Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices' Winning Streak Broken

ZAGREB, 19 May, 2021 - Amid a moderate trading on the Zagreb Stock Exchange on Wednesday the main indices fell slightly, ending their rising streak over the past few days, with the Podravka food manufacturer's stock drawing the most attention after it proposed a dividend of HRK 9 per share.

The Crobex fell slightly by 0.15% to 1,949 points, breaking its four-day climb. At the same time the Crobex10 weakened by 0.31% to 1,203 points, after rising for three days in a row.

Among the sector indices, the construction index fell by 2.13% while the transport sector strengthened by 0.97%.

Regular turnover amounted to HRK 9.25 million or 2.25 million more than the day before.

The highest turnover of HRK 3.3 million was generated by the Podravka company. The price of its shares weakened by 0.33% to HRK 600.

Podravka's management announced that the general assembly is scheduled for 29 June when shareholders are expected to decide on a HRK 9 dividend, just like last year.

The Valamar Riviera hotel group generated a turnover of HRK 2.33 million. Its shares closed at a price of HRK 29.7, up 0.67%.

A total of  42 stocks traded today, with 16 of them registering share price increases, 17 recording share price decreases and nine remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.511281)

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

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Financial Stability Council Meets to Discuss Risks to Stability of Financial System

ZAGREB, 19 May, 2021 - Timely and full reporting on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business operations and the materialisation of credit risk in financial institutions is important as some sectors of the Croatian economy are still strongly affected by physical distancing measures, the Financial Stability Council said.

The Financial Stability Council is an inter-institutional body that designs Croatia's macroprudential policy. It consists of representatives of the Croatian National Bank (HNB), the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA), the Ministry of Finance and the State Agency for Deposit Insurance (DAB).

The Council met on Tuesday under the chairmanship of HNB Governor Boris Vujčić to discuss main risks to the stability of the financial system. The meeting also involved Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, HANFA Board President Ante Žigman and DAB Director Marija Hrebac.

Despite the accelerated recovery of economic activity from the consequences of the pandemic, in the circumstances of continued uncertainty regarding a return to usual social contacts and business, the financial system's exposure to systemic risks remains elevated, the Council said in a statement, citing high public debt, the financial sector's exposure to the government, a possible rise in the number of insolvent companies and fast growing housing prices as main risks.

It noted that housing prices had risen by 7.7% in 2020 year on year and surpassed their level in the period preceding the global financial crisis, adding that housing loans were picking up.

Given that some sectors of the economy are still strongly affected by physical distancing measures, the Council said that a premature cancellation of aid could put healthy businesses at risk and increase the credit risk, while extended maintenance of support could keep companies with unsustainable business models on the market and zombify the corporate sector, which would have adverse implications for growth and financial stability, the statement warned.

The Council said the banking sector was highly capitalised and liquid. The volume of loans covered by the loan repayment moratorium continued to fall after peaking in September 2020 and at the end of March 2021 it covered 8.6% of corporate and household loans. The loans covered by the moratorium were mostly aimed at hotels and restaurants.

The Council said that the recovery of the financial markets, which began at the end of last year, had continued in the first half of this year and that nearly all sectors supervised by HANFA were seeing growth.

The positive mood has also affected the financial services sector, whose assets at the end of March 2021 were 3.5% higher than at the end of 2020, accounting for 32.15% of the total assets of the financial system in Croatia, or 61.7% of the nominal GDP, the statement said.

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Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange: Crobex Continues Upward Movement For Fourth Day in Row

ZAGREB, 18 May, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices continued their upward movement on Tuesday. 

The Crobex jumped by 0.49% to 1,952 points, continuing its rise for the fourth day in a row, while the Crobex10 gained 0.42% to end the day at 1,207 points, rising for three straight trading days.

Turnover at the close of the trading session was HRK 7 million, about 1.9 million lower than on Monday, and three stocks passed the turnover mark of one million kuna.

The highest turnover, of HRK 1.4 million, was generated by the stock of the Podravka food company, which closed at HRK 602 per share, up 0.33%.

It was followed by the preferred stock of the Adris tourism and insurance group, turning over HRK 1.38 million. Its price rose by 0.24% to HRK 423.

The stock of the HT telecommunications company turned over HRK 1.3 million, ending the day at HRK 185 per share, up 0.82%.

A total of 39 stocks traded today, with 20 of them registering share price increases, 12 recording share price decreases and 7 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.517964)

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

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Croatian CityGreens Farming Offers Solution to Land Fertility Issues

May the 18th, 2021 - The Croatian company CityGreens Farming has offered an innovative solution to an issue many in the agriculture sector suffer, which is a lack of fertile land.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although it might sound like a script from science fiction films to most, the technology of growing food indoors without fertile land is already a reality today, and the Croatian company CityGreens Farming from Zagreb is also contributing to its development.

The leading people of that aforementioned company, Josip Ceovic and Filip Mijatovic, explained that they have developed an innovative system for aeroponic plant cultivation implemented in the form of a vertical farm. “We're the first company in the region to develop so-called High Pressure Aeroponic systems, both in a home form and in an industrial form. Aeroponic cultivation is the process of growing plants without the use of soil or water pools, classic hydroponic cultivation, where the root of the plant is fed through a nutrient mist.

The technology was first devised by NASA and is considered the highest and purest cultivation technology where plants grow without sun or soil in strictly controlled conditions. Pesticides, fungicides and herbicides aren't used in cultivation, and the system is fully automated,'' explained Mijatovic.

He added that this is a new device completely designed and made in Croatia.

"The aeronautical technology on which the device works has been known for the last fifteen years after NASA invented and perfected it for growing plants in space. Of course, the designs, components, and accompanying software for their devices aren't publicly available, and our device is our own interpretation of that technology.

There are aeroponic farms in parts of the world which use similar devices, but this technology is still in its infancy and we're only at the very beginning of its development and wider application,'' stated Mijatovic. The innovative duo from CityGreens Farming pointed out that compared to farms in Spain where hydroponic vegetables are produced, such as Tower Garden or Agrotonomy, their system is far more sophisticated and uses High Pressure Aeroponics while they use Low Pressure Aeroponics.

“Our vegetative cycle is fully automated and uses advanced computer algorithms that use sensors (temperature, humidity, CO2, light intensity and a spectrum, water mist nutrients, PH levels, etc.) to measure and adjust these parameters to create an ideal atmosphere for plant growth,'' explained Ceovic.

Such a farm, they added, is especially suitable for countries that have a lack of arable land or very difficult weather conditions. For example Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iceland, etc.

In addition, since such a farm can be located in the city itself, the distribution chain has been completely changed and only a few hours need to pass from harvest to table, unlike the usual transport by boat or truck in refrigerators.

The project was also helped by the European Union (EU) with 1.7 million kuna from its regional development fund, and CityGreens Farming currently has a demonstration plant in Zitnjak in Zagreb, where has production covering over 200 square metres. The pair noted that it is difficult to talk about the specific price of such a farm because every project would be quite individual, and thus the prices would naturally vary.

However, when looking at the general advantages of this sort of technology, the growth cycle is up to 60 percent faster than usual, water consumption is 98 percent lower, fertiliser use is 60 percent lower, and pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are 100 percent lower.

These Zagreb innovators concluded with one important fact, and that is that their technology and production have nothing to do with GMO seeds and cultivation, which people often confuse with controlled cultivation. Bio and Eco certificates can also be readily obtained for this type of production.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Slovenian Iskra Has Eyes on One of Largest Croatian Exporters

May the 15th, 2021 - Slovenia's Iskra wants to take over a very well known Zagreb-based company and one of the largest Croatian exporters as the business climate begins gaining some sense of semi-normality back again.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the business climate is gradually recovering, we have learned to live with the coronavirus and the vaccine is here, and for Iskra as well as for many other Slovenian companies, a new wave of development can start. That naturally means greater investments in automation, robotics and new innovative technologies.

This was stated by Iskra's Dusan Sesok, whose family-owned company has come back into focus again here in Croatia as well. The last time it was on Croatia's business radar was on the occasion of them taking over the shipyard in Sibenik from the former owner there - today they're successfully developing a business called Iskra shipyard. Now, the media is following the Slovenian publication related to the takeover of Zagreb's Elka, otherwise the largest regional cable company and one of the largest Croatian exporters.

Following Iskra's information regarding the process around this company, one of the biggest Croatian exporters, which they informed the Slovenian regulator about, it has been found out that the transaction hasn't been completed. The process is still ongoing, according to the director of Iskra.

A recently held meeting was attended by representatives of the ownership ''staff'' of both companies; Matija Sesok, one of the juniors who runs Iskra's operations, as well as a member of the Croatian Elka company, Miljenko Hacek. Apparently, this was an all-day meeting.

Hacek said that with more than half a billion kuna in revenue, Elka is a recovered company, it is stable. It has operated positively for the last two years and even achieved growth last year despite the coronavirus pandemic. They have promising plans for this year, and growth is expected to continue.

Matija Sesok, referring to the same topic, said that Elka's business last year and this year was such that it had become very interesting for Iskra.

Iskra's director, economist Dusan Sesok, who was the Minister of Economy and Finance in two Slovenian Governments, pointed out that his domain included taking over other companies, as well as environmental projects.

He confirmed that Iskra wants to enter a new field of activity - in the field of energy and telecommunications cable production, but didn't want to comment on the alleged potential takeover of one of the largest Croatian exporters - Elka.

''We're still in a sensitive phase,'' he said, and according to him, the first statements on this topic can be expected in about ten days at the earliest. Otherwise, the Slovenian Iskra had a record 130 million euros last year.

Good political relations

This, he says, will be a long-term trend, as after production was transferred to Asia, it is now returning home to Europe as everyone tends to buy in short supply chains from European producers. Iskra employs a total of 1,300 workers, of which 170 are in the Dalmatian city of Sibenik, where they also have about 100 subcontractors.

"Political relations between Croatia and Slovenia are good again after a number of years of tension, which is a good basis for greater connections between our companies," concluded Iskra's Sesok.

For more, follow our business section.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange End Week in Different Directions

ZAGREB, 14 May, 2021 - The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) Crobex index went up 0.12% to 1,940.04 points on Friday, while the Crobex10 dipped 0.11% to 1,193.82 points.

Regular turnover was HRK 6.86 million, with only two stocks crossing the million kuna mark - the Atlantska Plovidba shipping company, which turned over HRK 1.5 million, closing at HRK 336 per share (+0.30%), and the Podravka food company, which turned over HRK 1.26 million, stable at HRK 590 per share.

Forty-nine stocks traded today - 28 increasing in price, 11 decreasing, while ten were stable.

(€1 = HRK 7.520412)

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

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Main Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Drop By About 0.5%

ZAGREB, 13 May, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices dropped by about 0.5% on Thursday, with the Crobex falling for the third day in a row, by 0.47% to 1,937.73 points, and the Crobex10 slipping by 0.51% to 1,195.17 points, down from Wednesday.

Regular turnover amounted to HRK 8.7 million or almost two million less than on Wednesday.

The most traded stock with a turnover of HRK 3.1 million was the Atlantska Plovidba shipping company. The price of its shares continued to fall for the third day in a row, by 3.18% to HRK 335.

The HT telecommunications company generated a turnover of HRK 1.46 million with the price of its shares dropping by 0.54% to HRK 184.50.

The Podravka food manufacturer closed at HRK 590 per share, down 1.01% from Wednesday, generating a turnover of HRK 1.22 million.

The Valamar Riviera hotel group also crossed the million kuna mark turning over HRK 1.02 million. Its shares plunged by 1.97% to HRK 29.90.

A total of 36 stocks traded today, with 19 of them registering share price decreases, 12 recording share price increases and 5 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.531968)

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

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Close Mixed

ZAGREB, 12 May, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices ended mixed on Wednesday, with the Crobex falling by 0.21% to 1,946.80 points and the Crobex10 gaining 0.10% to close at 1,201.28 points.

Turnover at the close of the training session was HRK 10.7 million, about 2 million higher than on Tuesday, and only two stocks passed the turnover mark of one million kuna.

The stock of the Atlantska Plovidba shipping company turned over HRK 2.5 million, ending the day at HRK 346 per share, down by 6.49%. The Valamar Riviera hotel company saw its share price rise by 2.35% to HRK 30.59, turning over HRK 2.3 million.

A total of 49 stocks traded today, with 19 of them registering share price decreases, 17 recording share price increases and 13 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.532086) 

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

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Friends of Croatia: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - The Croatian Side of Diplomatic Relations

May 13, 2021 - The fourth article in the series "Friends of Croatia: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs" takes a look at the Croatian diplomatic relations from the perspective of the appointed ministry for diplomatic questions and foreign relations.

It takes two to build a friendship. While this series focuses on conversations with ambassadors, diplomats, and representatives of international organizations in Croatia, what is the official take on diplomatic relations and diplomacy from the Croatian side?

The Ministry of Foreign and European affairs (currently run by minister Gordan Grlić Radman) is the branch of the Croatian government that is the first and foremost point of contact and communication with the international community. If you are a country that wants to have diplomatic relations with Croatia, this is the ministry to reach.

„If diplomatic relations have been established between two countries, the sending country expresses the intention of opening a diplomatic mission (Embassy) to the receiving country, in this case, the Republic of Croatia, with a verbal note and seeks the consent of the competent institutions of the Republic of Croatia“, explained the Ministry the process of establishing Embassies.

„The competent authorities of the Republic of Croatia carry out the procedure of issuing the consent for the opening of a diplomatic mission and, upon its completion, inform the sending country about the outcome by verbal note. If the decision on giving consent for the opening of the Embassy in the Republic of Croatia has been granted, the sending country can start searching for a location to accommodate the Embassy and start the procedure of appointing an Ambassador," the Ministry added.

Ministarstvo_vanjskih_i_europskih_poslova_2.jpgForeign Minister Gordan Grlić Visiting Spain © Ministarstvo vanjskih i europskih poslova

With this procedure in place, concluding with 2021, Croatia has 56 resident Embassies, 67 non-resident Embassies, 4 Consulates General, 3 Representative Offices of the bodies of the European Union, 8 Representative Offices of international organizations, and 103 Consulates General/Consulates/Vice-consulates (which what is interesting, as the Ministry pointed out, are handled by honorary consuls who are mostly Croatian citizens).

„Resident Embassies can be based only in the capital city, and they are headed by an ambassador. Non-resident Embassies are located outside the state, with a seat in some other country, usually, an EU member state, while Consulates Generals can be located in other larger cities besides the capital and are headed by general consuls and responsible for their work to the Embassy of the said country“, explained the Ministry.

Croatia may be a young county with 30 years of sovereignty, but the tradition of its diplomacy is traced deep in history. Most notably, in the Dubrovnik Republic, a role model to Croatian diplomats even today.

„Croatian diplomats take pride and inspiration in the tradition of diplomacy of the Dubrovnik Republic. As a small country, surrounded by powerful empires and influential Mediterranean city-states, with no military force, the Dubrovnik Republic was able to preserve its foreign policy sovereignty mainly thanks to the diplomatic skills and the awareness of its geopolitical position. These very qualities are constantly a source of inspiration for those who defend the interests of the Republic of Croatia on the modern world's stage“, explained the Ministry.

As is evident by following the work of the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs, Croatia takes its diplomacy very seriously, and of course, with some countries, this is more evident than in others. One of the most recent examples was with Egypt. At the end of March, as TCN reported, Croatia showed solidarity with Egypt donating 100 books, and additionally, Croatian companies expressed interest in doing business on the Egyptian market

167448346_4516426265040018_5838100975654270980_n_egypt.jpg

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić in Egypt © Ministarstvo vanjskih i europskih poslova

„Minister Grlić Radman’s visit to Egypt was very successful, with his Egyptian counterpart Minister Shoukry opening a business forum which was attended by more than 120 Egyptian and Croatian business people“, said the Ministry, adding that representing the interests of Croatian companies and Croatian economy, in general, is an important task for Croatian diplomacy“.

Companies can ask for help by contacting the Ministry, specifically the Directorate General for Economic Affairs and Development Cooperation, or the Croatian embassy in the country of interest directly. No matter which way the request is made (regardless of whether the company has contacted the Ministry or the Croatian embassy in the country of interest directly) the company is kindly asked to fill out a request for support to the exporter, available on the economic diplomacy webpage. Within a couple of days, the company will receive a proposal for the realization of its request or an invitation to a meeting to discuss it jointly in more detail. All requests of exporters are recorded in a database that can be accessed by all employees of the Ministry in Zagreb and abroad in charge of economic affairs and through which the status of the case can be monitored“, explained the ministry the process of stepping on the market in more details.

Embassies in Croatia that are in frequent contact with the Ministry are there for their citizens when visiting the country, but also, the Ministry welcomes Croatians to contact the Embassies for questions regarding traveling to other countries. 

„Croatian nationals can obtain more information on entry requirements, COVID-19 restrictions, possibilities of obtaining residence permits or visas, and other types of information about a specific country. Also, Croatian students who are interested in studying or continuing their education abroad can get more information about the educational system and ways of applying for scholarships through foreign Embassies“, said the Ministry.

While the Ministry has no intention of stealing the jobs of the Embassies (such as providing consular assistance), they are at service if needed.

„Croatia is a popular tourist destination, so the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs recognizes the importance of communication with all foreign nationals who are interested to come and visit us. The Ministry provides information related to e.g. entry requirements, COVID-19 restrictions, the possibility of issuing the residence permits or visas, as well as all other types of information for foreigners who want to visit us as tourists or become residents“, concluded the Ministry.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is located in Zagreb, at Zrinjevac 7-8.

You can learn more about their work and all things travel-related at their official website and you can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Flickr. The phone numbers of various branches within the ministry can be found here.

To read more from the series "Friends of Croatia", follow TCN's dedicated page.

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

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

EU Industrial Production Stabilises in March; Croatia Above EU Average

ZAGREB, 12 May, 2021 - The European Union's industrial production stabilised in March following a decline in the previous month, while Croatia's production grew above the bloc's average rate, according to a report released by Eurostat on Wednesday.  

In March 2021, the seasonally adjusted industrial production rose by 0.6% in the EU and by 0.1% in the euro area, compared with February 2021. In February 2021, industrial production fell by 1.0% in the EU and by 1.2% in the euro area.

In both regions, the recovery was driven by production of non-durable consumer goods, which rose by 2.0% in the EU and by 1.9% in the euro area, compared with February 2021.

Production of intermediate goods rose by 1.1% in the EU and by 0.6% in the euro area. The energy sector also recorded a rise, of 1.0% in the EU and of 1.2% in the euro area.

On the other hand, production of capital goods fell by 0.4% in the EU and by 1.0% in the euro area, and production of durable consumer goods decreased by 0.3% in the EU and by 1.2% in the euro area.

Among member states for which data are available, the highest increases were registered in Denmark (+4.9%), Lithuania (+4.5%) and Bulgaria (+3.7%). The largest decreases were observed in Luxembourg (-4.4%), Belgium (-4.0%) and Finland (-2.1%). Croatia saw a monthly drop in industrial production of 3.4%.

Annual comparison

In March 2021 compared with March 2020, industrial production increased by 11.0% in the EU and by 10.9% in the euro area. In February 2021, industrial production fell by 1.4% in the EU and by 1.8% in the euro area. 

Production of durable consumer goods rose the most, by 34.4% in both regions. Production of capital goods increased by 15.9% in the EU and by 16.1% in the euro area, production of intermediate goods rose by 13.4% in the EU and by 13.3% in the euro area, production of energy went up by 2.7% in the EU and by 3.3% in the euro area, and production of non-durable consumer goods increased by 1.1% in the EU and by 0.7% in the euro area.

Among member states for which data are available, the highest increases were registered in Italy (+37.7%), Slovakia (+24.5%), Hungary and Poland (both +16.3%). Decreases were observed in Malta (-2.8%) and Finland (-2.2%). In Croatia, industrial production rose by 9.9% year on year.

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

 

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