Economic growth 4.5 % in first half of 2018 to enable hike in salaries & pensions earlier than planned
With the 4.6 to 4.7 growth in the first quarter, the first half of 2018 recorded 4.5 percent in economic growth, Serbian PM Ana Brnabic said during the presentation of Lora technology in the telecommunications company Telecom Serbia. She added that her cabinet would inform the parliament in October or November about the decision to abolish the law on reducing the pensions as well as public sector’s salaries introduced in autumn 2014 and supposed to expire by the end of last year.
SORS: Retail trade turnover in June up 4.7% y/y
The retail trade turnover in the Republic of Serbia in June 2018 compared with June 2017, increased by 4.7 at current prices and by 1.3% at constant prices. Comparing the first six months of 2018 with the same period of 2017, the retail trade turnover increased by 5.2% at current prices and by 3.3% at constant prices.
SORS: Trade deficit in 6 months 2018 up 42.7% y/y
The overall external trade in the Republic of Serbia for the period January - June 2018 amounted to USD 22,476.8 million - which was an increase of 23.0% compared to the same period 2017. The value of exports amounted to USD 9725.1 million, which was 20.4% increase when compared to the same period last year, while the value of imports amounted to USD 12751.7 million, which was 25.0% increase relative to the same period last year. The deficit amounted to USD 3026.5 million, which was an increase of 42.7% in relation to the same period last year. The deficit expressed in Euros amounted to 2494.0 million, which was an increase of 27.2% compared to the same period last year.
Czech PPF Group completes acquisition of Telenor's companies in CEE region
The Czech investment group PPF has completed its acquisition of mobile operator Telenor’s telecommunications assets in Central and Eastern Europe, specifically in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Serbia. PPF Group has received all the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities and completed all other requisite processes. As a result, PPF Group now holds full control over Telenor’s operations in the aforementioned countries, the group says in its press release. The total purchase price of the assets was EUR 2.8 billion. PPF Group financed the transaction through a syndicated loan.
Dow and S&P 500 fall on trade worries, Nasdaq rises as Apple hits record, European bourses close lower, Rio Tinto down more than 3%
Stocks slipped on Wednesday as renewed trade concerns offset strong gains in tech. Investors also digested the Federal Reserve's latest decision on monetary policy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 81.37 points to 25,333.82 with big exporters Caterpillar and 3M lagging. The S&P 500 closed 0.1 percent lower at 2,813.36 as industrials dropped more than 1 percent. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3 percent as Apple climbed to a record high on strong quarterly results. Apple jumped more than 5 percent. Apple reported earnings and revenue for the previous quarter that topped analyst expectations.
The Federal Reserve concluded a two-day meeting on monetary policy on Wednesday in which it left interest rates unchanged. The decision was widely expected, but the central bank upgraded its view on the economy, calling it "strong."
European bourses closed lower on Wednesday as optimism over earnings failed to offset concerns over trade tensions. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally down 0.45 percent with the different sectors moving mostly lower. Automotive stocks led the losses, down 2.37 percent, and basic resources were among the worst performers, off by 1.61 percent, after reports that the Trump administration could slap a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of imported Chinese goods.
Looking across the benchmark, Telenet Group rose 6.61 percent, after proposing a gross dividend of about 5.2 euros per share. Air France-KLM also jumped 4.17 percent after posting results above expectations despite several workers' strikes during the quarter.
French bank BNP Paribas published a 53 percent increase in net income in its second-quarter earnings report from the previous quarter. Shares were marginally lower. Rio Tinto reported a rise in first-half profit for 2018 of 12 percent year-on-year, and announced an additional share buyback and dividend hike. The stock nonetheless was off by 3.39 percent.