Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Main Indices Up About 1%

ZAGREB, 16 June, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices increased on Wednesday, the Crobex by 0.99% to 1,993 points and the Crobex10 by 1.8% to 1,226 points, both reaching their highest levels since February 2020.

Regular turnover was HRK 6.9 million, with only one stock crossing the million kuna mark, the Valamar Riviera hotel company, which turned over HRK 1.63 million. It closed at HRK 31.3 per share, up 2.3%.

Another HRK 16.32 million was generated in block trading with HT telecom's stock at HRK 185 per share.

Thirty-seven stocks traded today, with 14 gaining in price, 15 decreasing and eight stagnating.

(€1 = HRK 7.485466)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Labour Costs in Croatia Grow For First Time Since Pandemic Started

ZAGREB, 16 June, 2021 - Slower salary growth halted the growth of hourly labour costs in the EU in the first quarter of 2021, while in Croatia labour costs increased for the first time since the start of the pandemic, Eurostat data show on Wednesday.

In the first quarter of 2021, the hourly labour costs rose by 1.7% in the EU, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. In the fourth quarter of 2020, hourly labour costs increased by 3.2%.

The costs of hourly wages and salaries increased by 2.6%, after growing 3.8% in Q4 2020.

The costs of salaries increased the most in arts, entertainment and recreation (+8.3%), followed by accommodation and food service activities (+6.1%).

The costs of contributions at the start of this year went up 1%.

The highest increases in hourly labour costs in Q1 2021 were registered in Lithuania (+12%) and Slovenia (+11.1%), while the lowest were in Austria (+0.3%) and Belgium (+0.9%).

In Croatia, they went up 2.3%, for the first time since Q2 2020. In Q4 2020, they dropped 1.1%. The costs of hourly wages and salaries increased 2.3% after falling 0.2% at the end of last year. The costs of contributions went up 2.2%, after falling 6.4% at the end of 2020.

The largest decrease in hourly labour costs in Q1 2021 was registered in Malta (-2.6%), followed by Ireland (-2.5%).

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Rebound

ZAGREB, 15 June, 2021 - The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) Crobex and specialised Crobex10 indices on Tuesday rebounded by 0.41% to 1,973 points and 1,213 points respectively.

Today's regular turnover was HRK 6.4 million, or HRK 800,000 more than on Monday.

The Maistra hotel company was the only one to cross the one million kuna mark in turnover. It generated HRK 1.25 million and its share price stagnated at HRK 302.

A total of 39 stocks traded today, with 18 of them registering share price increases, 14 recording share price decreases and seven remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.489862)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Untapped Potential of 432.8 Million Dollars of Croatian Enterprises

June the 13th, 2021 - Croatian enterprises have a lot of untapped potential just waiting to be utilised, and the global electrical equipment market is where the focus needs to be.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the global electrical equipment market is growing unstoppably, worth a massive 1180 billion US dollars last year and estimated at 1271 billion dollars this year. With an expected annual growth of 7.7%, by 2025 its value could climb to more than 1662 billion dollars. Where does Croatia stand in this regard, exactly?

Although Croatian electrical equipment manufacturers are already significant players in the export market, the analysis of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce's Fit4Globe showed that the total untapped export potential of these Croatian enterprises stood at 432.8 million dollars and that the realisation of this potential would increase the sector's exports by as much as 38.9%.

As Luka Burilovic, President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, explained, this is an industry that accounts for almost 4% of the total volume of Croatian industrial production with revenues of 8.6 billion kuna, of which 53% is realised on international markets.

Currently, 328 companies operate in Croatia in the sector of electrical equipment production and employ over 9,400 workers. Although 90% of business entities in the industry are micro and small Croatian enterprises, large companies dominate the industry's revenues with a share of 55%, or a total revenue of 4.7 billion kuna.

The biggest player in this sector is unsurprisingly the Koncar Group, whose three companies are on the list of the 10 largest companies. It is led by Koncar - Distribution and Special Transformers with revenues in 2019 of 1.04 billion kuna, followed by Koncar - Power Transformers with 739.7 million kuna, then Elektrocentar Petek from Ivanic Grad comes in 3rd place with 680 million kuna, followed by Elka, a large cable manufacturer from Zagreb, which was taken over by Slovenia's Iskra a few weeks ago.

Significant players in this market and whose individual revenue is measured in hundreds of millions are also E.G.O. Elektrokomponente from Zagreb, Siemens Hrvatska, Vertiv Croatia, Varazdin-based Solvis, which sells its solar panels to Google, and Istrian Estradex from Pican, as well as another Koncar company - Generators and motors, which had 220.5 million kuna in revenue back in 2019.

According to Fit4Globe analysis, the product groups with the greatest export potential are: insulated electrical conductors, cables for voltages up to 1000 volts (V), electrical transformers and static converters of more than 10,000 kilovolt amperes (kVA), parts for electrical transformers and static converters, boards , counters, tables and cabinets for electrical control or distribution of electricity, insulated electrical conductors and cables for voltages greater than 1000 V and permanent electrical resistors.

Mladen Puskaric, President of the Association of Electrical and Electronic Industry of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, also Koncar's manager, points out that electricity is an indispensable part of all technological changes, and the production of electrical and electronic equipment is an industrial activity with great potential for growth, development and employment.

A lack of staff

"This is one of the most important activities of the Croatian manufacturing industry, which manages to generate more than half of its revenues in demanding foreign markets," he said, adding that the biggest challenges facing the industry are a lack of professional staff, digital transformation, productivity, an undeveloped sales network on foreign markets and the ubiquitous globalisation and economies of scale,'' said Puskaric.

Ivan Barbaric, Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for International Affairs, points out that of the total revenue of this sector, 4.5 billion kuna is generated from sales on foreign markets, which is 6.2% of total revenues from sales abroad of the entire manufacturing industry.

Over 50% of the sector's exports in 2019 were transformers, which Croatian enterprises sell to as many as 104 global markets, and cables, which Croatia exports to 93 countries. The leading export markets are Germany with 213 million dollars and 19.1% share, Austria with 139 million and a 12.5% ​​share and Italy with 110 million in value and an almost 10% share.

Other important markets for Croatian enterprises are Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Arab Emirates, the USA, the Netherlands, Sweden and Serbia, to which Croatia exported electrical equipment worth 33 million dollars back in pre-pandemic 2019.

“The untapped export potential for the 11 selected products on which the Fit4Globe analysis focused in particular exists in 193 countries for a total of 272.5 million dollars. If that potential was fully exploited, Croatian exports would increase by 42.3%. The greatest probability for an increase in exports lies on the markets of Serbia, the USA, Hungary, China and France,'' said Barbaric.

The Chinese market

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce explains that as far as the global market is concerned, the leading exporters of electrical equipment in 2019 were of course China with the amount of 671 billion dollars, Hong Kong with 301 billion and the USA with 173 billion.

The same countries are also the largest importers, again led by China with 497 billion dollars in imports, while the US and Hong Kong swapped places with total imports of 352 billion dollars and 308 billion dollars, respectively.

In the European Union, there are 45,335 companies operating in this sector with a total production value of 303 billion euros, and they employ about 1.5 million people. The Czech Republic leads in the number of companies with 11,190, mostly small and medium-sized entities, followed by Italy with 7,860 and Germany with 5,916. However, German companies are the largest, employing a total of 515,000 workers, followed by Italy with 140,000 and Poland with 118,000.

German companies also generate the largest revenue, almost 110 billion euros, followed by Italy with 39 and Spain with 17.8 billion euros in revenue.

For more on Croatian enterprises, make sure to follow our dedicated business section.

Friday, 11 June 2021

WB, HBOR Ink €200 HEAL Scheme to Help Croatian Businesses to Have Access to Liquidity

ZAGREB, 11 June 2021 - The World Bank and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) on Friday signed a Loan Agreement for the HEAL Croatia Project (Helping Enterprises Access Liquidity) in the amount of EUR 200 million intended as support to businesses hit by the corona crisis and the 2020 quakes.

A press release issued by the WB and HBOR reads that "the COVID-19 crisis has caused a sharp decline in the economic activity of Croatian businesses and has had a profound effect on jobs and livelihoods."

"The pandemic disrupted firms’ production and reduced the demand for their goods and services, while the financial sector tightened lending to companies, due to rising credit risk. The crisis also exacerbated Croatia’s regional disparities and reduced credit access for young firms and for firms owned and managed by women."

The HEAL Croatia scheme "will provide liquidity and financial restructuring to firms that have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and by the two devastating earthquakes of 2020 and will support an inclusive and resilient recovery. "

The HEAL project will increase access to finance to firms focused on export, both small and medium enterprises (firms employing fewer than 250 people) and mid-caps firms (employing from 250 to 3000 people), as well as for firms from less developed regions of Croatia, and firms owned or managed by women. It will also increase access for young enterprises (operating less than five years).

HBOR management board president Tamara Perko was quoted as saying that the Croatian development bank is pleased " that the World Bank has recognized the significance of financing entrepreneur groups whose importance has also been recognized in HBOR's five-year strategy."

Elisabetta Capannelli, the World Bank Country Manager for Croatia, was quoted as saying that the World Bank looked forward "to a smooth and quick implementation of the HEAL Croatia project which will help preserve jobs and support household livelihoods through direct support to approximately 150 firms employing around 25,000 people."

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, who signed with the World Bank a contract on loan guarantee, said that "the loan being signed today represents a continuation of the significant support provided by the World Bank to the Republic of Croatia since the beginning of the crisis in 2020, which is reflected in operations worth a total of EUR 760 million (including HEAL)."

"With this project, we are contributing to the further recovery of Croatia’s private sector, following the existing measures of the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, post-earthquake reconstruction and creating foundations for future sustainability and resilience."

The World Bank has been a partner to Croatia for over 27 years and during that period the bank has supported more than 50 projects, worth almost US$5 billion, and provided technical assistance to help strengthen institutions and support the design of policies and strategies.

For more on politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Up For Second Day in a Row

ZAGREB, 9 June, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices rose on Wednesday for the second day in a row amid modest trading.

The Crobex gained 0.43% to reach 1,958.03 points, its highest level in nearly a month, while the Crobex10 rose by 0.56% to 1,210.84 points, its highest level since the end of February 2020.

Turnover at the close of the trading session was HRK 4.5 million, about 600,000 higher than on Tuesday. None of the stocks passed the turnover mark of one million kuna.

A total of 35 stocks traded today, with 14 of them registering share price increases, 10 recording share price decreases and 11 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.493408)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Podravka Group to Invest HRK 5 Bn Over Next Five Years

ZAGREB, 9 June, 2021 - Over the next five years, the Podravka Group plans to invest about HRK 5 billion in the modernisation and digitalisation of production and logistics, marketing and acquisitions, the group said on Wednesday after the Supervisory Board green-lighted its business strategy until 2025.

"The implementation of the adopted strategy includes investment of about HRK 1.7 billion in the modernisation and digitalisation of production and logistics processes, about HRK 1.4 billion in marketing to achieve organic growth, and about HRK 2 billion for acquisitions," Podravka said in a statement.

The group's Food division will focus on product and packaging development and innovation to increase the availability of products and adjust them to the needs and habits of different consumer groups.

The business strategy also sets the criteria for the consideration and selection of acquisitions. With possible acquisitions in the Food division, Podravka aims to strengthen its presence and position on markets to pursue further accelerated growth.

The Pharmaceuticals division (Belupo) will focus on strengthening growth on international markets, notably in central and eastern Europe, expanding its portfolio with products  in additional anatomical, therapeutic and chemical groups, and boosting growth on the domestic market by introducing new products.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Increase Amid Modest Turnover

ZAGREB, 8 June, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices increased on Tuesday amid modest turnover, with the Crobex going up by 0.37% to 1,949.56 points and the Crobex10 by 0.31% 1,204.12 points.

Today's regular turnover was about HRK 3.9 million, about HRK 2.7 million lower than on Monday.

An additional HRK 2.8 million was generated by block transactions with shares of the HT telecommunications company.

The stock of the HT company was also the only one to cross the one million kuna turnover mark in regular trading. It generated a turnover of HRK 1.1 million, and the price of its share went up by 1.09% to HRK 185.

A total of 38 stock traded today, with half of them, 19, registering price increases, 11 stagnating in price and eight recording price decreases.

(€1 = HRK 7.497334)

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO): 7% of Croatians Misled Into Buying Counterfeits

ZAGREB, 8 June, 2021 - Nine percent of Europeans and seven percent of Croatians have been misled into buying counterfeit products, according to a survey released by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on Tuesday.

The study, entitled "European Citizens and Intellectual Property", shows that consumers find it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake products.

Nearly one in ten Europeans claimed that they were misled into buying counterfeits, but there were considerable differences between EU member states. 19% of Bulgarians, 16% of Romanians and 15% of Hungarians said they were deceived, compared to 2% of Swedes and 3% of Danes.

Croatia was below the EU average, with 7% of its citizens saying they were misled into buying counterfeit products.

According to Eurostat, over 70% of Europeans shopped online in 2020, and uncertainty regarding counterfeit products has become a growing concern for consumer protection, the study showed.

Counterfeit products represent 6.8 % of EU imports worth €121 billion and impact every sector, from cosmetics and toys, wine and beverages, electronics and clothing to pesticides and pharmaceutical products. They pose serious risks to the health and safety of citizens as they usually do not comply with quality and safety standards.

The study says that the worldwide trade in counterfeit pharmaceutical products has been estimated at €4 billion. Digital piracy also represents a highly lucrative market for infringers. Just in the area of internet protocol television (IPTV), €1 billion of unlawful revenue is generated every year by the
supply and consumption of copyright-infringing digital content in the EU, harming creators and
legitimate businesses.

Counterfeiting affects not only consumers, but it also causes considerable damage to the EU
economy, notably small and medium enterprises (SMEs). One in four SMEs and 21.7% of SMEs in Croatia said they suffered damage on account of intellectual property rights infringement, according to the study.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Golden Basket 2020: Konzum Retailer of the Year, Cromaris Producer of the Year

ZAGREB, 6 June, 2021 - The Golden Basket for the best retailer in 2020 was awarded to the Konzum retail chain, Cromaris was the best producer, and Zagreb's was the best small retailer, the Ja Trgovac website said earlier this week.

The award ceremony for the Golden Basket, an annual award for best achievements in the retail sector and consumer goods industry, was organised by the Ja Trgovac website and magazine.

The DM Drogerie Markt won the Golden Basket for socially responsible company of the year, Datalab was technology supplier of the year, and product of the year was Argeta's Gacka trout spread, designed by experts at Atlantic Droga Kolinska.

The editor-in-chief of the Ja Trgovac magazine and website, Goran Pavlović, said that 2020 had been difficult for everyone, and the retail and consumer goods sectors had been the rare bright examples in that challenging time as they had ensured continuous supply of goods to end-users and created preconditions for a normal life, the press release said.

In those conditions it was clear that these were strategic sectors that were a prerequisite for the functioning of other industries and of the society as a whole even in the most difficult circumstances, Pavlović said.

The Golden Basket, he said, provides a platform for presenting the best examples of doing business and highlights their importance in the Croatian economy and society.

The winners were selected by a jury consisting of members from market research agencies, the Deloitte and Oikon companies, the Institute of Economics Zagreb, the Zagreb Faculty of Economics and Business, sectoral associations (HGK, HUP, HOK), the Croatian Consumer Protection Association, the Commercial Trade Union of Croatia and the Ja Trgovac magazine.

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