Monday, 14 September 2020

Croatian Weapons Factory Owners Take All Karlovac Bank Shares

As Tomislav Pili/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of September, 2020, well-known Karlovac entrepreneurs Marko Vukovic and Ivan Zabcic have officially taken over all shares of Karlovac bank, and financial experts believe that their motive is probably down to local patriotism and the desire to diversify their business portfolio, given the marginal profitability of small banks in the Croatian banking system. Vukovic and Zabcic are better known to the public as the owners of the weapons manufacturer HS Produkt, and the duo now hold a majority stake of 75 percent at Karlovac bank.

They acquired the Karlovac bank shares during the recapitalisation of the bank back in 2014, when, as stated in the offer, they invested a total of 112.7 million kuna, and an additional 20 million kuna back in 2016. At a session on Thursday, the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (Hanfa) approved a voluntary takeover bid, which the duo announced on Friday. Their offer relates to more than 1.3 million ordinary shares marked A, almost 3 million ordinary shares marked B and 7128 preferred shares. Vukovic and Zabcic offer 6.51 kuna for each ordinary share, and 65.10 kuna for each preferred share. An unofficial calculation shows that they prepared a total of just over 28 million kuna for the purchase of these Karlovac bank shares.

On Friday, the shares were the biggest loser on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, and they sank almost 9 percent to 6.60 kuna on a solid turnover of 213,000 kuna. This is also the highest turnover on that section since the end of July 2015. In the offer, Vukovic and Zabcic point out that they don't expect their offer to significantly affect the bank's future operations, as they intend to support the preservation of existing stability and encourage the continuation of Karlovac bank's long-term strategy towards developing a stable, innovative and modern credit institution.

They also announced that the organisational structure of the bank, its employment policy and the employment status of employees, as well as the places where the bank performs its activities will not change. They don't intend to change the existing composition of the bank's management board either. Vukovic and Zabcic also stated that after the completion of the takeover procedure, they intend to initiate the convening of the bank's general assembly at which they would propose a decision on a withdrawal of its listing on the Zagreb Stock Exchange. Since the offer is ongoing, the law prohibits Vukovic and Zabcic from making public comments, including about their motives for taking over a small, local bank.

In an informal conversation, the financiers point out that the desire to own a bank in the area where they live and work and to diversify the business they deal with is a probable motive for this investment. Namely, Karlovac bank's balance sheet doesn't allow for a strong growth of lending that would bring higher interest income at the moment, experts say. Last year, the bank made a profit of 20.9 million kuna, which was almost entirely used to cover losses from previous years. Vjeko Peretic, the owner of Pro Group pointed out that small banks are struggling to remain competitive with large ones, so the opportunity lies in the development of certain segments of banking business such as the more flexible servicing of financial needs of local communities or niches of certain industries.

"All small banks have had a problem maintaining a high level of capital adequacy and other regulatory frameworks for years, so merging with another bank is usually the best way out in the long run, assuming that the portfolio of the former is interesting to someone at all. Here on our market in today's circumstances, the operations of small banks are marginally financially profitable, almost without exception,'' concluded Peretic.

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Friday, 10 April 2020

Croatian Company HS Produkt Donates Respirators to Karlovac Hospital

Hospitals in the large cities of Zagreb and Split are receiving generous donations, and Karlovac Hospital has now received a second donation, following the recent one from Heineken Hrvatska.

As the coronavirus crisis continues to bite, many good deeds are being done by companies coming out of the woodwork and stepping forward to do their bit in Croatia's (so far excellent) fight against the spread of the pandemic.

From INA and Heineken Hrvatska to Erste bank, Erste card club and Privredna banka Zagreb, many companies are making generous donations to Croatian hospitals and other health care institutions engaged in the battle with the spread of COVID-19. In this unprecedented situation in which we all now find ourselves, donations from thousands to millions of kuna are more than welcome, as are donations of necessary life saving equipment.

As Novac writes on the 9th of April, 2020, owing to the praiseworthy decision of its owners Ivan Zabcic and Marko Vukovic, the Karlovac company HS Produkt has donated two complete respirators and two monitors for the close observations of the vital functions of hospital patients, as well as a certain amount of protective masks, to help health care professionals working in Karlovac Hospital protect themselves against contracting coronavirus.

According to the local Karlovac-based portal KAportal, in this way, HS Produkt wants to help the City of Karlovac and the wider area of Karlovac County in protecting the health of all of its citizens, that is, to strengthen the capacity of hospitals for the proper care of those who need to be admitted to hospital, as well as for other patients being treated at Karlovac Hospital who are at high risk for contracting the coronavirus infection.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for all updates, information and all you need to know about coronavirus in Croatia.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

New Croatian Pistol Attracts Nothing But Praise from US Market

A Croatian pistol from a well known firearms company has attracted nothing but praise from across the Atlantic on the American market, placing yet another Croatian product in high esteem on foreign/distant markets.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of October, 2019, the Croatian firearms company HS Produkt has premiered a brand new Hellcat pistol today, marketed under the Springfield Armory brand on the American market, which is currently the best concealed carry, personal safety and self-defense pistol, according to bot its constructors and its end users.

The Hellcat pistol is a product of two long years of painstaking development alongside some top engineers, shooters and self-defense experts. With smaller dimensions and stunning tank capacity, the gun has already conquered the American market, which has nothing but words of absolute praise for weapons of Croatian origin, for their ergonomics and for their enviable precision.

This is a pistol from the segment of 9 mm microcompact pistols that has emerged as fierce competition on the dominant SIG Sauer P365 pistol market. The Hellcat is currently available in two configurations; standard and OSP (Optic Sight Pistol), which provides for the installation of optical devices, this also applies to the previous model XD used and liked by American police and federal agencies.

What separates the Croatian-made Hellcat from other pistols on the market is its tank, because its standard capacity is 11 plus 1 ammo, making it unique in the world (the P365 has a capacity of 10 plus 1), and there is an extended version with 13 plus 1 ammunition of 9 millimeters, according to a report from tportal.

With its small, comfortable size and advanced features, the already popular Croatian Hellcat offers strong durability and a special-purpose forged steel pipe.

The gun frame is lightweight and strong with a seamless texture. According to the users of the pistol, the weapon is very comfortable to carry and ergonomically tailored for maximum control, with maximum flexibility as needed.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more on Croatian products and services.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

HS Produkt Arms Manufacturer Wins Two Golden Balance Awards

ZAGREB, June 11, 2019 - The Karlovac-based HS Produkt arms manufacturer was given two Financial Agency (FINA) Golden Balance awards on Tuesday - for the most financially successful business and for the most successful manufacturer of 2018.

Of the 131,118 businesses which submitted financial statements, FINA shortlisted 3,930 - 208 micro-enterprises, 2,527 small enterprise, 978 medium-sized enterprises and 217 big companies.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Economy Minister Darko Horvat recalled that the economy grew 2.6% last year, and said the first quarter of 2019, when GDP rose 3.9% on the year, had opened "a new perspective" and that Q2 "will be similar."

"If we succeed and persist with the National Reform Plan, if we absorb the entire 10.7 billion euro allocated from the EU's structural funds, we will end with 5% growth in 2020," Horvat said.

He said the Economy Ministry and FINA cooperated on several projects, including a law that would make it possible to exchange e-invoices through the existing infrastructure as of next year. "We will be able to monitor businesses on a monthly basis and discover early on which ones are in trouble so as to avoid omissions which cost us 4.5 billion kuna in state budget funds this year and last."

Speaking of the Croatian Employers' Association's Score, Horvat said it interpreted the facts pertaining to 2018 with a different methodology.

We in the government are patient and waiting for the 2019 Score because there will be no enforced guarantees for the shipyards and budget funds won't be spent on unpromising industries, he added.

Economic analyst Velimir Šonje presented the business results of Croatian enterprises in 2018.

Last year 131,000 enterprises submitted financial statements, as against 120,000 in 2017. The number of employees increased 5.2% to 940,000 and two-thirds of the increase was generated by micro-enterprises.

Croatian enterprises' revenues in 2018 went up 8.6% to HRK 751.2 billion and the fastest growth was again recorded by micro-enterprises, whose revenues jumped 29% to HRK 102.1 billion.

Šonje said the number and share of big companies in Croatia's corporate pyramid remained unchanged, dominated by energy companies and retail chains.

Micro-businesses continue to growth fast, creating the highest number of jobs, and keeping this pace is important for preserving the development process and the structural changes that will happen in the long term, after years of growth, he added.

More news about Croatian economy can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Croatia Is Third Largest Exporter of Firearms to the United States

The largest exporter is HS Produkt from Karlovac.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A 300 Million Euro Contract for the French Army Needs State Help

Croatian HS Produkt company expects the aid of the PM