Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić: Only Those That Meet All Criteria Will Get Money From NPOO

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić told a press conference on Wednesday that the money from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO) would be granted only to those that met all the criteria.

The European Commission on Tuesday disbursed €818 million to Croatia in a pre-financing payment under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF), which is equivalent to 13% of the country's total financial allocation under the RRF.

Marić said that the government had agreed the pace of expenditure and implementation of reform and investment measures. He said he expected at least 50 projects to be prepared by the end of the year, adding that they concerned digital transformation and the transition to green transformation in the industrial sector. 

"Who will get these funds will depend on tenders and fulfilment of the criteria," the finance minister said.

He announced tenders for the construction of kindergartens and schools, and said that individual projects, such as development of autonomous vehicles by the Rimac company, were also important.

Before the end of this year or early next year, there will be additional tenders for the award of grants for energy efficiency and further green transformation, and some of the funds will also go towards post-earthquake reconstruction, he said.

Asked about the possibility of Croatia losing some of the money because of problems with public procurement, Marić said that public procurement must be efficient because "projects are subject to deadlines, and speed and efficiency are the key."

He noted that the Croatian public procurement law is the most complicated in the EU and needs amending.

Asked who can apply for NPOO funding, Marić said that in the context of the manufacturing industry those would be small and medium-sized businesses, notably those that would contribute to green and digital transformation.

"Funds will be disbursed to all those that fulfil the criteria and requirements," he said, adding that funds would also go towards development of the telecommunications network.

"This 13 percent of the allocation has now been paid, the next €700 million will be paid by the middle of next year and a further 700 million by the end of next year. We need to carry out 34 measures until the end of this year. Some have already been implemented, while some have certain risks," Marić said.

"The next tranche will depend on how many measures have been fulfilled. If we fulfil all 34 measures, €700 million will come in, and if we don't, there will be a certain correction to this amount," Marić concluded.

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Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Zagreb Holding Group Reduces Losses to HRK 60.8m in H1

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - The Zagreb Holding Group had a loss of HRK 60.8 million in the first six months of 2021, which is significantly less in comparison to the H1 2020, when the loss amounted to HRK 139.6 million, the group's financial statement released on the Zagreb Stock Exchange on Wednesday indicate.

The Zagreb Holding Group comprises the Zagreb Holding d.o.o., which is completely owned by the City of Zagreb and its 14 branches and 8 companies and institutions.

The Group's total revenue in the first six months of 2021 amounted to HRK 2.02 billion, which is 7% more year on year, whereas expenditure amounted to HRK 20.8 billion or 3% more.

Revenue from business operations amounted to HRK 1.96 billion, or 7.4% more y-o-y, as a result of economic recovery.

The most significant growth in the Group's revenue was generated in the energy sector and the supply and distribution of gas, primarily through expanding new distribution areas and an increase of 11% in the delivery of gas supplies.

At the same time, material costs and the cost of services increased by HRK 28.2 million or 3%.

The Group's results are still largely impacted by losses in the Čistoća - city waste collection service which registered a loss of HRK 85.7 million in H1.

At the end of June, the Group had 7,765 employees. Personnel costs in H1 amounted to HRK 611 million or HRK 12 million more than last year.

The Group's investments reached HRK 146.5 million, with an additional HRK 26.2 million invested in the construction of public premises.

 There were 7,765 employees on the group+s payroll at the end of June.

(€1 = HRK 7.489688)

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Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Main Indices Up For Second Straight Day

ZAGREB, 28 Sept, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices went up on Tuesday, the Crobex by 0.43% to 1,987 points and the Crobex10 by 0.47% to 1,216 points, while regular turnover was HRK 11.5 million.

The most traded stock was the Podravka food company, turning over HRK 2.55 million. It closed at HRK 628 per share, up 1.95%.

Forty-one stocks traded today, with 19 going up in price and ten going down, while 12 were stable.

(€1 = HRK 7.491414)

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

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

North of Croatia Seeing Growing Number of Foreign Workers - Večernji List Daily

ZAGREB, 28 Sept, 2021 - A growing number of foreign workers are coming to work in the north of Croatia as local metal, manufacturing and construction companies have difficulty finding labour on the domestic market, Večernji List daily said on Tuesday.

Workers are coming from the Philippines, Ukraine, Nepal, India and elsewhere and there are already so many of them that there is a shortage of accommodation for them. They are staying in hotels, holiday apartments or rented accommodation, the newspaper said.

In the Međimurje region, more and more old and renovated houses in which no one has lived for years are being rented. A 200 square metre house is rented to four persons for HRK 3,200 (€425) a month, or HRK 800 (€105) per person.

"We have been well received. We don't go out much. After work, we go to our flat and watch television. Sometimes we go to the lake or to the nearest cafe for a cup of coffee," says a Ukrainian who has found a job in the catering industry. He shares the rent with a workmate, and earns twice as much as he would in Ukraine. He plans on going to Germany one day.

"There are almost no young workers available on the domestic market, notably in occupations such as bricklayers, carpenters or rebar workers. These occupations are dying out in this region," a CEO was quoted as saying.

The question of whether an inclusive centre should be opened has been raised in Varaždin County. The county's head, Anđelko Stričak, said that the local economy would have difficulty functioning without foreign labour and that the foreign nationals living and working in the region should be looked after.

Nearly 57,000 work and residence permits have been issued to foreign nationals in Croatia this year, the newspaper said.

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

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Rise For Second Day in Row

ZAGREB, 22 Sept, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices rose for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, the Crobex by 0.61% to 1,957 points, and the Crobex10 by 0.5% to 1,197 points, after dropping by more than 1% on Monday to their lowest levels since the end of July.

With regard to sectoral indices, the industrial index increased the most, by 3.07%, and only the food index saw a decline, of 0.11%.

Regular turnover was HRK 6.44 million, or about HRK 17 million less than on Monday.

The only stock to cross the million kuna turnover mark was Ericsson Nikola Tesla with a turnover of HRK 1.19 million. Its price went up by 1.19% to HRK 1,700 per share.

A total of 37 stocks traded today, with 19 of them registering price increases, 7 recording price decreases and 11 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.495943)

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

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Maraska Drink Factory Marks 200th Anniversary

ZAGREB, 22 Sept, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Tuesday visited Zadar's most famous company, the Maraska beverage producer, accompanied by its new owner, Bosnian entrepreneur Svjetlan Stanić.

The hosts informed the prime minister about the alcoholic beverage plant, where the extract of marasca cherry and walnut is stored in big barrels. Besides the Maraschino liqueur, Maraska is proud of the fact that it is one of the few companies producing the Orahovac liqueur in the old way, from green walnuts. 

"I'm pleased to see that a centuries-long tradition has been preserved and that production will continue in future. I'm confident that with the production of key brands, these traditional products will find their place on the domestic and foreign markets," Plenković said.

He congratulated the Stanić Group, which recently bought Maraska, on the 20th anniversary of the alcoholic and soft drink factory. "It's an excellent move for branding Zadar and Croatia, for contributing to investment from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Croatia and from Croatia in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, it seems, it's a great signal for new investment which will advance production."

"On behalf of the government, I welcome this investment in Zadar, which has had a great tourism season, which is quickly recovering after the COVID crisis," Plenković said.

Stanić Beverages, a company owned by the Stanić Group, signed a contract on the purchase of Maraska with Saponia and Koestlin, members of the Mepas Group. Stanić Beverages now owns 98.25% of Maraska shares, having bought 45.3% from Koestlin and 52.90% from Saponia. It will also make a binding public offering for the rest of the stock after the completion of the transaction with Saponia and Koestlin.

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

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Zagreb Stock Exchange Indices Rebound

ZAGREB, 21 Sept, 2021 - The main Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices rebounded on Tuesday, with the Crobex increasing by 0.31% to 1,945 points and the Crobex10 by 0.11% to 1,191 points.

Turnover at the close of the trading session was HRK 23.6 million, about 5.1 million higher than on Monday.

The highest turnover, of HRK 18.3 million, was generated by the Podravka food company, the most liquid stock in the last four days. Its price remained stable at HRK 600 per share.

No other stock passed the turnover mark of one million kuna.

A total of 36 stocks traded today, with 17 of them registering price increases, 8 recording price decreases and 11 remaining stable in price.

(€1 = HRK 7.500499)

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

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Span IT Company Raises HRK 101.2 Mn Through Public Offering, Shares Listed on Zagreb Stock Exchange

ZAGREB, 21 Sept, 2021 - The Croatian IT company - Span has sold 578,200 shares at a price of HRK 175 per share though a public offering , raising close to HRK 101.2 million, it was said in Zagreb on Tuesday, when the Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) and Span signed an agreement on the listing of Span's shares on the ZSE Official Market.

Span's shares were bought by more than 1,000 shareholders, and trading in them will start on 23 September.

Marked SPAN-R-A, all of the company's 1,960,000 shares were listed on the Official Market. Span is the first domestic IT company after Ericsson Nikola Tesla to have its shares listed on the ZSE.

Span CEO Nikola Dujmović said interest in the company's shares, both from qualified and small investors as well as Span employees, had been very high, with demand by far exceeding the offer. Bids could be submitted from 6 to 10 September.

Span had offered 578,200 shares or 29.5% of its stock capital, with the price ranging from HRK 160 to 175. Following registration, Span decided that the final price should be set at HRK 175 per share.

Qualified investors have acquired 55.9% of the 578,200 shares, followed by small investors, who acquired 35.6% of the offered shares.

Span employees bought 49,000 shares or 8.5%. They could each buy a maximum of 1,500 shares and small investors could buy a maximum of 19,600 shares. There was no limit for qualified investors, who bought the most shares.

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

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Volume of Construction Work Grows For 14th Straight Month Y-O-Y

ZAGREB, 21 Sept, 2021 - The volume of construction work in July 2021 was 6.5% higher than in July 2020, however it fell by 4.9% compared to June 2021, the State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) reported on Tuesday.

July was the 14th month in a row for the volume of construction work to increase on the year.

DZS data indicate that the volume of construction work done on buildings in July was 5.3% higher y-o-y whereas the volume of other structures increased by 8.1%.

Compared to June the volume of construction work contracted by 6.2% on buildings and by 3% on other structures.

In July, 61% of working hours on construction sites were conducted on new structures while 39% were for reconstruction, repairs and maintenance.

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

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

INA Considering HRK 2 bn Bond Issue

ZAGREB, 15 Sept, 2021 - The INA oil company said on Wednesday it was considering issuing bonds on the domestic capital market in the nominal amount of HRK 2 billion maximum, with one-off principal maturity after five years maximum.

The Board today decided to issue the bonds and list them on the Zagreb Stock Exchange.

The issuing and the listing will be done provided that all regulatory permits are obtained in line with regulations and subject to acceptable market conditions.

INA hired Erste & Steiermärkische Bank, Privredna Banka Zagreb and Raiffeisenbank Austria as the issue agent.

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