Serbia under pressure to cut power utility staff

Nikola Tesla Museum, Beograd, Serbia (Avisionn Photo, CC BY-NC-ND)

Ukraine hits grain exports record

Renault reaches EUR2.4bn investment in Romania

Real estate tax in Bratislava will increase

Serbia

Serbia tries to deal with the problem of an unprofitable company EPS (it’s a state-owned electric giant – called Electric Power Industry). The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are involved. The headcount of the company is 30,000 and the salaries are too high. The IMF claims the “reorganization and systematization of EPS must be done by the end of July” and the WB warns that financial stabilization of the state power company needs to be speeded up if the enterprise is to have any future.

According to the Fiscal Council of Serbia, EPS should layoff between 5,000 and 10,000 workers if restructuring is done properly, The Balkan Insight reports.

The world economic institutions also insist for the new electricity prices to be settled by the end of 2016. “The price of electrical energy in Serbia is controlled by the government and with the price of EUR0.065 per kWh it is among the lowest in the region. Only Kosovo (EUR0.061 per kWh) have lower prices and its electricity network is still part of the EPS. “Talks on production, distribution, and property of EPS in Kosovo are still part of the negotiation in Brussels between Belgrade and Pristina,” The Balkan Insight informs.

According to Eurostat, the price of electricity for the households in Bosnia and Herzegovina is EUR0.083, Croatia EUR0.131, Albania EUR0.082, Macedonia EUR0.084, Montenegro EUR0.099, Romania EUR0.132 and Bulgaria EUR0.096 euro cents per kWh (as of 2015).

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic met with the IMF’s officials last week and confirmed that EPS issue is one of the most difficult one. 

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Ukraine

“Ukraine’s Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry tentatively assesses grain exports from Ukraine in 2015/16 agricultural year (July-June) at 39.415 m tons,” Interfax informs. It’s up 13 per cent compared with the previous season (2014/2015) when the grain exports totaled 34.805 m tons.

According to the press release, wheat exports reached 17.354 m tons, corn – 17.396 m tons, barley – 4.409 m tons and other grain crops – 256,000 tons. Interfax also reports grain harvest in Ukraine in 2015 totaled 59.96 m tons, which is 6.1 per cent down y/y (data from the State Statistics Service).

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Romania

Romania Insider reports on Renault’s investments in Romania. Since it has bought local carmaker Dacia in 1999, French car producer has already invested EUR2.4bn in its Romanian operations. It is said the company wants to continue investing in modernizing and renewing its product range.

The new infrastructure, Pitesti-Sibiu highway, would help Renault to export its cars smoothly. But the government said that the feasibility study for the Pitesti-Sibiu highway would not be finished sooner than by the end of this year.

While visiting Dacia plant in the city Mioveni, the Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said that his government “would continue to look for ways to stimulate research and technological development, which are essential for increasing the local economy’s competitiveness.”

Renault in Romania employs approx. 16,600 people. Dacia’s turnover accounts for 3 per cent of Romania’s GDP and 8 per cent of exports.

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Slovakia

The city of Bratislava wants to collect EUR8m more from the real estate tax. Now it’s up to EUR55m. Slovak Spectator informs that to achieve this goal members of the city council decided to raise the tax for apartments by 30 per cent. “In addition, residents will pay a tax increase of 150 per cent for land, 50 per cent for agricultural buildings, 10 per cent for cottages and garages and 50 per cent for other buildings, including ministries,” writes Slovak Spectator.

Till now, residents pay EUR27 for 67 square meters of flat and EUR66 for 120 square meters of house annually. After the increase, they will have to pay EUR35 for a flat or EUR86 for a house.

Bratislava Mayor Ivo Nesrovnal argues that the real estate tax is the capital’s largest income. He justifies the increase by the low level of state funding, limits in EU funds and a high degree of solidarity with the rest of the country.

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What’s up in indexes

BUX (od Budapest) was up 0.01 per cent – increasing from 26325.60 index points Thursday, June 30th to 26328.67 index points Friday, July 1st. From year-end it’s up 10.07 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) was up 0.21 per cent – increasing from 6473.41 index points Thursday, June 30th to 6487.06 index points Friday, July 1st. From year-end it dropped by 7.38 per cent.

PX (of Prague) increased from 816.91 index points Thursday, June 30th to 824.43 index points Friday, July 1st. So it’s up 0.92 per cent d/d. From year-end the index dropped by 13.79 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) lost 0.35 per cent d/d and 6.16 per cent from year-end. It decreased from 1750.69 index points Thursday, June 30th to 1744.56 index points Friday, July 1st.

OMXT (of Tallinn) was up 0.12 per cent d/d – increasing 980.37 index points Thursday, June 30th to 981.59 index points Friday, July 1st. From year-end it’s up 9.19 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) increased from 620.68 index points Thursday, June 30th to 625.26 index points Friday, July 1st. So it’s up 0.74 per cent d/d and up 5.20 per cent from year-end.

OMXV (of Vilnius) decreased from 510.69 index points Thursday, June 30th to 508.70 index points Friday, July 1st. So it dropped by 0.39 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 4.67 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) closed at 312.74 index points Friday, July 1st. So it’s zero per cent change compared to Thursday, June 30th. From year-end it’s up 6.97 per cent.

SOFIX (of Sofia) dropped by 0.24 per cent d/d and by 1.40 per cent from year-end. It decreased from 455.55 index points Thursday, June 30th to 454.45 index points Friday, July 1st.

UX (of Kyiv) increased from 674.57 index points Thursday, June 30th to 688.65 index points Friday, July 1st. So it’s up 2.09 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 0.41 per cent.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) was up 0.21 per cent – increasing from 1675.95 index points Thursday, June 30th to 1679.48 index points Friday, July 1st. From year-end it dropped by 0.60 per cent.

 

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