Serbia

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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Serbia and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation agreed a programme on Monday to improve bankruptcy legislation and out of court settlements, in order to bring down the high level of non-performing loans, Reuters reported. Bad loans account for 23 percent of all lending in Serbia, a European Union candidate country where foreign banks control 75 percent of the market. So far, four Serbian banks have collapsed under the weight of bad loans, at a cost of 800 million euros to the state.
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Serbia will not ask the International Monetary Fund to let it continue protecting indebted state-operated firms from creditors, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday, reversing government policy, Reuters reported. An IMF mission this week started its review of Serbia's 1.2 billion euro ($1.36 billion), three-year precautionary loan deal, which, amongst other things, envisions the state selling or reforming a number of unprofitable and indebted companies.
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Growing desperation and technical changes to entry rules on Serbia’s border prompted tens of thousands of Kosovars to try to leave the former Serb province in late 2014, the Financial Times reported. Even as tighter controls have curbed the outflow from one of the continent’s poorest countries, the worsening economic situation that forced them to leave remains. Despite 15 years of western tutelage and billions of dollars in investment, many want to leave a country dominated by a small elite with close links to organised crime.
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