleksandar Vucic, the Prime Minister of Serbia, informed on January 17th that he decided to call “early parliamentary and local elections.” He did it because he plans to strengthen the power of his party (the ruling Serbian Progressive Party) in Serbia. Balkan Insight quotes Vucic saying he wanted “to ensure that the country had stable rule and that its current political direction will continue – including its attempt to secure membership of the EU”. A survey conducted in October 2015 by Ipsos shows that if an election was held immediately:

  • the Progressive Party would win 45.8 per cent of the vote,
  • the Socialist Party would get 10.4 per cent,
  • the Democratic Party would get 9.4 per cent,
  • and the Serbian Radical Party would take 5.8 per cent.

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What’s up in indexes?

On Monday, January 18th only SAX (of Bratislava) grew – it was up 1.27 per cent.

BUX (of Budapest) lost 2.95 per cent on Monday, January 18th. It closed at 23179.43. On Friday, January 15th its closed at 23882.92 index points. From year-end it lost 3.10 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) lost 5.07 per cent on Monday, January 18th. It fell from 6340.38 index points Friday, January 15th to 6018.98 index points Monday. From year-end it dropped by 14.07 per cent.

PX (of Prague) decreased from 881.12 index points Friday, January 15th to 867.85 index points Monday, January 18th. So it dropped by 1.51 per cent d/d and by 9.25 per cent from year-end.

Lowering Poland’s rating by S&P didn’t help WIG20 (of Warsaw). The index dropped by 3.21 per cent on Monday – decreasing from 1734.87 index points Friday, January 15th to 1679.22 index points Monday, January 18th. From year-end it dropped by 9.68 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) lost 0.08 per cent d/d and 1.63 per cent from year-end. The index closed at 884.33 index points on Monday, January 18th. The previous close was at 885.07 index points.

OMXR (of Riga) decreased from 602.49 index points Friday, January 15th to 595.30 index points Monday, January 18th. So it lost 1.19 per cent d/d. But from year-end it’s up 0.16 per cent.

OMXV (of Vilnius) fell from 488.00 index points January 15th to 483.67 index points January 18th. So it dropped by 0.89 per cent d/d and by 0.48 per cent from year-end.

SAX (of Bratislava) grows! On Monday it closed at 303.23 index points being up 1.27 per cent. On Friday, January 15th it closed at 299.44 index points. And from year-end it’s up 3.72 per cent.

SOFIX (of Sofia) dropped by 0.92 per cent d/d and by 3.21 per cent from year-end. It decreased from 450.26 index points Friday, January 15th to 446.11 index points Monday, January 18th.

UX (of Kyiv) closed at 657.90 index points Monday, January 18th. The previous close was at 659.93 index points. So the index lost 0.31 per cent d/d and 4.08 per cent from year-end.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) decreased from 1588.18 index points Friday, January 15th to 1576.47 index points Monday, January 18th.  So it dropped by 0.74 per cent d/d and by 6.70 per cent from year-end.

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