Constitutional Court in Lithuania: fracking is okay.
Common gas market is a priority in the Baltic states.
Gas hub project considered in Bulgaria.
After Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán signed an agreement with the Bank of China President Guoli Tian, which enables to issue yuan-denominated Hungarian government bonds, his cabinet has started to act. Mihály Varga, Hungary’s National Economy Minister has just said in an interview for “Figyelő” weekly magazine that the government is planning to refinance part of its EUR5-5.5bn state debt set to mature next year in Chinese yuan.
“Varga told the paper that it is not the size of the issue that matters most, but the new relationship that has been established, which could make the financing of government securities markets more secure”, Budapest Business Journal reports. Hungary plans to issue the equivalent of EUR1bn in FX bonds on international markets next year, according to an outlook released by the Government Debt Management Agency, BBJ writes.
The Constitutional Court of Lithuania ruled on December 17th that the new Underground Law of the country does not violate constitutional provisions on health and environmental protection. This opens the door to fracking in Lithuania.
The bone of contention was the hydraulic fracturing waste, used to explore or extract underground resources like shale gas. According to the Underground Law the waste ought to be buried underground. But environmental activists point out that burying this waste underground could be damaging to the environment. And that the provisions of the Underground Law are bypassing constitutional provisions on health and environmental protection.
“The Constitutional Court heard the case brought by a group of MPs who believe that hydraulic fracturing for the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbon (shale gas or shale oil) resources is hazardous to the environment and people’s health. The Constitutional Court ruled that the Constitution provides for legal regulation of economic activities which allow to explore and exploit underground resources using methods that could endanger the environment or human health”, writes Delfi.lt. But, of course, the court also pointed out that effective measures have to be establish to create preconditions so that the environment and human health could be protected properly.
Lithuania which now holds presidency of the Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM) informed of its main priorities: acceleration of the integration of the Baltic States’ power systems into Central Europe’s networks, the enhancement of the Baltic region energy security, and the development of a common energy market. On December 15th a special meeting was held by the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy – a meeting of the Committee of Senior Energy Officials of the CSM – to address the development of a regional gas market and to cooperate on the synchronization of the Baltic states’ power systems with the networks of Continental Europe.
“The participants of the meeting agreed to introduce high-level political monitoring in order to achieve the goals set by the Regional Gas Market Coordination Group (RGMCG) in time and take part in the drafting of an action plan for the development of the regional gas market, which will be presented at the next BCM meeting of prime ministers”, writes Delfi.lt.
At the meeting it was also revealed that a feasibility study into the development of the Finland-Baltic gas market, which was commissioned by gas transmission system operators from the Baltic States and Finland, has started in August this year. The feasibility study will be completed in February 2016. It will examine possible regional gas market model, assess their costs and benefits, and provide recommendations for the implementation of the most suitable model.
The Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel while visiting Berlin. One of the topics they dealt with was the project of a gas hub. The meeting was held just after Bulgaria’s government announced, jointly with the European Commission, that a workgroup would be set up on the construction of a gas distribution center that was officially dubbed “Balkan”, writes Novinite.com. “This hub and the interconnectors we are building will guarantee real diversification of sources and routes for gas supply”, supposedly Borisov said to Merkel.
What’s up in indexes?
Almost all the indexes increased on Thursday, December 17th after US Fed announced moving up its interest rates.
BUX (of Budapest) gained 0.04 per cent on Thursday, December 17th, closing at 23703.08. The day before it closed at 2369.38 index points. From year-end it’s up 42.50 per cent.
BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) climbed from 6794.75 index points Wednesday to 6800.81 index points Thursday. So it’s up 0.09 per cent d/d. But from year-end it lost 3.98 per cent.
PX (of Prague) was up 0.18 per cent. It climbed from 930.13 index points Wednesday to 931.85 index points Thursday. From year-end it dropped by 1.57 per cent.
WIG20 (of Warsaw) was up 2.05 per cent. It increased from 1803.68 index points Wednesday, December 16th to 1840.57 index points Thursday, December 17th. And from year-end it lost 20.53 per cent.
OMXT (of Tallinn) increased from 886.65 index points Wednesday to 889.67 index points Thursday. So it’s up 0.34 per cent d/d and up 17.83 per cent from year-end.
OMXR (of Riga) climbed from 572.15 index points Wednesday to 576.37 index points Thursday. So it’s up 0.74 per cent d/d and up 41.26 per cent from year-end.
OMXV (of Vilnius) dropped by 0.19 per cent falling from 483.26 index points to 482.36 index points. From year-end it’s up 6.62 per cent.
SAX (of Bratislava) closed at 295.09 index points again. With almost 0 per cent change. From year-end it’s up 32.73 index points.
SOFIX (of Sofia) climbed from 437.97 index points to 440.78 index points. So it’s up 0.64 per cent. But from year-end it lost 15.58 per cent.
UX (of Kyiv) increased from 680.29 index points Wednesday, December 16th to 683.76 index points Thursday, December 17th. So it was up 0.51 per cent. But from year-end it dropped by 33.83 per cent.
CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) ended at 1658.96 index points Thursday, December 17th. The previous close was at 1660.81 index points. So it dropped by 0.11 per cent d/d and by 4.95 from year-end.