Strategic Croatian Company List to be Revised as Numbers Drop

By 4 January 2022

January the 4th, 2022 - Precisely what makes a strategic Croatian company? Are there any firm criteria to speak of? With the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Croatian: NPOO) requiring explanations, it seems that there are.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, for years, the state has had a list of companies it owns and which are of special interest to it, but for the first time at last year's session, the government updated the list, citing precise reasons as to why each company is strategically important.

The reason for these explanations are the measures adopted by the NPOO on improving the management of state-owned enterprises, and the competent ministries will have to revise the list which contains information on each strategic Croatian company each and every year and determine the reasons why some companies in their jurisdiction are classed as strategic.

There were once 50, now there are 36...

This is a list that once numbered about 50 strategic Croatian companies, and that number appears to be constantly decreasing. As expected, this has happened again, because three companies have been "removed" from the existing list, and that list now boasts just 36. In two cases, the Institute of Immunology and the Rijeka-Zagreb Highway, the removal is due to technical reasons, while the third company, Maritime Electronics Centre Split, was "transferred" to CERP's extensive portfolio.

As for the remaining ones, as a rule, short lines are given about the company's activities, the size of the state's share in the share capital and the like. Alan Agency takes care of defense production and the procurement of weapons and equipment, AKD prepares ID cards and other official documents for the state, Croatian Post (Hrvatska posta) is the largest service network in the country and holds 83 percent of the postal services market, and Transmitters and Communications is the only network operator for all existing digital terrestrial television networks with 100 percent of the market share in DVB-Ta.

INA remains an exception

When it comes to ACI, their strategic importance lies in them taking care of the country's expansive maritime domain, and for Croatia Airlines (CA), it's crucial that its market share, which otherwise stands at 36 percent, grows to 60 percent during the winter, because most carriers don't fly, or not as much, so the Government believes that CA provides connectivity to, from and across Croatia.

HPB (Hrvatska postanska banka) is the largest domestically owned bank, and for the last decade or so it has been one of the five largest in the Croatian banking system and has deposits with a very high balance from the central government. Its title as a strategic Croatian company is as such indisputable at this time.

For all companies on the strategic Croatian company list, the state is the majority owner, with the exception of INA, which is still on the list because "of the processing and exploration of oil and gas which is important for the security of the energy supply in the Republic of Croatia."

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