NBS: Annual inflation in 2018 at 2%
According to the Serbian Statistical Office, consumer prices gained 0.1% in December. Low monthly inflation reflects lower prices of petroleum products and fresh fruit. The greatest contribution to inflation came from rising prices of fresh vegetables and meat. In 2018, y-o-y inflation continued to move at a low and stable level, equalling 2.0% in December, its average level for entire 2018. Subdued inflationary pressures, prevailing during the year, were also confirmed by stable core inflation (CPI excluding the prices of food, energy, alcohol and cigarettes) which stood at 1.0% y-o-y in December. Under the NBS central projection, y-o-y inflation will continue to move within the target tolerance band of 3.0% ± 1.5 pp, reflecting primarily a gradual rise in aggregate demand.
Budget surplus in 2018 at RSD 32.2 billion
Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali says that the budget surplus in 2018 amounts to RSD 32.2 billion. At the end of the year, he adds, the GDP growth rate was 4.4%. The budget surplus at the end of the year amounts to RSD 32.2 billion. That is more than 60 billion above what we planned – Mali said. He said on TV Pink that the unemployment had been reduced from 25% to around 11% and that the aim was to reduce it to below 10% with the opening of new factories. The public debt made up 50.1% of the GDP.
Energoprojekt Garant officially merged with Sava Nezivotno Osiguranje
At its XXVII extraordinary session, the GM of Sava Nezivotno Osiguranje a.d.o. Beograd reached the decision on the change of the company’s status, under which the status change is in effect as of December 31, 2018. Based on this decision, Energoprojekt Garant a.d.o. has merged with Sava Nezivotno Osiguranje a.d.o. Beograd. Energoprojekt Garant a.d.o. no longer exists as of this date and is deleted from the register of business entities. On the same date, Sava Nezivotno Osiguranje, as a legal successor, took over the entire portfolio of Energoprojekt Garant, all the rights and obligations thereof and all other rights and obligations, the entire property, all claims and the entire capital of Energoprojekt Garant.
Energy security to top Putin's agenda in Serbia"
Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Serbia this week is extremely important and energy security will be at the top of the agenda, Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antic said this on Friday, Tanjug reported, quoting his statement for RTS. Antic said coordination of several agreements - mostly concerning the gas economy - was in the final stage. "We are expecting a final step forward concerning an expansion of the Banatski Dvor underground storage facility and we are also expecting other agreements in the area of the gas economy. Above all I am referring to joint work on considering the possibility of building gas power stations in Serbia as well as some additional possibilities of alternative gasification with LPG and use of gas for transport," Antic said. Discussions about other energy projects and matters such as further modernization and rehabilitation of the Djerdap 2 hydropower plant are also underway, he said.
Stocks rise more than 2% for the week, Europe shares close mixed with Brexit and the Fed in focus, Taylor Wimpey up 4.8%
Stocks posted solid weekly gains, but an ongoing U.S. government shutdown and worries about an economic slowdown in China pushed shares marginally lower on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both rose more than 2 percent this week while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 3.45 percent. Amazon and Facebook both rose more than 4 percent this week, while Netflix surged 13.45 percent as investors put money into the beaten-down names from December. The Dow and S&P 500 also posted their first three-week winning streak since August. Concerns over a possible slowdown in China weighed on equities Friday.
Stocks in Europe saw little change on Friday, as investors tried to navigate through political uncertainty across the globe. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was basically flat at the end of the session, with sectors and bourses pointing in different directions.
Autos were the worst performing sector, as former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn was indicted on two new charges of financial misconduct. Shares of Renault, which Ghosn still heads, fell 2.2 percent as Reuters reported that Nissan was expanding its probe to include dealings that took place in the U.S., India, and Latin America.
Elsewhere in the sector, Volkswagen said on Friday that its deliveries rose 0.9 percent to a record 10.83 million last year, putting it neck-and-neck with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi in the race to be the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturer.