Serbia moves up four places to 44th in WB's Doing Business 2020 rankings
Serbia has moved up four positions in the World Bank's ease of doing business rankings for 2020, and ranks 44th of 190 countries. According to the Doing Business 2020 report, published on the World Bank website Thursday, Serbia is among the world's 42 economies that carried out regulatory reforms in three to ten benchmarked areas in 2018/19 to improve conditions for doing business. In the latest rankings, Serbia has a score of 75.7, compared to 73.49 last year.
Projects with China worth 13 bln euros
Serbian Deputy PM and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic on Thursday said Serbia's infrastructure projects with China were worth 13 bln euros and that cooperation in the infrastructure sector must be boosted. At a meeting with a Chinese delegation headed by Vice-Minister of Commerce Qian Keming, she said economic cooperation between Serbia and China was improving all the time and encouraged by good, strong ties between the presidents of the two countries.
Bechtel and Enka want more money for Morava Corridor – Contract in 10 days at the most?
The commercial contract on the construction of the Morava Corridor will be signed in ten days at the most, Minister Zorana Mihajlovic announced on October 22, RINA reports. The extremely difficult negotiations with Bechtel-Enka are ongoing. We are not giving up on the estimated investment value, which is EUR 800 million. However the consortium is making different offers. We are not giving up on the set economic investment, as the Morava Corridor contains three projects – telecommunications, road corridor and the regulation of the Morava. The decision about who we will sign the contract with and how is expected to be made within the next ten days – Minister Mihajlovic stated.
S&P 500 rises slightly, led by Microsoft; European stocks close higher amid corporate earnings season and Brexit limbo
The S&P 500 posted a slight gain on Thursday, led by strong quarterly results from Microsoft, as Wall Street slogged through the busiest day of the earnings season. The broad index climbed 0.2% to 3,010.29. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8% to close at 8,185.80.
Microsoft reported earnings per share of $1.38 on revenue of $33.06 billion for the previous quarter. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected a profit of $1.25 per share on revenue of $32.23 billion. Microsoft’s strong quarterly performance was driven in part by Azure, its cloud business, which saw revenues grow by 59% on a year-over-year basis. The stock closed 2% higher.
In economic news, durable goods orders fell 1.1% in September, notching their largest drop in four months. The drop in orders comes as the world struggles with a global manufacturing slowdown.
European stocks traded higher Thursday as traders remain in limbo over an expected delay to the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, while corporate earnings season gathers pace. The pan-European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.6% by the close, with healthcare stocks rising 1.5% to lead gains while telecoms slipped 1.2% as one of only two sectors trading in the red, alongside technology.
The European Central Bank (ECB) kept rates unchanged on Thursday, following a swan song policy meeting for outgoing ECB President Mario Draghi. Markets had not been expecting any movements on policy, with just six weeks having passed since the ECB unveiled a massive stimulus package.
Finland’s Nokia plunged more than 23% after cutting its full-year profit guidance for 2019 and 2020, citing tough competition and further investments.
German chemical maker BASF reported a fall in third-quarter net profit and sales, but shares added 3.4%, while fellow German heavyweight Daimler announced a third-quarter net profit rise of 8%, sending its shares 3.3% higher.