Croatia privatises Brodotrogir shipyard


Kermas Energija will invest at least 270 million euros in the venture. Also in business news: Turkey has a new 5 lira note and Macedonia draws foreign investment.

The Brodotrogir Shipyard was sold last week. []

The Croatian government privatised the Brodotrogir shipyard in the central coastal town of Trogir. The ailing enterprise was sold to local company Kermas Energija, which acquired a stake of more than 95 percent in it for the symbolic price of 1 kuna (0.30 euros). The new owner must invest 270 million euros in restructuring the shipyard.


The Cypriot Central Bank said that its decision on the final tax on individual local bank savings worth more than 100,000 euros will be made in September. The tax will be imposed as part of the island's commitments in return for a 10 billion-euro bailout package from the EU and IMF.


The National Bank of Greece and Eurobank said their merger plans have been "suspended" as they have to first raise money in a nationwide programme aimed to boost the local financial system. The announcement caused a 30 percent plunge in the two banks' stocks in the early trade amid fears they might be nationalised.


The Fiat plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, has started exporting its 500L model to the UK, the company said. Exports began in March. Preparations are also under way for the launch of the 500L on the US market, scheduled for late June or early July.


Turkey put a new 5 Turkish lira banknote into circulation. The difference between the new and the old bill is the main colour, which has been changed from brown to purple.


The Greek parliament approved legislation aimed to boost private investment. The law envisions cutting red tape and making more projects eligible for fast licensing. A one-stop-shop agency for investors will also be set up.


Six foreign companies will invest in Macedonia, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski told a press conference. Three of the companies are Turkish and are expected to invest a total of 50 million euros, opening 700 new jobs. The other three are expected to make their decisions public in end-April or early May, Gruevski added.


The government of Republika Srpska instructed the local tax authority to launch bankruptcy procedure at the loss-making Birac alumina plant, the only one in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The decision came following a police investigation into alleged tax evasion and irregular spending at the facility.


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US-based company Exxon Mobil and OMV Petrom confirmed they have made a huge gas discovery offshore Romania in the Black Sea, enough to satisfy nearly half of Romania's annual consumption. The Neptun Block is estimated to hold nearly 6.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas, while annual consumption in Romania is around 14 billion cubic metres. The two companies also announced plans to invest around $1 billion in their exploration programme.


For the first time in more than 45 years, Greece registered a drop in consumer prices in March, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority. The consumer price index dropped 0.2 percent on an annual basis after it grew by 0.1 percent in February. The last time with negative growth of the indicator was in May 1968.

(Various sources 03/04/13-10/04/13)

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