TGAS: Messer BH Gas to invest EUR 5 million in 2019
Messer BH Gas, a producer of industrial gases, will invest another BAM 10 million (EUR 5 million) in B&H in 2019, Valentin Ilievski, the company’s director general, told eKapija. They didn’t want to specify the details of this investment. In early December, the group decided to invest an additional BAM 10 million in the production in B&H in 2019, whereby we are sending the message that we intend to stay here for another 30 plus years – Ilievski said. Messer BH Gas was recently recognized by FIPA as one of the 12 most important investments in B&H in 2018. As Ilievski announced, all the plans were accomplished in 2018, primarily pertaining to the expansion of production capacities and investments in human resources and infrastructure. We have realized the annual plan in all three Messer companies in B&H. Compared to last year, the sales increased by 17%, whereas the EBITDA increased by 21%. In the region, we have realized a double-digit increase in the sales and the profit compared to 2017.
Russians interested in Petrohemija – Tendering for privatization to start in February
Russian giants are not giving up on Petrohemija and are the most likely partners of this complex in Pancevo, Serbia, as reported by Novosti. The daily writes that several Russian companies are interested in buying this Pancevo-based company, and the tendering procedure for the privatization will start in February 2019. This purchase is a part of the economic package that Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, is bringing to Serbia in mid-January – Novosti learns unofficially. Last year, Petrohemija had the largest net profit in Serbia. After the write-off of 47.7% of its debt and the conversion of a part of its liabilities into company shares, the profit in 2017 reached the amount of RSD 40.4 billion. As Novosti’s unnamed source says, the Russians are very interested in cooperating with Petrohemija.
Processing industry grows – Serbian rubber sector records surplus
The industrial production within the processing industry in 2.8% higher than in the first eight months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. A growth of 2.1% in the production of rubber and plastic products was recorded in this period. In the first eight months of 2018, EUR 937 million worth of rubber and plastic products were exported from Serbia, and the total imports amounted to EUR 551 million, making this sector one of the rare ones to realize a foreign trade surplus (EUR 386 million). Observing the plastic sector alone, the imports were worth EUR 795.3 million and the exports stood at EUR 542.9 million. The biggest foreign trade was realized with the countries Serbia has signed free trade agreements with. EU member states account for 64.3% of the total trade and the CEFTA countries are the second most important partner..
Serbia's GDP growth quickens to 4.4% in 2018
Serbia's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a real 4.4% year-on-year in 2018, compared with an increase of 2.0% last year, the country's statistical office said on Friday, quoting preliminary estimates. Gross fixed capital formation marked growth of 9.1%, industrial production expanded 2.0%, and agricultural production rose 16.3% in 2018, the statistical office said in a statement. The value of construction works increased 10.9%, retail trade turnover went up 4.5%, while exports increased by 9.0%. Net wages grew by 5.9% in nominal terms and by 3.8% in real terms in 2018, whereas the annual inflation rate is estimated at 2.1%, the statistical office added. Last month, Serbia's central bank, NBS, raised its economic growth forecast for 2018 to 4.2% from 4.0% predicted in August on the back of a faster-than-expected rise in investments.
Stocks continue wild trading in new year as Dow rebounds from near 400-point slide, European stocks close mixed amid global growth concerns, basic resources down 1.8%
U.S. stocks posted slight gains on Wednesday after a volatile session kicked off 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 18.78 points higher at 23,346.24 after dropping nearly 400 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 gained 0.1 percent to close at 2,510.03 while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.46 percent. Stocks initially fell on Wednesday after a private sector survey showed manufacturing activity in the world's second-largest economy contracted for the first time in 19 months.
Stocks also fell after The New York Times reported that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has told friends and associates he wants to prevent President Donald Trump from accepting "empty promises" from China on the trade front.
European shares largely closed in the red on Wednesday after weak manufacturing data fueled concerns about a global economic slowdown. The Stoxx 600 was down 0.13 percent at the end of the first trading session of 2019, despite the DAX and the FTSE closing in the green. The CAC, however, ended the session 0.9 percent lower. Most sectors were in the red at the end of the session, with basic resources shedding the most value and closing down 1.8 percent.
In other news, euro zone data also disappointed, with IHS Markit's December final manufacturing PMI reading coming in at 51.4, down from 51.8 in the previous month and the lowest reading since February 2016. However, manufacturing output PMI came in at 51, higher than November's 50.7.
In corporate news, Deutsche Telekom has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the German government over a 5G auction. German newspaper Die Welt reported Tuesday that the telecommunications giant's lawsuit contested a set of preconditions for participating in the auction, which would require bidders to invest to expand the country's mobile network and potentially allow new entrants to use their infrastructure.