Sunday, 6 June 2021

Local Government Given Weak Grade by Entrepreneurs

ZAGREB, 6 June, 2021 - Entrepreneurs expect local authorities to cut costs, downsize the number of employees in the administration, reduce administrative burden and utility fees, a survey by the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) has shown.

In May, HUP carried out a survey among its members with the aim of examining what entrepreneurs expect from representatives of local and regional government in the coming period. Nearly 200 companies from all over Croatia, which employ more than 14,000 people, have responded to the survey, HUP said on Tuesday.

In the survey, local goverment received a weak grade  (D), which indicates less than satisfactory performance.

Top three priorities for entrepreneurship recovery

HUP members also highlighted the top three priorities that the municipal/city government must deal with immediately to encourage the recovery of entrepreneurship, and scaling down the costs and the number of employees in public administration was ranked as number one priority, as said by 47% of the respondents.

The second priority is the abolition of administrative and utility fees (44%) and the third priority is the abolition or reduction of surtaxes and other fess (41%).

HUP representative also expect and encourage greater involvement and participation of entrepreneurs in the work of local government.

We propose that economic councils be formed in the offices of mayors and county prefects, which would consist of up to fifteen entrepreneurs from the private sector, education representatives and representatives of other factors important for the local economic development. The council would discuss local economic issues, business conditions, permits and education, and in this way give added value to the economy and the wider community, said HUP's Kristian Krpan.

Local government gets weak grade D

The average grade HUP's entrepreneurs assigned to city/municipal government for encouraging entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial climate is a weak grade D, or an average of 2.3 on a 1-5 scale, HUP said.

The cities of Bjelovar, Virovitica, Sveta Nedelja and the municipality of Lokve were exceptions and received high average grades.

When it comes to counties, the two initiatives rated as most significant for launching a stronger investment cycle and creating new jobs were awarding non-repayable grants and adopting new county development plans to tap EU funds.

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Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Continue Positive Streak

ZAGREB, 2 June, 2021 - The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) main indices rose on Wednesday for the fourth consecutive day, and turnover was slightly higher than in previous days, with HT and Turisthotel each generating more than HRK 2 million in turnover.

The Crobex increased by 0.36% to 1,951.71 points, and the Crobex10 by 0.43% to 1,207.71 points.

Regular trading amounted to HRK 8.6 million, 4.8 million more than on Tuesday.

The most traded stock was the HT telecom company, with a turnover of HRK 2.97 million. It closed the day unchanged, at HRK 185.50 per share.

The Turisthotel tourism company turned over HRK 2.5 million and was among the more liquid stocks, with a price increase of 3.23% to HRK 3,200.

A total of 33 stocks were traded today, with 13 registering a price increase, 11 registering a price decrease and 9 remaining stable.

(€1 = HRK 7.504018)

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Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Entrepreneurs To Have One Chance For Debt Forgiveness, Reports Večernji List

ZAGREB, 2 June, 2021 - Every entrepreneur should have one opportunity to have their debt forgiven during their entrepreneurial life and to be able to do business without hindrance, Večernji List daily said on Wednesday.

This is provided for by the Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks and second chance from 2019, which EU member states have to introduce into their legislation by mid-2021, that is in a month.

The Croatian Ministry of Justice has also announced that it will initiate amendments to the Bankruptcy Act and the Consumer Bankruptcy Act to adapt them to the Directive, but a bill of amendments has not been presented yet so it remains unclear whether Croatia will additionally regulate discharge of business debts.

In Croatia, there are currently about 16,000 entrepreneurs with blocked accounts, and about 8,000 of them are companies, while the second half are craftsmen and other entrepreneurs who keep business books. The total debt of all entrepreneurs amounts to about HRK 6 billion.

The situation is much more difficult for nearly 240,000 citizens with blocked accounts, whose debt principal totals about HRK 17 billion.

So far, the state has twice written off debts of citizens with blocked accounts as part of special campaigns, but that has not significantly affected the overall situation.

Debt write-offs for entrepreneurs were the most common in pre-bankruptcy settlements established by former finance minister Slavko Linić during Zoran Milanović's term as prime minister. Later, the law changed and debt write-offs are now less frequent.

The EU Directive does not address citizens' debts directly, but it proposes that states apply the principle for debt forgiveness for entrepreneurs to over-indebted citizens.

Under the Directive, everyone should have the opportunity to have their debt written off in a procedure that should last no longer than three years, Večernji List said.

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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Up For Third Day in Row

ZAGREB, 1 June, 2021 - The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) main indices on Tuesday continued their positive streak for the third consecutive trading day, with the Crobex going up 0.6% and the Crobex10 by 0.5%, while trading was modest.

The Crobex went up by 0.61% to 1,944.66 points and the Crobex10 by 0.48% to 1,202.22 points.

Regular trading was modest and amounted to HRK 3.8 million.

Not one stock crossed the million kuna turnover mark, and the closest to it was the Atlantska Plovidba shipping company, with HRK 941,600. Its price rose by 6.23% to HRK 375 per share.

A total of 39 stocks were traded today, with 20 registering a price increase, 9 registering a price decrease and 10 remaining stable.

(€1 = HRK 7.515997)

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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Podravka Gets HRK 5.16m Grant For Its Future Solar Power Plant

ZAGREB, 1 June, 2021 - Podravka's project of a solar power plant, worth HRK 10.3 million, will be co-funded with a HRK 5.2 million grant by the European Union and the Croatian government under the Rural Development Programme, the Koprivnica-based food factory reported on Tuesday.

"The grant was awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture pursuant to a decision by the Agency for Payments in Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, and pursuant to Podravka's application for implementation of the Sub-measure 4.2 'Support for investments in the processing, marketing and/or development of agricultural products' and implementation of operation type 4.2.2. 'Use of renewable energy sources'," the company said.

The expected period for return on investment with 50% support is 3.5 years.

The investment is valued at HRK 11.7 million, of which HRK 10.3 million is to be used for the construction of the solar power plant, while HRK 1.4 will be spent on the development of the measurement facility and the necessary transformer station.

"Podravka – Danica" 2.4 MW solar power plant is to be built at the Danica Industrial Zone in Koprivnica.

(€1= HRK 7.5)

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Thursday, 27 May 2021

Summer Business School: A Chance for Entrepreneurs at Step-Ri Science-Technology Park

May 27, 2021 - This June, a five-day Summer Business School organized by Step-Ri Science-Technology Park and the American Embassy in Croatia makes Rijeka the place for entrepreneurs.

Science parks, research parks or technology parks or less intriguingly known as innovation centers, are a purpose-built cluster of office spaces, labs, workrooms, and meeting areas designed to support research and development in science and tech, says Bidwells, one of the UK's most reputable property consultancy companies. Common infrastructures worldwide and in Europe, the biggest city in Kvarner, Rijeka, is no exception in having one.

Step-Ri is a science-technology park, part of the University in Rijeka, and a place where science and economy meet to encourage entrepreneurship based on knowledge and new technologies.

„As one of the leading institutions in Croatia when it comes to entrepreneurship, Step Ri brings the newest knowledge in innovation and management from around the world through interesting education and business consulting. With our knowledge and experience, singlehandedly and with the help of the international network of partners and friends, we create projects and specialized programs to encourage entrepreneurship initiatives for both employed and unemployed, students, and the scientific community. With new services, business models, personal and organizational competencies, we make already successful entrepreneurs more competitive“, says Step-Ri's official website.
One example of such initiatives is the upcoming Summer Business Camp which will take place from June 23-27. And what's more interesting, this five-day program is brought to Step-Ri in collaboration with the American Embassy in Croatia.

„Summer Business Camp brings teams from all Croatia that want to improve or refine their business ideas and solutions through exercises, lectures, and individual coaching, “says Step Ri, promising extraordinary mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and investors.

This year, special attention will be given to the gaming startups, but other industries are also welcome. Regardless of whether you are already an entrepreneur or just aspiring to be one, you are welcome to apply if you have a developed business idea or a functional prototype.

Learning how to bulletproof your idea, experienced entrepreneur as a mentor, a chance to hear directly from investors what are they looking for and how to deliver it, valuable feedback and honest thoughts to accelerate your project, creating new opportunities, meeting other people in the business, and a having a good time- are some of the promises by Step-Ri for those who apply.

But, it would be best if you hurried, as June 6 is very close, and that's the deadline to beat. At least ten teams will be selected after a committee of experts evaluates project applications. Bed and breakfast accommodation for up to two team members, lunch at the venue, local bus tickets for getting to the venue, and a commemorative T-shirt await for those who are selected. And once in, a panel of venture capitalists, business angels, and business people will award the best with Apple iPad Pro (1st prize), Apple iPad Air 4 (2nd prize), and Apple iPad 8 (3rd prize).

Pieces of technologies such as the aforementioned above can certainly come in handy to entrepreneurs, but what about money? The actual finance for your projects?
„Many teams in the past received funding from participating investors and judges. However, nobody but you can answer that! Come and pitch your idea and see how far it will take you!“concludes Step-Ri regarding finance possibilities to turn your vision into a reality.

Learn more about Rijeka on our TC page.

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Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Indices End Day in Different Directions

ZAGREB, 26 May, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange indices ended the day in different directions on Wednesday, with investors focusing on the preferred shares of the Adris tourism and insurance group and the Valamar Riviera hotel group.

The Crobex fell for the fourth day running and dropped by 0.16% to 1,932.26 points. 

After falling for two days, the Crobex10 picked up and ended the day at 1,197.56 points, increasing by 0.20%.

Regular turnover amounted to HRK 8.85 million or about 450,000 more than on Tuesday.

The most liquid stock was the Adris Group with a turnover of HRK 3.2 million of its preferred shares, which closed at a price of HRK 410 per share, down 0.49%.

The Valamar Riviera hotel group was the only other stock to cross the million kuna mark. It generated a turnover of HRK 1.2 million. Its shares jumped in price by 0.67% to close at 30 kuna. 

Of the 36 stocks that traded today, only 9 registered share price increases.

(€1 = HRK 7.505183)

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Wednesday, 26 May 2021

JANAF, OMV Sign First Oil Storage Contract

ZAGREB, 26 May, 2021 - The JANAF oil pipeline and storage system said on Wednesday it had signed its first contract with Austria's OMV Supply & Trading Ltd for storing up to 99,000 cubic metres of crude oil at the Omišalj Terminal for a period of two years.

Management said the contract confirmed JANAF's strong export orientation, adding that the company generated over 60% of its revenue from foreign clients.

The new contract ensures the further use of our storage capacity and stable business in the longer term, Management Board chairman Stjepan Adanić and Board member Vladislav Veslica said.

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Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Members of Parliament Hope For Revival of Capital Market

ZAGREB, 26 May, 2021 - Amendments to the Capital Market Act, which are aimed at further aligning Croatia's regulatory framework with the EU acquis, were supported on Wednesday by both the Opposition and the ruling majority in the parliament, who expressed hopes for the revival of the capital market. 

This is one of the most complicated laws that summarises what kind of capital market Europe wants, said Social Democrat MP Boris Lalovac, warning that Croatia's capital market was far less developed than the European.

"The value of the capital market in Croatia is HRK 276 billion, 140 billion are stocks and 130 billion securities, the annual turnover of the Zagreb Stock Exchange is around HRK 3 billion while the turnover on the OTC market is HRK 27 billion," Lalovac said.

That shows that outside of the stock exchange and capital markets, which have strict rules, trading is ten times greater, Lalovac said, expressing hope this would change.

Grozdana Perić of the HDZ said that better oversight and regulation would enable further development of the capital market in Croatia.

She warned, however, that the coronavirus crisis had caused an outflow of funds from investment funds and that their value had dropped by more than 35% or HRK 8 billion.

That is one of the reasons for amending the law, said the State Secretary at the Finance Ministry, Stjepan Čuraj, who presented the amendments to MPs.

"If we take as an example the Zagreb Stock Exchange alone, during the pandemic in 2020 it dropped by more than 35%, from 2,000 to 1,300 basis points," Čuraj said, noting that there was room for improvement.

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Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Volume of Construction Work in March Up 16% Year-Over-Year

ZAGREB, 26 May, 2021 - The volume of construction work in March 2021 was 16% higher than in March 2020, while compared to the previous month, it dropped by 0.4%, show preliminary data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics.

March was the tenth consecutive month with a year-on-year increase in the volume of construction work.

The volume of construction work on buildings in March this year was 16.5% up from March 2020 while the volume of work on other structures rose 15.3%.

Compared to February 2021, construction work on buildings in March was up 0.5% and on other structures it was 3.9% higher.

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