KMBN: RBI eyes Serbia's Komercijalna banka
Serbia's Komercijalna banka is on Raiffeisen Bank International's (RBI) radar as a potential acquisition target, the RBI announced at a Vienna press conference on Wednesday. A consolidation of the banking sector is currently underway in several central and eastern European countries and the RBI wants to take part in it, said RBI CEO Johann Strobl, adding that the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Serbia were of particular interest in this regard. The RBI is seeking growth through acquisitions of portfolios or smaller banks if the prices and the environments are right, Strobl said. The RBI management said it was following public and semi-public discussions about a privatisation of Komercijalna banka, APA reported.
Agreement with Eurasian Economic Commission defined
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of Serbia Rasim Ljajic and Minister of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission Veronika Nikishina defined the final version of the free trade agreement between Serbia and the EEC on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Moscow. With this round of talks between Ljajic and Nikishina, all the issues in the negotiations which started in 2016 have been settled.
Construction of Preljina-Pozega highway section to begin in spring
The construction of the highway section between Preljina and Pozega will begin in spring, announced the Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic. The Preljina-Pozega section is 30.96 kilometers long, the works will be carried out by China Communications Construction LTD, and the contracted value of the works amounts to EUR 450 million. The section from Kragujevac to Batocina is five kilometers long, and the beginning of the works is planned for late March.
S&P 500 rises for a third day in a row, hits new high for 2019, Europe stocks close higher ahead of Brexit no-deal vote, Adidas shares sink 3%
Stocks rose on Wednesday boosted by tech shares as investors cheered solid economic data. The S&P 500 climbed back to a new high for the year. The benchmark rose for a third-straight day, gaining 0.7 percent to close back above 2,800, a key level watched by investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 148.23 points higher at 25,702.89. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7 percent to close at 7,643.41. The S&P 500 tech sector rose 0.7 percent, led by a 3.8 percent gain in Nvidia. Chipmakers rose broadly, with the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) advancing 0.4 percent.
Equities also got a boost Wednesday after the Commerce Department said nondefense durable goods orders posted their largest increase in six months in January, rising 0.8 percent. Overall durable goods orders also rose 0.4 percent while economists polled by Refinitiv expected a decline of 0.5 percent.
Meanwhile, U.S. construction spending posted its biggest increase in nine months, rising 1.3 percent in January. The leap was driven by a surge in public-project investments.
J.P. Morgan Chase closed 0.3 percent after CNBC learned the bank was expanding into several new markets, including some that are dominated by Bank of America. Other bank shares also rose, with Citigroup and Bank of America advancing more than 1 percent each.
Boeing shares initially lifted the broader market, rising more than 1 percent, but later gave back most of that gain after the U.S. and Canada announced they would ban flights from the company’s beleaguered 737 MAX jets.
European markets closed higher on Wednesday as investors digested new data, more earnings and developments in the U.K.’s departure from the EU. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 0.5 percent provisionally with most major bourses and sectors in positive territory. The oil and gas sector closed 1.5 percent higher, with heavyweights like Shell and BP boosting benchmarks, as oil prices rose on ongoing supply cuts from producer group OPEC and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.
Adidas shares slipped 3 percent after it said it expected supply chain issues to constrain U.S. growth in the first half of 2019.
E.ON shares fell 2 percent after it forecast on Wednesday largely stable operating earnings for 2019, adding that it expected rising profits at its networks and renewables units to offset a decline in retail, according to Reuters.