Serbia considers law to speed up privatisation


The proposed law, which would be supported by a loan from the World Bank, is being considered by Parliament. In other business news: optimism grows for the economy's future in southeast Europe.

The Simpo company in Vranje operates at a loss and could be impacted by a proposed privatisation law being considered by Parliament. [Nikola Barbutov/SETimes]

Serbia's government adopted a privatisation bill and changes to the local bankruptcy law in an effort to speed up the privatisation of loss-making state-controlled companies. The legislation, which is yet to be passed in parliament, is part of conditions for the release of a $250 million budget support loan from the World Bank.


A high-speed train link between Istanbul and Ankara was launched in Turkey. The $4.1 billion project, which has reduced travel time between the two cities to three-and-a-half hours, has a capacity of 409 passengers.


For the first time in seven years, more Europeans feel optimistic than pessimistic about the continents economy in the next 12 months, a recent Eurobarometer survey shows. People in Romania expressed the greatest optimism, while those in Greece are the most pessimistic.


Cyprus' bailout programme is making good progress, the island's international creditors said in the end of their fifth bailout review. At the same time authorities should take measures to deal with the high number of bad loans, the EC, ECB and IMF said in a statement.


The economy of Greece is expected to register a growth of 0.7 percent this year after six years of recession, the IOBE research institute predicted. However, the unemployment rate will probably drop less than hoped -- to 26.7 percent instead of the forecast of 26 percent.


Croatia will organise a tender for the privatisation of the Port of Vukovar, the country's biggest river port. The nominal value of the state-owned facility is estimated at 5 million euros.


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Nearly 20 companies submitted non-binding expressions of interest to buy Cyprus Airways, Cyprus' state-owned airline that the government wants to privatise. Greece's Aegean Airlines and Romanian low-cost carrier Blue Air were among the interested companies.


Romania will receive 7.2 billion euros from the EU for building and modernising its road and rail infrastructure by 2020, Transport Minister Ioan Rus said. By 2015 the country will get 1.2 billion euros, the minister added.

(Various sources – 24/07/14-30-07/14 )

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