Hungarian international reserves dropped

Headquarters of MNB, Budapest, Hungary (Kevin Anderson, CC BY-NC-SA)

Demonstrations in Sofia against closing down a tobacco plant

IMF: SEE member states’ annual growth of 3 per cent in 2016 and 2017

State banks management will be improved says Ukrainian government

Hungary

Preliminary data released by the National Bank of Hungaryʼs (MNB) shows that international reserves dropped in April 2016. At the end of the month it reached EUR26.432bn. In March it was more than EUR27bn. 

„The decline followed a marked EUR4.164bn drop in March, when FX transactions, mostly related to a maturing GBP500m bond, reduced the international reserves by almost EUR1.2bn, and redemptions of central bank swap contracts related to the phasing out of retail FX loans cut them by a further EUR2.9bn,” Budapest Business Journal reports.

The MNB had earlier announced it would reduce the level of international reserves as a matter of policy, simultaneous to a decline in Hungaryʼs short-term external debt.

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Bulgaria

„Trade unions with Bulgaria’s major tobacco holding Bulgartabac have called for a demonstration against the decision to close down a Sofia-based tobacco plant,” Novinite.com informs. The protests will be held in Sofia, in Monday, in the city center.

Bulgartabac informed it was forced to halt exports of tobacco to the Middle East after allegations of cigarettes smuggling into Turkey. The closure of the plant is said to be an aftermath of that event. Already 420 people lost their jobs and more will lose it at nearest future. As Novinite.com writes workers will receive their salaries by the end of May.

The trade unions of tobacco workers demand the Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski to step down.

Bulgartabac was privatized in 2010. People blame the Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski for admitting  that confidential clauses of the agreement prevented the government from knowing the identity of the real owner of Bulgartabac after the transaction.

Bulgaria is one of the highest per capita countries in term of cigarettes consumption.

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SEE region

According to the IMF projections, the GDP growth in the EU member states in Southeast Europe (SEE) in 2016 and 2017 will reach – respectively – 3.5 per cent and 3.1 per cent. At the same time the economies of the non-EU member states in the region are expected to expand by 2.7 per cent in 2016 and 3 per cent in 2017.

According to IMF’s report „Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe: How to Get Back on the Fast Track” the growth has mostly been driven by domestic consumption. This is backed by „supportive macroeconomic policies, improving financial intermediation and rising real wages”.

SEENews Corporate Wire reports that the strongest break for the region’s economic development would be a stagnation in the euro zone, the largest trading partner for many of the countries in the region. Growth prospects would also be dampened by lower-than-expected growth in the U.S. and China, tighter financial conditions around the world and political instability throughout the region, in Macedonia, Moldova and Kosovo in particular.

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Ukraine

Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers approved, on May 5th, the bill on amendments to a number of legal acts regarding state banks management, Interfax informs. The bill was prepared in February 2016, but after being sent to Verkhovna Rada, it was returned to Cabinet due to failures.

The main elements of the new law suggest the revision of principles and mechanisms of corporate governance in state-owned banks. Upon the bill, the management system based on supervisory boards will be created. Supervisory board members will be candidates selected by recruiting companies with no less than ten years of experience in recruiting for the banking sector. This is aimed to prevent the banking sector from the political influence.

The Minister of Finance Oleksndr Danyliuk explained after government meeting: „The bill is developed as part of implementing the foundations of strategic reform of the public banking sector. It is aimed at depoliticizing and improving the efficiency of work of state-owned banks for converting them into profitable institutions. The bill is agreed with the IMF and is part of our commitments in the framework of cooperation”.

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What’s up in indexes?

BUX (of Budapest Stock Exchange) dropped by 0.42 per cent d/d – decreasing from 26240.14 index points Thursday, May 5th to 26128.84 index points Friday, May 6th. From year-end the index grew by 9.23 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) dropped by 0.49 per cent – decreasing from 6474.34 index points Thursday, May 5th to 6442.93 index points Friday, May 6th. From year-end it dropped by 8.01 per cent.

PX (of Prague) lost 2.15 per cent – falling from 886.83 index points Thursday, May 5th to 867.79 index points Friday, May 6th. From year-end it lost 9.26 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) was up 0.82 per cent – increasing from  1837.71 index points Thursday, May 5th to 1852.71 index points Friday, May 6th. From year-end it lost 0.35 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) decreased from 988.23 index points Wednesday, May 4th to 983.83 index points Friday, May 6th – so it dropped by 0.45 per cent. From year-end it’s up 9.44 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) grew by 0.46 per cent – climbing from 630.05 index points Tuesday, May 3rd to 632.92 index points Friday, 6th. From year-end it grew by 6.49 per cent.

OMXV (of Vilnius) was up 0.08 per cent – climbing from 507.27 index points Wednesday, May 4th to 507.67 index points Friday, May 6th. From year-end it’s up 4.46 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) dropped by 1.45 per cent – falling from 329.21 index points Thursday, May 5th to 324.45 index points Friday, May 6th. From year-end the index grew by 10.98 per cent.

The bourse of Sofia (Bulgaria) was closed Friday, May 6th. SOFIX (of Sofia) closed at 444.51 index points Thursday, May 5th. From year-end it dropped by 3.56 per cent.

UX (of Kyiv) decreased from 642.13 index points Thursday, May 5th to 640.11 index points Friday, May 6th. So it lost 0.31 per cent d/d. From year-end it lost 6.67 per cent.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) was up 0.19 per cent – increasing from 1683.25 index points Thursday, May 5th to 1686.40 index points Friday, May 6th. From year-end it dropped by 0.19 per cent.

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