Belgrade riverfront to see large investment project


Eagle Hills is investing up to 4 billion euros to develop property on the Sava River. In other business news: Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova signed free-trade pacts with the EU.

A UAE company is planning a major development project for the Serbian capital. [Nikola Barbutov/SETimes]

United Arab Emirates-based company Eagle Hills will invest up to 4 billion euros in Serbia to build a business, residential and commercial area along the riverfront of Belgrade, transforming a run-down area along the Sava River. The project is expected to begin in 2015.


The former Hellinikon airport in the Greek capital of Athens will be turned into a world-class resort, a consortium of companies that won a 99-year lease of the facility in March announced. The companies promised to invest 5.9 billion euros over the next 15 years to build parks, leisure, exhibition and concert facilities, hotels and luxury residencies at the site.


Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova signed free-trade pacts with the EU to lower trade barriers and boost economic reform. The agreements will become effective when ratified by every national parliament in the EU. The ratification process is expected to be completed by this autumn.


The European Commission adopted a proposal to extend the autonomous trade preferences for countries and territories participating in the EU's Stabilisation and Association process by five more years until 2020. Agreements have been signed with all western Balkan countries except Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo.


Citizens of Romania work the most among all EU citizens, spending 2,099 hours a year at their jobs, according to a survey carried out by the Paris-based Coe-Rexecode research institute. Greeks are second with 2,010 hours. Croatia and Bulgaria share the fourth position in the ranking based on full-time employees in 2013.


Albania and Czech power producer CEZ AS settled a dispute over the revocation of the company's distribution license in the country last year. Albania agreed to pay 100 million euros to CEZ by 2018, which roughly equals CEZ's initial investment. The deal must be approved by the government in Tirana and ratified by the parliament.


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced it is extending up to 500 million euros for lending to partners in the western Balkans and Croatia. The funds will be used to meet potential demand for additional financing resulting from the recent floods in BiH, Croatia and Serbia.


Dalmatian, Croatia's first low-cost airline, announced that it was halting operations even before it made its first flight. One of its investors left the company. The announcement came only 10 days after the airline began selling tickets for flights from Zagreb to 11 destinations, mostly unserved from the Croatian capital. All clients who had purchased tickets will be fully refunded, a spokesman said.


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Businessmen from Bulgaria and Turkey met at a forum in Istanbul to discuss opportunities to extend co-operation in the economy, investment and trade. They also looked into possibilities to simplify customs and other administrative procedures and give momentum to female entrepreneurship and wine production.


Turkey's central bank lowered its benchmark interest rate for the second month in a row from 9.5 percent to 8.75 percent. The bank cited improving global liquidity conditions as a reason behind its move.

(Various sources -- 26/06/14-02/07/14)

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