NLB Bank Sale/Meeting with the European Commission
The Slovenian Government is committed to sell NLB by the end of 2017 in the environment of the restructuring plan that served as a basis for the European Commission’s approval of state aid to the bank in the 2013 bailout. So there is no official request by the Government to the European Commission to get an extension (as the Slovenian media have been telling for months).
This is at least what was said by Vraničar Erman who took over as Slovenia’s finance minister in September.
She and the European commissioner agreed on continued close cooperation to ensure that the commitments were respected to the maximum extent possible.
The Finance Ministry points that the goal of selling the NLB (after it also Abanka) was to maximize the return of funds that the state invested in the repair of both banks.
The minister said Slovenia today did not propose an extension of the deadline for the sale of NLB, but continued with the planned procedures and there is the will do achieve such goal without any extension of the agreed deadline.
The above also considering that for an extension of the deadline the European commission would certainly ask a straining of other commitments in exchange.
After the meeting the European Commission’s comment was that the commitment of the Slovenian authorities remain that to put forward the restructuring plans of NLB until December 2017, and that will monitor and remain in contact with the Slovenian representatives.
(Source: The Slovenia Times)
Romania is the second Country in EU by October’s retail trade growth.
In October 2016, the volume of Romania’s retail trade increased by 8.7 percent in October 2016 compared to October 2015.
In this way, Romania became second only to Luxembourg in the EU ranking by retail trade growth according to the European Statistical Office (Eurostat).
In the EU28, the 3.5 percent increase in the retail trade volume is due to the 4.9 percent rise in sales of non-food products, the 2.5 percent growth is sales of food, drinks and tobacco, and of the 1.7 percent advance in for automotive fuel sales.
The highest monthly increases in the total retail trade volume in Europe were registered in Slovenia (+3.7 percent), Luxembourg (+2.9 percent), Germany (+2.4 percent) and the United Kingdom (+2.0 percent).
Romania’s National Institute of Statistics announced that compared to the previous month October’s retail turnover (except for trade in motor vehicles and motorcycles) was up 7.9 percent as raw series, and 10% expressed as workday and seasonally adjusted series.
Telekom Slovenije plans broadband growth and consolidation in the Balkans
The supervisors of Telekom Slovenije drafted the business strategy for 2017.
They plan the consolidation in the group’s markets, an expansion of its fibre-optic network and growth in the number of broadband and IPTV connections.
They also think about the optimization of processes and IT infrastructure, new sources of revenue, staff restructuring, financial stability, quality and social responsibility.
In 2017, the state-owned telco expects EUR 717.8m in business revenue.
For the period until 2021, the company is to continue especially with accelerated digitalization,
Telekom will meanwhile also pursue the maintenance of financial stability consolidation on the markets where the group is already present.
The group, which is also working in Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and FYR Macedonia, plans accelerated consolidation in these markets, either in the form of expanding its operations or by selling its participating interests.
Source: The Slovenia Times
European Parliament gives go-ahead to include the Port of Rijeka into Baltic-Adriatic Corridor.
The Baltic-Adriatic Corridor is one of the most important trans-European road and railway axes.
In fact, it represents the connection between the Baltic and the Adriatic Sea linking Southern Poland, Vienna and Bratislava, as well as the Eastern Alpine region and Northern Italy.
It is now on the European Commission to decide on the whole issue.
The Port of Rijeka is the biggest seaport in Croatia. The city of Rijeka is also the second economic center of the nation and third largest Croatian city.
The Port of Rijeka is also the most convenient transit hub for Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the western part of Ukraine, the southern part of Poland and the southern part of Germany.
Brazilian companies to a new start
The Chairman of BRF, Mr. Abílio Diniz, thinks that the Brasilian companies after years of bad figures will have a new start.
First, he points that the real has strengthened by a third against the dollar since January 2016.
The second point is that in August the impeachment of Dilma Roussef ended months of uncertainty and the actual government looks more fiscally responsible than its predecessor, and more responsive to businesses’ concerns.
A promise of fiscal rectitude has helped dampen inflation expectations, allowing the central bank to cut interest rates for the first time in four years on October 19th, from 14.25% to 14%.
On the other side, Mr. Carlos de Freitas of the National Confederation of Commerce, a lobby group, notes that the real economy does not live on expectations alone and that Brazil needs also to tackle assorted structural deficiencies especially within the fields of costly credit, unskilled workers, convoluted taxes, rigid labor laws and bureaucracy.
For decades, fixing these gripes has eluded even popular presidents.
Some bosses believe that the actual government stick with emergency fiscal measures and leave deeper reforms to his successor. Many would be content with stop-gaps: a law to make outsourcing easier, say, rather than an overhaul of the sacrosanct labor code dating back to 1943.
(Source: The Economist)
Medical Tourism in Russia
Medical tourism to Russia has exploded recently thanks to the ruble’s exchange rate. The Government aims to promote such tourism creating medical visas.
Mr. Onishchenko (President of the Medical Tourism Association) thinks that state-supported medical tourism sector would be extremely lucrative the government.
The minister of Health, Veronika Skvortsova, stated that in 2015 10.000 foreigners, due to the ruble rate exchange, spent in Russia an estimated 7-10 billion rubles ($112-160 million) on treatment.
Looking at examples, a well-known Russian journal calculated that the cost of a coronary artery bypass graft surgery would cost $ 130.000,00 in the USA, 18.500,00 $ in Singapore while the cost in Moscow would be between 2.400,00 and 8.000,00 $.
According to a report drafted by Visa and Oxford Economics, medical tourists will leave $349 billion in cash in popular medical tourism destinations around the world. This is why many scientist and expert are advising Russia to create a new type of visa for foreigners seeking treatments.
The Government of Brazil puts 30 Billion R$ in order to realize new Infrastructure Projects involving involve motorways, railways, ports, airports, mining, petrol, gas and electric energy facilities.
Michel Temer says that public banks and the Unemployment Guarantee Fund (FGTS) will grant USD 9.3 billion with tariffs and rates of return that are defined by the markets.
The Government will also allow the renegotiation of terms of contracts of old concessions that are might facing financial difficulties.
The above funds will come from R$12 billion (US$ 3.6 billion) FGTS (3.6 billion USD), together with 5.4 billion USD coming from the National Economic and Social Development Bank.
Also the Banco do Brazil will put money on the new infrastructure Projects but the exact amount is still to be decided.
Slovenia’s economy grows by 2.7% y/y during the 2nd quarter
The rate of 2.7% is for Slovenia the one of economy’s growth in the second quarter of the 2016 according to the Statistics Office.
Taking into consideration season and working days, the Slovenian GDP was up in the second quarter by 0.5%.
In real terms, the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in the first half of the year.
The main factors that contributed to such growth were manufacturing (1.7%) together with commerce, hospitality and real estate (0.9%).
The growth in GDP was also caused by exports rising by 7.5% (both goods and services)
Within other factors is to register that Gross investments in fixed assets were down by 3.6% due to a drop in investments in buildings and other structures (-18%).
Investments in equipment and machinery were meanwhile up by 13.2%.
Lack of standards blocks products from Kosovo
The economy of Kosovo keeps to be uncompetitive in front of producers of the region and EU member Countries. Kosovo’s faces accordingly a high trade deficit.
In the absence of standards and state subsidies, Kosovo’s products cannot manage to penetrate in the domestic market, let alone regional and international markets.
The local expert Mr. Nexhat Hasani says that manufacturers do not have a lot of knowledge about the criteria and standards required by the European Union and this is itself a big problem. Even the origin of the products, also animal products, is not known and the European Union does not accept it since the local certifications not in line with the European directives.
Further than this, it is well known that Kosovo’s manufacturers face many difficulties in obtaining loans, especially for the early stages of development. Such lack of sources reduces their access to new technologies and innovation.
Kosovo’s manufacturers also call on institutions of the Country to create favorable tax policies with the aim of boosting export.
Without such criteria, the situation will possibly remain with the described deficit.
The best italian-made agricultural machinery
Italian manufacturers of agricultural equipment are known as being amongst the best and most advanced of their kind on the international environment.
Going to Brazil to the Agrishow will be a very suitable occasion: an Italian delegation will attempt the show supported by the Unacoma trade association.
There will be displays of items such as as plastic filters for tractors, harrows and hoes: everything that is needed for a great harvest.
The Brazilian market has proved particularly active and rewarding for Italian manufacturers due to a process of modernization, especially with regard to the machinery in the agricultural field.
The Agrishow fair has become a point of reference for buyers and specialist operators from all parts of South America.
Last year, about 155,000 professional operators visited the event, while a total of 700 exhibitors took part, representing 65 different countries: within them, the Italians.