Montenegro will have four GSM operators

(Marcin Bajer, CC BY-NC)

Polish President proposes solution for CHF denominated mortgages

Nordstream2 - a key project for Russia in 2016

Orbán and Putin will discuss nuclear plant upgrade

Montenegro

Montenegro, a country with a bit more than 600,000 inhabitants and three mobile phone operators, will soon open a tender for the fourth mobile operator. As BalkanInsight.com writes, the country has the second highest cellular phone penetration rate in Europe (the first one is Russia) and the ninth in the world. The number of mobile phone subscribers exceeds a million (at the end of 2014) which is 178 per cent of the country’s population. When Montenegro’s Agency for Electronic Communications (EKIP) revealed the new tender last week, several foreign companies want to enter Montenegrin telecom market. But experts and existing operators are questioning the need for another operator. “Some analysts have shown that the optimal number of operators in a single market is usually three, and the lack of takers for a fourth license in the past is a testament to that,” writes BalkanInsight.com. “The Montenegrin telecommunications market is covered by all the big regional players, and even bigger markets see a consolidation and decrease the number of providers to only three,” the portal quotes Vladimir Lucic, the CEO of M:tel (an offshoot of the Serbian MTS), one of the now existing in the country operators. The other two are Norwegian Telenor and Crnogorski Telekom (owned by Deutsche Telekom).

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Poland

Polish President Andrzej Duda presented on January 15th the draft of a bill for restructuring CHF denominated mortgages. The main idea of the bill is an introduction of a mechanism for a “fair” exchange rate – calculated “as a rule through comparison of the cost of the FX mortgage and the cost of the similar PLN denominated loans,” Warsaw Voice explains. The project has been presented to journalists and then sent to the Financial Supervisory Authority (KNF) for an opinion and estimation of the costs. The Finance Minister Paweł Szałamacha wrote that he’s open to solutions that are “just and safe”. Presidential officials pointed that the goal of Mr Duda’s project is to relieve CHF denominated mortgages but at the same time it needs to protect stability of the financial sector and be fair towards PLN denominated mortgages.

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Russia

“Russia’s energy minister said that a second gas pipeline, Nordstream 2, that will bypass the Baltic States and Poland to supply Germany directly with natural gas, was a key energy project for Russia in 2016,” Delfi.lt reports. The portal quotes Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak speaking: “Nord Stream 2 is undoubtedly a key project which is being implemented today. Joint venture companies are being set up and a permit has already been received from the German anti-monopoly regulator”.

The project includes constructing of two pipelines with the total capacity of 55 bn cubic meters from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The route and the entry point to the German gas transport system in Greifswald are planned to be the same as for the first Nord Stream gas pipeline launched in 2011. The constructor is New European Pipeline AG, a joint venture company (with Russia’s Gazprom 51 per cent share, German’s E.ON and BASF/Wintershall 10 per cent share each, British-Dutch Shell’s 10 per cent share, Austria’s OMV 10 per cent share and France’s ENGIE 9 per cent stake).

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Hungary

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will visit Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 17th, 2016. The leaders will discuss the Paks nuclear plant upgrade – reports the mno.hu, the website of a daily newspaper “Magyar Nemzet”. The meeting will take place exactly a year after Putin visited Budapest.

Rosatom, the Russian nuclear company, will build two new reactors at the Paks nuclear plant. The contract is worth EUR12.5bn. The European Commission has recently said Hungary violated competition regulations handing the contract to Rosatom without a competitive tender. “Hungarian government has refuted this claim, saying the deal is competitive, and does not amount to illegal state aid,” Budapest Business Journal reports.

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Croatia and Serbia quarrel over Air Serbia

A quarrel over Belgrade as a transit point. Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (CCAA) filed charges to the Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure against Air Serbia (the Serbian national carrier). The Croatian agency accuses Air Serbia of “breaching the European Common Aviation Area agreement by operating flights to and from Zagreb to other cities using Belgrade as a transit point,” writes BalkanInsight.com. Under this agreement Serbian companies cannot sell composite tickets from Zagreb to other destinations via Belgrade (or vice versa) as Serbia is not an EU state. Air Serbia should sell tickets for the various parts of the route separately. Despite the charges filed by Croatia, Air Serbia continues the flights via Belgrade, risking a ban from Croatia. The CCAA claim Air Serbia acts like an unfair competitor. But the company denies any wrongdoing. “Air Serbia is working in accordance with European civil aviation regulations,” wrote the company in its press release.

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What’s up in indexes?

BUX (of Budapest) dropped by 1.65 per cent from 24284.31 index points Thursday to 23882.92 index points Friday, January 15th. From year-end it lost 0.16 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) decreased from 6414.92 index points January 14th to 6340.38 index points January 15th. So it dropped by 1.16 per cent d/d and by 9.48 per cent from year-end.

PX (of Prague) lost 1.95 per cent, falling from 898.62 index points Thursday, January 14th to 881.12 index points Friday, January 15th. From year-end it lost 7.86 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) dropped by 2.37 per cent to 1734.87 index points Friday, January 15th. The day before it closed at 1776.96 index points. From year-end it dropped by 6.68 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) dropped by 0.67 per cent closing at 885.07 index points Friday, January 15th. On Thursday, January 14th, it closed at 891.06. From year-end it dropped by 1.55 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) lost 0.81 per cent – decreasing from 607.40 index points to 602.49 index points Friday, January 15th. But it’s up 1.37 per cent from year-end.

OMXV (of Vilnius) climbed from 485.81 index points January 14th to 488.00 index points January 15th. So it’s up 0.45 per cent d/d and 0.41 per cent from year-end.

SAX (of Bratislava) closed at 0.00 per cent change on Friday, at 299.44 index points. From year-end it’s up 2.43 per cent.

SOFIX (of Sofia) decreased from to 451.44 index points Thursday, January 14th to 450.26 index points Friday, January 15th. So it dropped by 0.26 per cent d/d and by 2.31 per cent from year-end.

UX (of Kyiv) closed at 659.93 index points Friday, January 15th. The day before it closed at 680.06 index points. So the index lost 2.96 per cent d/d and 3.78 per cent from year-end.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) decreased from 1605.41 index points Thursday, January 14th to 1588.18 index points Friday, January 15th. So it dropped by 1.07 per cent d/d and by 6.00 per cent from year-end.

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