Demand for loans to businesses rises, funds go to investments
Lending to businesses by leading Serbian banks saw a 25.2 bln dinar rise in Q2 2019. Companies in the transport, real estate and construction sectors accounted for the majority of the loans, with most of the funds going to working capital and new investments. These are the results of a National Bank of Serbia (NBS) survey on lending trends. The central bank surveys ten Serbian banks whose assets make up around one half of the total assets of the country's banking sector. The amount of newly-approved loans to businesses, excluding loans refinanced by the same bank, was 26.2 pct higher in Q2 2019 than in the same period last year, with over 60 pct of the new loans approved to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises.
FT: Serbia attracts record greenfield FDI
Serbia attracted a record amount of greenfield FDI last year, the Financial Times reports in an article on business potentials offered by Serbia. "Serbia, the western Balkans' most populous country, received an unprecedented amount of greenfield foreign direct investment last year: 5.8 bln dollars via 107 projects, compared with an annual average of 69 projects since 2014," according to fDi Markets, the British daily's data service monitoring greenfield cross-border investment.
Serbian finance minister says salaries and pensions will rise
Serbian Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said on Thursday that a budget surplus of 48.6 billion Dinars (1 Euro – 118 Dinars) in the first six months of the year has made room to raise the minimum wage. Mali told the Serbian state TV (RTS) morning news that he expects pensions to rise on January 1, 2020 adding that pensioners would receive a once-off payment of 5,000 dinars by the end of the year. According to the finance minister, public sector employees can expect their salaries to rise by the end of the year. “Public sector salaries will be raised by the end of the year. We soon, in about 10 days, we will see the situation in the budget and will know the percentage by mid-September,” he said.
Dow jumps more than 350 points after China and US agree to trade talks next month, tech leads gains; European stocks close higher on global trade and political reprieve
Stocks surged on Thursday after the U.S. and China agreed to meet next month in Washington to discuss trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 372.68 points, or 1.4% to 26,728.15. The S&P 500 climbed 1.3% to close at 2,976, led by a 2.1% gain in the tech sector, and closed around 1.7% from its record high. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.75% to 8,116.83.
On the data front, private payrolls in the U.S. increased by 195,000, according to ADP and Moody’s Analytics. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected payrolls to grow by 140,000.
European stocks closed higher on Thursday following confirmation of new U.S.-China trade talks and progress for U.K. lawmakers trying to block a no-deal Brexit. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.7% higher at the closing bell having earlier hit a one-month high, with autos jumping almost 3% to lead gains on the back of the expected resumption of U.S.-China trade negotiations. Health care was the worst performing sector, shedding 0.76%.