KMBN: Tender for Komercijalna banka due in late May or early June
A tender to select a strategic partner for Serbia's Komercijalna banka will be launched in late May or the first week of June, the Serbian Ministry of Finance confirmed to Tanjug Friday. The ministry said the French company Lazard Freres - the privatisation adviser - was still working on an analysis and preparing the required documentation to indicate the best possible options to the Serbian government. "We expect the adviser's final solution by the end of April or early May and the privatisation should be completed by the end of the year," the ministry said. Komercijalna banka awaits a strategic partner with a 2018 profit of a record 71 mln euros, which it achieved with its subsidiaries in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Serbia will see solid growth rates in a mid-term horizon, WB says
Serbia's growth in 2018, estimated at 4.2 pct, was driven by both investment and consumption, but growth in 2019 "is expected to slow down to 3.5 pct, as effects from the increase in consumption and investment were to a large extent exhausted in 2018. Investment and exports will be the main drivers of growth. Exports are projected to grow by around 9.5 pct annually in real terms, while investment are projected to increase by about 6.5 pct in real terms annually, over the next three years. On the other hand, consumption will increase as well, driven by wages and employment growth," the report said.
Number of Serbian mobile banking users rises 20-fold
The number of mobile banking users among customers in Serbia has risen 20-fold over the past six years, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Serbia Dragana Stanic said Friday at the Western Balkans Digital Summit in Belgrade. Stanic told a FinTech panel that technology has undoubtedly changed the world of finance. Also, the number of mobile payment users has become over 3.5 times higher over the past six years, Stanic said, adding that the use of payment cards approximately tripled.
Stocks post 2nd straight weekly gain as strong jobs data, trade deal hopes boost sentiment, European markets close higher as US job market bounces back, Saipem shares rise 3%
Stocks posted their second consecutive weekly rise on Friday as investor sentiment was boosted by better-than-expected jobs data and progress on the U.S.-China trade front. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both climbed about 2% this week, while the Nasdaq Composite surged 2.7%. On Friday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed higher by 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively, while the Dow climbed 40.36 points.
The U.S. economy added 196,000 jobs in March, according to data released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a print of 175,000. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained at 3.8%. However, wage growth expanded 3.2%, below an expected gain of 3.4%.
Investors brace themselves for the upcoming earnings season, which is set to start next week with J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo among the companies set to report.
European stocks edged higher on Friday, as the U.S. posted a solid rebound in job creation in March. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.24 percent higher during trade, with all major bourses in positive territory.
Despite the positive news around trade, investors grew nervous amid worries over a potential economic slowdown in the euro zone. Data released on Thursday showed that German factory orders fell at their sharpest rate in two years. Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report said the Italian government is set to cut its 2019 GDP (gross domestic product) forecast to just 0.1 percent — significantly lower than a 1 percent expansion forecast in December.