Serbia has replaced part of expensive dollar debt
A delegation of the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) and the Ministry of Finance has completed "in the most successful way the negotiations ongoing for several days with international investors," NBS Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic said. "Namely, Serbia has managed to replace a portion of expensive dollar debt with much cheaper funding in euros, and has thus achieved a historic success”, Tabakovic said, highlighting that this success "best reflects the results of the measures that the President, the NBS and the Serbian Government have achieved over the past years in terms of the positive transformation of the Serbian economy," the NBS said in a statement.
Serbia taken off FATF ‘blacklist’
Serbia is no longer on the so-called blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the media have reported on Friday, after spending over a year on it as an assessed risk to the international financial system. The move by the FATF Assembly would help Belgrade in the process of opening new chapters in the accession negotiations with the European Union, the Finance Ministry said. Serbia appeared on the list first time in February 2018 after an assessment it showed deficiencies in preventing money laundering and financing terrorism.
Serbian banks report higher profits
Banks in Serbia reported profits of 70.5 billion Dinars in 2018 or 11 percent more than a year earlier but they also reported a three percent drop in credit activities, a Serbian economic magazine reported on Thursday. The Banca Intesa held onto its leading market position with protifs of 12.6 billion Dinars. It is followed by the UniCredit Bank with profits of 9.2 billion Dinars with Societe Generale ranking third with 8.2 billion. The Komercijalna Bank ranked fourth with profits of 8.1 billion Dinars and the Raiffeisen Bank was fifth with 6.6 billion Dinars.
S&P 500 slips from record to close out big week for Wall Street; European markets close lower amid escalating US-Iran tensions; IQE shares tumble 25%
The S&P 500 fell slightly on Friday after reaching a fresh record high earlier in the day as Wall Street concluded a strong week of gains. The broad index ended the day down 0.1% at 2,950.46 after hitting an intraday all-time high of 2,964.15. The S&P 500 posted a record close in the previous session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 34.04 points lower at 26,719.13 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.2% to end the day at 8,031.71.
Commerce Department barred five additional Chinese companies from buying U.S. components without approval.
Chip stocks fell on the department’s decision. Micron Technology shares closed 2.6% lower while Advanced Micro Devices lost 3%. Xilinx shares also dropped more than 2%.
European stocks took a downward turn on Friday afternoon, amid intensifying fears of a military confrontation in the Middle East. Despite making gains on Friday morning, the pan-European Stoxx 600 traded lower during afternoon deals and ended the session in the red. Most sectors and major bourses were in negative territory.
London-listed IQE warned on Friday that revenue would be weaker-than-anticipated for the 2019 financial year. The company, which makes semiconductor wafers for chips used in Apple products among others, issued the revenue warning as U.S. restrictions on Huawei caused more order delays and several of its chip customers slashed forecasts.
Shares of IQE tumbled almost 25% on the news, prompting other European semiconductor stocks to slide. AMS and Infineon were both trading lower at the closing bell.