KMBN: Serbia buys Komercijalna banka shares for 43.7 mln euros
Serbia on Wednesday purchased 6.8 pct of Komercijalna banka shares from the DEG and the SVED funds for 5.1 bln dinars (43.7 mln euros), the Serbian Ministry of Finance confirmed to Tanjug. It said the Serbian government had purchased a total 1,159,000 shares from the German and the Swedish funds at a price of 4,447 dinars per share. DEG accounted for 4.5 pct of the total 6.8 pct held by the two funds. In a call for letters of interest to buy Komercijalna banka, the government has announced it would purchase shares owned by four major shareholders, which, besides the two funds, also include EBRD (24.4 pct) and the International Finance Corporation (10.1 pct). With a 42 pct stake, Serbia is the largest shareholder in Komercijalna banka.
Food, non-alcoholic beverages 22 pct cheaper in Serbia than in EU
Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages in Serbia were 22 pct lower than the EU average in 2018, according to a Eurostat survey. The price of a comparable basket of goods that includes bread, cereals, meat, milk, cheese and eggs amounted to 78 pct of the EU average last year, with 100 representing the base index, the survey said. Compared to countries in the region, food and non-alcoholic beverages were cheaper in Serbia than in Croatia and Slovenia (where they stood at 97 pct of the EU average), Albania (79 pct), Hungary (85 pct) and Greece (106 pct).
Izvor: Blic, Ekapija
Money from Komercijalna banka sale to improve living standards
Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said Thursday the government would use the money from the sale of its stake in Komercijalna banka to improve the citizens' quality of life and living standards. Speaking in the parliament, Mali recalled the government had recently got out of Jubmes banka and added that the Postanska stedionica savings bank would remain state-owned. "A month and a half ago, we got out of co-ownership in Jubmes banka. We will do that with Komercijalna banka as well and we will invest the money we make in construction of better infrastructure, in new motorways and in support for youth employment," he said.
S&P 500 snaps 4-day slide as bank shares rise, Wall Street awaits Trump-Xi meeting at G-20 summit;
The S&P 500 rose on Thursday, powered by bank shares, as investors await trade clues from an upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The broad index climbed 0.4% to 2,924.92, snapping a four-day losing streak, as the financials sector gained nearly 1%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.7% to 7,967.76. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged, slipping 10.24 points to 26,526.58 as Boeing shares weighed down the 30-stock index.
In corporate news, Walgreens Boots Alliance climbed 4.1% after the pharmacy operator reported better-than-expected quarterly results. The company’s numbers were driven by higher prescription drug sales, CEO Stefano Pessina said. Boeing shares fell 2.9% amid increasing uncertainty about when 737 Max jets will be able to fly again.
On the data front, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at a solid rate of 3.1% in the first quarter. But some components like consumer spending and business investments grew at a slower pace than previously estimated.
European stocks closed mixed Thursday as investors searched for signs on what to expect from the upcoming G-20 summit.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally barely above the flatline. Retail stocks bucked the trend to rise more than 2%, buoyed by a sharp gain in H&M shares, while the media sector led declines with a 0.7% fall.
Vodafone is reportedly set to secure EU antitrust approval for its $22 billion bid for Liberty Global’s cable networks in central Europe after offering concessions in May. Vodafone shares rose more than 2%.