CEE employers are unsatisfied. With many things.

Valeriya Gontareva, the governor of National Bank of Ukraine (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, National Bank of Ukraine)

NBU would finally liberalize the currency restrictions

Hungarian deficit forecast revised

It’s getting hot in Bulgarian energy sector

Latvian employers against solidarity tax

Ukraine

Valeriya Gontareva, the governor of NBU (National Bank of Ukraine), informed during Odessa Financial Forum, that the severe currency restriction imposed in late 2014 and in the early 2015 (and extended in August 2015) will all be lifted by mid 2016. “Definitely, liberalization of the market, which is waiting for us, foresees that other institutions of power will start to work well, and we believe in that, we will help to implement our reforms,” said Mrs Gontareva. Among those restrictions were:

1. settlement deadline for import and export transactions remains limited to 90 calendar days;

2. mandatory sale of 75% of foreign currency earnings (with limited exceptions);

3. tightened control over currency transactions (including the prohibition on discontinuance of supervision over export operations on the grounds of documents confirming the discharge of obligations through the offset of similar counterclaims);

4. sale of foreign currency cash to one individual on one business day in one banking institution remains restricted to the equivalent of UAH3,000;

5. foreign currency remittances by individuals from Ukraine abroad remain limited to the equivalent of UAH15,000 on one business day in case of transfers without supporting documents, and to the equivalent of UAH150,000 per month in case of remittances made on the grounds of supporting documents;

6. cash withdrawals through cash desks and ATMs remain limited to UAH150,000 per day per client;

7. obligation of banks to keep a foreign currency purchase register that shall be submitted to the NBU.

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Hungary

Budget deficit in 2016 would be 2.0 per cent – stated the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) in its quarterly Inflation Report. As the previous forecast released in June 2015 was 2.2 per cent, the question is – where did MNB find money? The answer is: an actual government plan. In August 2015 Hungarian government announced its plan of selling 300,000 hectares of state-owned farmland (this year). MNB estimates it would bring a significant revenue surplus that would add to the value of HUF133bn of the revenues from other asset sales, that are included in the Budget Act and the baseline scenario of MNB.

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Budapest: dustbin lorries from Brussels

FKF, a public works company of Budapest, would buy vehicles and equipment valued at HUF3,5bn in the nearest future. 51 dustbin lorries, 10 skip loaders, 2 trucks and a compactor would be covered 93 per cent by EU funding. Public works in Hungary is a huge spending programme. The total cost of it in 2015 is HUF270bn.

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Bulgaria

The Bulgarian employers are going to protest against the increase of electricity prices. The manifestation, scheduled for September 30, was postponed, because of re-entering into negotiations with the government and parliament. However, the protest is not altogether cancelled, as we read in The Novinite. The employers demand:

1. cancellation of the increase of electricity prices introduced August 1st, 2015;

2. resignation of Ivan Ivanov, the chairman of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (KEVR);

3. allowing them to participate in the working group dealing with the road map of reforms in the energy system;

4. implementation of a road map of reforms starting from October 1st, 2015, and auditing the Bulgarian energy sector by an international auditor.

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Latvia

Latvian Employers’ Confederation will turn to Constitutional Court if Saeima, the Latvian parliament, introduces the solidarity tax. The so-called solidarity tax is to be imposed on high-income earners with a monthly salary above EUR4000. The new law will be in charge starring from January 1st, 2016. It is widely criticized by Latvian business owners. “The Employers’ Confederation has been explaining for a long time what could be considered taxes, and what could not, and mandatory social contributions are clearly not a tax. If money is taken from the social budget and transferred to the master budget, that would be a violation of rights of those who contribute to the social budget,” said Liga Mengelsone from the Confederation.

Latvian businessmen are not used to manage with such a tax burden. There is flat rate tax in Latvia, as in Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Czech Republic or Bulgaria. The taxes, like solidarity tax, were earlier introduced in Greece (burdening people with the income higher than EUR12000 a year).

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What’s up in indexes?

After one day’s increase, UX drops again. And so do others. Only SAX of Bratislava is doing fine.

BUX index (of the Budapest Stock Exchange) dropped by 0.37 per cent on Thursday, September 24 with 20610,76 index points (compared with 20687.22 index points the day before). From year-end it’s up 23.91 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest) ended down 0.34 per cent with 7127.66 index points (compared with 7151,93 index on Thursday. And it is up 0.63 per cent from year-end.

PX (of Prague) dropped by 0.98 per cent on Thursday. The result was 951,22 index points while on Wednesday it was 960,65 index points. From year-end it’s up 0.48 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) dropped by 1.13 per cent. On Thursday it was 2082,95 index points compared with 2084,35 the day before. But from year-end it fell by 10.06 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) ended down 1.01 per cent (from 877,12 index points on Wednesday to 868,30 index points on Thursday). But it is up 15.00 per cent from year-end.

OMXV (of Vilnius) fell from 486.26 on Wednesday to 483,85 index points on Thursday (0.29 per cent loss). And from year-end it is up 6.95 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) increased by 0.67 per cent on Thursday with 271,48 index points (compared with 269,67 index points on Wednesday). And it grew by 22.11 per cent from year-end.

UX (of Ukraine) dropped again after one day of increase by 3.31 per cent. The result was 884,12 index points on Thursday, while on Wednesday it was 914,35 index points And from year-end it dropped by 14.44 per cent.

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