Talks with IMF begin – Serbia's public finances stable, fiscal discipline needs to be maintained
Serbian Minister of Finance Sinisa Mali and the head of the delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), James Roaf, agreed yesterday in Belgrade that Serbia's public finances were stable at the moment, but that it was also necessary for the fiscal discipline to be maintained, for the reduction of the public debt to continue and for the system's institutions to strengthen. This February, Serbia ended the three-year precautionary arrangement with the IMF worth around EUR 1.2 billion, without using the money.
KMBN: Belgrade to become EBRD seat for Western Balkans – privatization of Komercijalna is discussed with the state
The vice president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Alain Pilloux, said in conversation with Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic that Belgrade would be the regional seat of the EBRD for all the six countries of the Western Balkans. When asked whether Komercijalna Banka will be privatized, considering that the EBRD has a stake in it, he said that the matter was being discussed at the moment with the Government of Serbia. The talks between us and the Serbian authorities are in progress, so as to ensure the stability of the banking sector in Serbia. I am sorry that I can't provide you with more details – Pilloux said. The Government of Serbia, as announced earlier, has discussed the potential sale of Komercijalna Banka, in which the state owns a 41.74% stake, with its co-owners the EBRD (24.4%) and the International Financial Corporation – IFC (10%).
Fewer than 600,000 unemployed in Serbia
The director of the National Employment Service, Zoran Martinovic, said that the unemployment had dropped to below 600,000. At the moment, 594,100 people are registered. The labor market needs cooks, welders, qualified caretakers of the elderly, medical nurses.
Value of Agrokor's companies three times lower than debts – Frikom worth EUR 164.7 million, Dijamant 87 million
The value of the companies within the Agrokor concern system is three times lower than the debts, as around 140 companies have been evaluated at around HRK 18.5 billion (EUR 2.5 billion), whereas the debt amounts to HRK 57 billion (EUR 7.7 billion), Tanjug reports. The extraordinary management of Agrokor encompassed over 140 companies with its final evaluation of all the companies within the concern, and the value of the two Serbian companies owned by Agrokor, Frikom and Dijamant, has been estimated at EUR 164.7 million and EUR 87 million, the Croatian portal 24 Casa reports.
US stocks close slightly higher after turbulent G-7 meeting, European markets close higher ahead of Trump-Kim summit, Italian banks rise
U.S. stocks closed slightly higher Monday as investors shrugged off concerns over a tumultuous G-7 meeting over the weekend at which President Donald Trump lashed out at U.S. allies. The Dow Jones industrial average finished 5.78 points higher at 25,322.31, with gains in UnitedHealth, Home Depot, and Boeing offsetting losses in McDonald's and 3M. The S&P 500 rose 0.11 percent to close at 2,782 as a rise in telecommunications and consumer staples led the 11 sectors higher. The Nasdaq composite finished up 0.19 percent at 7,659.93 amid a 1.29 percent rise in shares of Facebook and a 0.72 percent gain in Google-parent Alphabet.
Investors were also looking ahead to a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, due to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues are expected to announce a quarter-point increase in interest rates as it seeks to normalize monetary policy with the economy showing signs of health.
European equities closed higher Monday afternoon ahead of a historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 closed up 0.8 percent provisionally with almost all sectors in positive territory.
Banking stocks led the way among Europe's business sectors more broadly, closing 1.9 percent in the black as traders expect further monetary tightening from central banks this week. The Federal Reserve is due to announce its latest rate decision Wednesday and the European Central Bank is scheduled to start preparing the end of monetary stimulus Thursday.
Meanwhile, automakers were the only sector to close negatively, down 0.3 percent. Daimler closed 0.9 percent lower, trimming losses made earlier in the session. This followed a German newspaper report which said that up to 1 million vehicles contain an emissions cheating device.