Serbia

Serbia has started discussions with the International Monetary Fund to receive financial assistance as the southeastern European country faces soaring borrowing costs on international bond markets, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. Officials in Belgrade are currently in talks to receive a so-called stand-by arrangement, a financial lifeline to help manage balance of payments imbalances for a short period, usually less than two years.
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Serbia’s second attempt to sell off the bankrupt Putnik Prijepolje tour company and its assets, including the Bosko Buha memorial complex in the south-western Serbian municipality of Prijepolje, was halted on Tuesday, with no reason given, BalkanInsight.com reported. The sale was scheduled for Friday but the Bankruptcy Supervision Agency, which is in charge of state-owned companies that have declared bankruptcy, said on Tuesday that it has decided to “cancel the sale of the real estate of the bankruptcy debtor… and to withdraw the announcement for the sale of its [property] units”.
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Serbia's Bankruptcy Supervision Agency said it is offering for sale the assets of insolvent gold refiner Majdanpek at an auction on October 5, SeeNews.com reported. The starting price is set at 129.8 million dinars ($1.3 million/1.1 million euro), the Bankruptcy Supervision Agency said in a notice on Tuesday. A deposit of 51.9 million dinars which should be paid by September 28 is required in order to participate in the auction. The list of assets put up for sale includes foundries, jewelry production facilities, a chemistry and metallurgy workshop, a warehouse and office premises.
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Serbia's Bankruptcy Supervision Agency said it is offering for sale insolvent confectionery producer Dunja at an auction on March 30, SeeNews.com reported. The starting price is set at 187.9 million dinars ($1.9 million/1.6 million euro), the Bankruptcy Supervision Agency said in a notice on Tuesday. A deposit of 75.2 million dinars which should be paid by March 23 is required in order to participate in the auction. Dunja owns the Simka chocolate factory in Vranje. The factory, which covers an area of 5,284 sq m, was established in 1997.
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Serbia's Bankruptcy Supervision Agency is inviting bids for the sale of assets of insolvent bus transport company ATP Vojvodina, it said, SEENews reported. The assets of ATP Vojvodina, with a combined estimated value of about 5.3 million euro ($6.4 million) will be offered for sale in three lots and interested investors will be able to place their bids until March 17, the Bankruptcy Supervision Agency said in a statement on Saturday. The list of assets put up for sale includes a bus station, buildings and a filling station in Novi Sad.

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Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that the government is in talks with potential investors for the sale of insolvent glassmaker Srpska Fabrika Stakla (SFS), SeeNews.com reported. "We are in talks with potential investors, they are conducting a due diligence, an analysis of the financial situation and the potential of the factory," Brnabic said as seen in a video file posted on the website of Tanjug news agency on Saturday.

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Slovenia’s largest food retailer Mercator refinanced a debt of its Serbian unit Mercator-S to the value of 90 million euros ($99.8 million) with Serbian bank AIK, Mercator said on Wednesday, Reuters reported. It did not give details of the deal but said the conditions of the refinancing were “much more favourable” than those of the previous syndicated loan which was taken in 2014 and would expire in March. It added the refinancing will improve liqudity of the Serbian unit over the next five years and enable further development of Mercator in Serbia.

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Serbia's Bankruptcy Supervision Agency said it is selling assets of insolvent wheat and animal feed wholesaler Mlinostep. The auction will take place on May 24 at a starting price of 170.9 million dinars ($1.6 million/1.4 million euro), the Bankruptcy Supervision Agency said in a statement on Monday. The list of assets put up for sale includes warehouses, silos and land in Stepanovicevo, in northern Serbia. A deposit of 68 million dinars is required to participate in the auction. Mlinostep was declared bankrupt in November 2016.

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Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic promised the IMF to restructure, close or sell hundreds of money-losing companies that robbed the budget of as much as $1 billion a year, Bloomberg News reported. The list includes coal miner JP PEU Resavica, the Rudarsko-topionicarski basen Bor copper miner, and chemical producers Azotara doo and Metanolsko Sircetni Kompleks MSK. After Serbia pared its fiscal gap to 1.4 percent of economic output last year from 6.6 percent in 2014, ending aid to companies would “cement gains,” Sosa said, though “vested interests” may make trims more difficult.
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Russia's top lender Sberbank has filed a lawsuit against mining company Mechel for 3.8 billion roubles ($77.74 million), the Moscow Arbitration Court reported on Tuesday. Russia's second largest state bank VTB also filed a lawsuit against the indebted steel and coal producer for 1.9 billion roubles ($38.87 million), the court reported in documents released on its website. Mechel, controlled by businessman Igor Zyuzin, incurred large debts before the economic downturn.
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