15 July 2019 - Crnogorska komercijalna Bank., the Montenegrin subsidiary of OTP Bank, purchased 87.602 shares (90,55%) of Societe Generale Bank Montenegro, at the Montenegro Stock Exchange, reported CdM.
“The total value of block transaction amounted to 35.629.692,37 euro, i.e., 406,72 euro per share,” Montenegro Stock Exchange said in a statement.
It is also announced that Crnogorska komercijalna Bank is going to offer redemption of its shares to all the remaining minority shareholders, in accordance with the law and secondary legislation.
The Central Bank of Montenegro approved the merger of Crnogorska komercijalna Bank and Societe Generale Montenegro Bank in May this year, and also by Competition Protection Agency.
On this occasion, it was stated that Montenegro’s Agency for the Protection of Competition has provided a positive opinion on the request for merging Crnogorska komercijalna Bank and Societe Generale Bank Montenegro, and forwarded it to the Central Bank of Montenegro. Central Bank of Montenegro later made the final decision on the request for merging based on collected data, while the opinion of the Agency for the Protection of Competition was also one of the conditions even though it is not mandatory.
With a market share of 11.5%, Société General Bank Montenegro was the fourth-largest bank in the Montenegrin market and as a universal bank was equally active in the segment of citizens and enterprises.
Until all the final steps are taken, Société General Bank Montenegro will continue to service the population and corporate clients with a high level of quality and commitment while preparing a smooth transition for clients while ensuring the stability of their relationship with the bank.
Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
16 July 2019 - Representatives of the Italian company Pizzarotti said they hope that the Government of Montenegro will choose them for the realization of the other sections of the Bar-Boljare motorway. They presented their experience on similar projects to the Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs of Montenegro, Osman Nurković, who said that "there will be no privileged players in that match".
Nurković recently had the opportunity to host the representatives of the Italy-based company Pizzarotti, who showed interest in continuing the implementation of the Bar-Boljare motorway project.
Minister Nurković informed the Pizzarotti representatives about the current status of activities related to the construction of other sections of the Bar-Boljare motorway project, and expressed satisfaction with the growing interest of European companies in relation to the implementation of the most important Montenegrin infrastructure project.
Representatives of the Pizzarotti company highlighted their rich experience with the implementation of smaller projects, expressing hope for prospective cooperation with the Government of Montenegro concerning the motorway project.
"Montenegro is committed to improving its transport infrastructure and we called on all potentially interested parties to express their interest and propose their conditions and models for the construction of other sections of the Bar-Boljare motorway on the principles of private-public partnership, based on the best international practice, respect of the principle of equal treatment, free competition and non-discrimination. There will be no privileged players, and the price and deadlines, as well as the quality of work, experience and references will be the only recommendations that we will appreciate as an Investor in a transparent procedure for selecting a contractor to continue the construction of the motorway," Minister Nurković pointed out during the meeting.
Impresa Pizzarotti & C. S.p.A. is a construction and civil engineering company with its headquarters in the Italian city of Parma. Impresa Pizzarotti & C. S.p.A. has a history stretching back 100 years. It was founded in 1910 by Gino Pizzarotti as a sole trader, since when it has undergone process of evolution that has never stopped. Converted in 1945 into a limited liability company by Pietro Pizzarotti, father of the current Chairman, Cavaliere del Lavoro Paolo Pizzarotti, in 1961 it became a joint-stock company with a share capital of 250 million euros.
Over the years, Impresa Pizzarotti & C. has been involved in a continuous evolution, and since the late 50's has consolidated its presence in the construction sector and large public infrastructure works on behalf of government agencies and most important Italian private companies. Impresa Pizzarotti & C. S.p.A is amongst the leading Italian and European construction sector companies operating in the design and construction of major civil and infrastructure works, such as buildings, hospitals, roads and motorways, rail works and underground works. Transport infrastructure (roads, highways, railways, underground railways, airports and ports) are Pizzarotti Group's primary area of activity, both in Italy and abroad.
Read more about the business environment in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
14 July 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković recently visited a new road from Ulcinj to the border crossing with Albania Sukobin - Murićani - 13,5 km long section from Ulcinj to Krut which was put into traffic.
On this occasion, the Prime Minister said that a 25 km long and 12 million EUR worth road links Ulcinj with Albania, which improves the life of citizens living there and the access of tourists to Montenegro.
Previously, a 4,75 km long section from Krut to the crossroads to Ostros and a 6,5 km long section from the crossroads to Ostros to Sukobin had been reconstructed.
When asked by a journalist whether the Government would help the Ulcinj municipality, the Prime Minister said that such a thing was done within the budget rebalance.
"You saw that the Government had proposed a budget rebalance not because we have a problem with finance, but because we want to allocate the excess funds to citizens, primarily to healthcare and those who are unemployed, to launch some new infrastructure projects, but also to assist the Municipality of Ulcinj to deal with development issues on its own," Prime Minister Duško Marković noted for the announcement of the Government of Montenegro.
Prime Minister Duško Marković recently visited the newly built 9 km long and 3,9 million EUR section of the Cetinje - Ivanova Korita road from Lovćen to Krstac.
On this occasion Marković said that this road is built according to all standards beyond the usual standards for local roads. It has all the characteristics of a regional road and he used an opportunity to congratulate the Directorate of Transport and the Contractor on an excellent job.
Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
15 July 2019 - The owner of Uniprom KAP Veselin Pejović and Prime Minister Duško Marković put into operation a new silumin factory, noting that every new product in Montenegro is a step forward to a new workplace, and each new workplace strengthens and increases the quality of life for citizens.
"When we were visiting the entire complex in late March, we saw that a new modern industrial centre is practically developing here. Unfortunately, we had to keep in mind that the rise of the new Aluminium Plant (KAP) was followed by, I would say, a hysterical wish for this project to fail. But the new factory that will make products that can go directly to the halls of the automobile or avian giants, defies the skeptics and opponents of modern development. Every new product in Montenegro is a step towards a new workplace, and every new workplace is strength and an increase in quality on the path to the European quality of life of our citizens," the Prime Minister underlined.
The Prime Minister said that this investment and everything that has been done so far, including new development programmes, deserves respect and unquestionable institutional support.
"But for me, the resistance of Mr Pejović and his team to destruction, propaganda and defamation to withstand the rise of the KAP with domestic brains, energy and determination are equally important and worthy of respect. That is why we need more of these practices in order to quickly develop our economy, of course with the help of the Government's determination and planning," said Prime Minister Duško Marković at the opening the new silumin factory.
The project of the new factory for the production of aluminum alloys in the form of small ingots is worth more than 10 million EUR and involves the opening of dozens of new jobs.
The Prime Minister said that Montenegro should be encouraged by the fact that after decades of lagging, it changed the direction of the country’s industry and took the step forward with industrial production to the extent of the economy's needs.
"The modern way from natural resource to finalised product is long and it is not rational to cultivate ambition that it can be rounded up in national frameworks. Even much more powerful economy than ours cannot do it. But it is the duty of all of us, at least in certain areas such as the aluminium industry, to do as much as we can on our own. From today on, with a new factory within the Uniprom KAP, we can take a step further," Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded.
In April 2019, marking the start of construction works on the factory of aluminum billets/logs within the Uniprom KAP , Minister of Economy of Montenegro Dragica Sekulić said that continuation of aluminium production is of great importance for the overall economic development of Montenegro, and through announced investments "Uniprom" will continue to strengthen its position on the aluminium market, which will greatly contribute to strengthening the Montenegrin economy. Within the same timeframe, Veselin Pejović said that in addition to the already installed silumin factory, which will produce 30,000 tons of special alloys of an outstanding foreign market value of 75 million USD, the company is starting to implement the next project, which includes the construction of a new factory of aluminium billets/logs.
14 July 2019 - According to the latest available data for 13 banks in the system, that is, data by the end of May 2019, key components of the Balance Sheet of Central Bank of Montenegro over the one-year period records growth: assets (8.51%), loans (8.95%), deposits (6.16%) and capital (11.42%), Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro Radoje Žugić told in an interview with Dnevne Novine daily.
Governor Žugić indicated that the Central Bank has been implementing activities referring to further improvement of the capacities for carrying out supervision over banks, as well as the activities for an adequate implementation of the regulatory framework that is in its drafting phase. He also underlined he was extremely satisfied after the meeting held with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) delegation, as they assessed the CBM was doing well and moving in the right direction. Governor Žugić was especially glad to hear the IMF’s statement that “there were no adverse effects from the two non-systemic banks on broader banking sector”.
According to Žugić, apart from positive assessments when it comes to the economic growth of Montenegro and fiscal consolidation that the Government has been effectively implementing which significantly contributes to the improvement of Montenegro’s public finances, the representatives of IMF, during their previous mission, analysed the situation in the country’s financial system as well. The general opinion is that the CBM is trending in the right direction in terms of the activities on improving the structure, instruments and processes of the banking supervision and the prevention of money laundering. In addition, IMF representatives share the CBM opinion that it’s extremely important to implement the planned audit over the quality of total assets of the banking sector (AQR). “We jointly noted that AQR would contribute to the adequate collateral valuation process in the asset classification and the allocation of share for potential bank loan losses, which would make the overall banking sector even more stable and resistant to potential unforeseen losses,” said the Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro.
“It is true that the CBM was in the focus of the public from the introduction of bankruptcy at IBM and Atlas Bank and that it has often been heard that these two events "have shaken" the stability of the banking system. To argue with such claims, with the ultimate goal of stabilizing the depositors and preserving the stability of the financial system, in the past months we have had very frequent communication with the public. We regularly published information on the status of the main banking indicators at the system level, which confirmed that there are no risks for depositors of other banks,” said Žugić, denying all claims that stability of the banking system of Montenegro is jeopardised.
Read more about the business environment in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
13 July 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović, at the invitation of Ahmet Erentok, President of the Board of Directors of Azmont Investments, visited the works at the Portonovi resort in Herceg Novi.
On this occasion, the preliminary works of the first phase of the construction, contents and activities, which will be available to the local and international public from 1st of August this year, were shown for the first time.
When Azmont Investments entered the Montenegrin market in 2012, its contractual obligation was to invest 52 million EUR in the first four years, or 258 million EUR in eight years. By the end of June this year, Portonovi’s investor invested 469 million EUR, while the total investment after all works would be close to 1 billion EUR, the company stated. In all segments of the project, an average of 1,560 workers are now engaged.
Đukanović said that he is impressed with what he saw in Portonovi, adding that the implementation of the project from the first day to the present seemed almost unbelievable. A lot of works have been completed already and everything was done according to what were the most optimistic expectations.
"This is a serious chance to solve key economic and social problems in the country and a key opportunity for Montenegro's development, primarily in these activities that really represent the best development opportunity for our country," noted Đukanović according to the report of the Cabinet of the President of Montenegro.
The Resort spans over 26 acres and consists of 1.8 kilometers of an exclusive coastal area with 214 residences. World brands, such as the first One & Only hotel in Europe with the Espace Chenot Health Wellness Spa Center, and D-Marine with 238 berths and the ability to receive boats up to 120 meters long, are part of the Portonovi’s resort offer. Within the marina, a border crossing is also envisaged.
Portonovi settlement is designed in a traditional Mediterranean style with a combination of bohemian and Venetian architecture, concerning Montenegrin history, tradition and culture of life and construction. With its completion, the quality and standards of Montenegro's tourist offer will significantly increase.
"I am pleased to note that in the final I can see that through the realization of the resort such as Portonovi, Porto Montenegro, Lustica and many other venues that are in preparation, we realize the vision of Montenegro as a European prestigious tourist destination where many people from Europe and beyond Europe recognize something that is truly the most valuable quality of our space and our people," concluded Đukanović.
Read more about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
In 2022, 20 percent or about 750 gigawatt-hours of electricity will be produced from small, wind and solar power plants, according to the long-term energy balance from 2020 to 2022.
According to this year's plan, all small hydropower plants will produce 109-gigawatt hours, while with the gradual growth, due to the commissioning of new ones, their total production in 2022 will be 255 gigawatts. The production of wind power plants will increase from the current 313 to 398 gigawatt-hours in 2022, the wind power plant Gvozd near Niksic is expected to be installed. The production of solar power plants will amount to 100 gigawatts in 2022. The inclusion of the solar power plant Briska Gora is expected at the end of 2020, in which it will produce 10 gigawatts, but will stabilize production to 100 gigawatts by 2021.
At the end of 2022, production will be 12.5 percent higher than in 2020. Increasing production from renewable sources means higher subsidies on electricity bills.
"This result is a consequence of a good investment climate that will result in the entry of new production capacities from renewable sources (RES)," the Government's document said.
Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant will produce 1.4 thousand gigawatt hours in 2022, or about 93 gigawatts more than this year. However, due to the increase in production from the RES, the percentage of production from TPP Pljevlja will fall from 40% in 2019 to 36% in 2022. Production from HPP Piva remains at the same 920 gigawatts, as well as from Perucica at 750 gigawatts. The total production from these two large hydropower plants will amount to 44 percent of the total production, which is two billion gigawatt-hours.
Forty-five-gigawatt hours per year will cost the shares of Podgorica-Kolasin highway in 2022, bringing this consumer to the second place just below KAP, and in front of “Zeljezara” which remains at 38 gigawatts. Total production in 2022 is planned at 3.8 thousand gigawatts, while overall consumption is estimated at 3.6 thousand gigawatt hours. The largest consumer next year will be Aluminum Combine - Uniprom, which will need 621 gigawatts a year. KAP in the recent years spent less than it was projected with energy balance, so in 2017, out of the planned 780 spent 586 gigawatts.
In the next three years, “Zeljezara Toscelik” will have a consumption of 38.4 gigawatts, which is slightly lower than in the past years. In 2017, “Zeljezara” consumed 40 gigawatts, in 2018 39, and this year it is predicted for 43 gigawatts.
The balance stated that these two companies submitted the plan of needs for the next three years to the Ministry of Economy.
The transmission losses grow because they are lost and below the sea.
Total network losses this year are expected to amount to 514-gigawatt hours, while in the following years their gradual decrease is expected and in 2022 it will amount to 443 gigawatts. Even these reduced losses will be twice as high from the production from all small hydropower plants.
The losses in the distributive network are reduced from 334 to 270 gigawatts, and in the transfer range from 180 to 173 gigawatts. As explained in the balance, transmission losses will increase this year from 140 to 180 gigawatts, and in 2020 to 194 gigawatts due to the commissioning of an undersea cable for Italy, as technical losses from this transmission will also be counted. From 2021, it is expected to reduce overall transmission losses.
Text by Goran Kapor, on July 11th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
12 July 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković visited the newly built 9 km long and 3,9 million EUR worth section of the Cetinje - Ivanova Korita road from Lovćen to Krstac.
"This road is built according to all standards beyond the usual standards for local roads. It has all the characteristics of a regional road. Congratulations to the Directorate of Transport and the Contractor on excellent job," said the Prime Minister.
This is the way, the Prime Minister added, to continue our policy of development of road infrastructure as a fundamental support or precondition for the overall development of Montenegro.
"There is no development of Montenegro, there is no development and exploitation of its potential without high-quality transport, energy and digital infrastructure. Today we are witnessing a project that confirms the vision of the development of a new and modern Montenegro. Today Cetinje is getting an infrastructure facility, a road enabling not only tourist, but overall Cetinje social, cultural and identity potential to become available not only to the citizens of Montenegro, but also to all those who come to Montenegro," Prime Minister Mrković pointed out.
The Prime Minister recalled that this is only one of the investments that has been completed and that other projects are underway.
"The public has already been informed that a tender has been invited for the construction of a new road from Cetinje through Čevo to Nikšić worth 37 million euros. At the same time, the Transport Directorate is working on finding a project solution for a new road from Krstac to Kotor and Radanovići, which will further link Cetinje with the Montenegrin coast," said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Duško Marković said he is safe in the knowledge that all this will make Cetinje get a completely new physiognomy that will be stimulating not only for Cetinje but also for the entire Montenegrin economy.
"This is a good policy that gives young people new opportunities to work, earn, form their families, and not to leave Montenegro," Prime Minister DuŠko Marković concluded.
Construction works began in March 2018 and finished on 8 July 2019 and according to the report of the Public Relations Service within the Government of Montenegro, the total value of the works is 3.892.192,45 EUR.
Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
13 July 2019 - Work Hub Montenegro, a flexible workspace offering an “office when needed” service for modern micro businesses and mobile workers, including those who work from home, was opened in Podgorica, on Radosava Burića Street.
Work Hub Montenegro offers bookable desks, formal and informal meeting spaces, high-speed broadband and professional equipment that members can use when it suits them.
The work hub offers a professional front for businesses, vital for small or start-up enterprise or a worker running his/her service from home. You can meet clients at the workhub, use its registered address, and have friendly, professional staff at your service.
“Whether you are an entrepreneur, foreign investor, digital nomad, startup, freelancer, developer or a designer; join our community to connect and collaborate with like-minded people, teach and learn from each other, improve and grow your business, save and allocate your resources in a more efficient way and moreover socialize and enjoy life altogether,” says the invitation from Work Hub Montenegro.
The work hub provides a relaxed working environment that facilitates informal business collaboration and networking. You'll find that exchanging ideas, advice and services comes naturally and, crucially, a work hub offers an “antidote to isolation”. WHM allows you to work in a fully equipped office without having to worry about setting up your own private office. You can start working immediately with a minimum investment, save time and money and focus on growing your business.
Work Hub Montenegro offers local and international networking opportunities. Meeting new people from different backgrounds is always a good way to grow and gain more knowledge. Great thinkers, role models, creative minds, established businesspeople, investors, and entrepreneurs from different countries are among WHM community members. Socializing and engaging with like-minded people and exchanging ideas will help you to clear your vision and reach your goals.
Work Hub offers very flexible terms and conditions and there are no strict rules to follow. You can book your co-working space - the desk as you desire and work according to your own needs. It is also very easy to scale up your office space if your team grows by switching plans that can be done easily without any chaos.
WHM was founded by VitaNova Consulting, and its service list includes a private office, private desk, co-sharing desk, virtual office (starter, pro, business), as well as consulting services (Vita Nova consulting services) and assistance with company registration.
Read more business-related news at TMN's dedicated page.
12 July 2019 - NLB Bank is the winner of the Best Bank in Montenegro 2019 Award, granted by the renowned financial magazine Euromoney. Lucy Fitz George-Parker, Emerging Europe Editor, handed over the award to Martin Leberle, Chief Executive Officer of NLB Bank, at a ceremony held on July 10 in London.
During its several decades of business in Montenegro, NLB Bank, as a system bank, has built the position of a reliable and responsible partner with a distinctive quality of service.
The prestigious award for the Bank of the Year confirms that NLB Bank is recognized as a credible financial partner to citizens and the economy even outside of Montenegro’s borders, providing strong support in the development of the environment in which it operates.
Despite its tiny size, Montenegro remains a profitable and highly competitive banking market. The Balkan state’s largest lenders all posted strong results last year, with subsidiaries of both Société Générale and Slovenia’s NLB Group notching record net profits. However, it is NLB Banka that wins the award for best bank in Montenegro thanks to its impressive growth, superior efficiency and progress on innovation; it is said in the official statement by Euromoney.
“Ranked fifth in Montenegro by total assets, with a market share of 11.1%, NLB Bank more than doubled its return on equity to 14.9%. This was driven partly by lower net impairments and provisions – non-performing loans fell 2.8 percentage points during the year to 5.2% – but also by rising revenues. Net interest income rose by 9.9% thanks to double-digit growth in retail lending, while non-interest income was up 12.9%. A new ‘super-fast cash loan’ product, offering five-minute decision-making in-branch or via Viber, proved particularly popular with Montenegro’s retail borrowers,” explain Euromoney’s experts.
On the corporate side, NLB Bank coordinated the first joint cross-border financing with its parent group for a real estate development project on the Montenegrin coast. Combined with a 0.6% reduction in operating costs, the jump in net profit brought NLB Bank’s cost-to-income ratio down to a sector-beating 51.8%. Capitalization meanwhile remained comfortable, with the overall capital adequacy ratio increasing by 1.3 percentage points in the 12 months to the end of December to 16.2%.
"We are proud of this significant recognition that confirms our long-term goal - to be the best bank in Montenegro. We have worked hard to achieve this goal by focusing on the process optimization and sales channels of the bank in order to provide a unique user experience and customer satisfaction. All that we did contributed to the achievement of the best financial result in 2018, and the trend of positive business is recorded for the fifth consecutive year. A good result has enabled us to keep the leading position in the market and remain a respected brand in Montenegro. This result would not have been possible without the great commitment of all employees in NLB Bank, but also without the support of a strong NLB Group, which is dedicated to building its position as a financial, banking expert in Southeast Europe, "said Martin Leberle, on behalf of the Management Board of NLB Banka, on the occasion of winning the prize, reports CdM.
London-based Euromoney Magazine belongs to the group of the world's most influential financial magazines, which publishes global information for financial experts and top managers since 1969. Since 1992, Euromoney has been granting the Awards for Excellence, and this year it received nearly 1,000 applications from banks in a reward program covering 20 global, 50 regional awards and best bank awards in almost 100 countries.
The "Bank of the Year" award, which this magazine awards, is considered one of the most prestigious international awards in the field of finance and banking.
Read more about the business environment in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
In order to point out the double discrimination of women with disabilities, on both the gender and disability basis, the NGO "Women Alliance for Development" and the Center for Women with Disabilities implemented the project "Empowering Women with Disabilities in Niksic".
At the closing conference "Women Entrepreneurship and Women from Marginalized Groups" it was pointed out that although there is visible progress towards encouraging women's entrepreneurship at the national level, in the city under Trebjesa women entrepreneurs, especially those from marginalized groups are not happy with the current situation.
The Municipality of Niksic has no special programs to support women entrepreneurs, nor did it have any significant activities in this field. In addition, the Municipality has no current local plans for improving the position of persons with disabilities, nor a local gender equality plan," the organizers of the conference announced. The data of the Bureau of Labor in Niksic, when women are concerned, are also not optimistic.
"Of over 3,600 unemployed, women make up 62 percent, and over 28 percent of females have a university degree and fails to find a job for more than two years. 296 women with disabilities are looking for jobs through the Bureau of Labor in Niksic and they participate with almost 15 percent into the total unemployed female population and belong to the long-term unemployed group.
"Among the beneficiaries of loans for self-employment of the Employment Office, as it was pointed out at the conference, there are no women with disabilities, nor members of the Roma and Egyptian communities, and the curiosity is that only one Roma woman has been granted this loan for opening a hairdresser's salon. On the other hand, data at the national level is encouraging.
"Representatives of the Ministry of Economy could have heard that the number of entrepreneurs in Montenegro increased by 24 percent, which is a really significant increase since for a few years this percentage was below 10 percent and the lowest in the region. In recent years, this ministry, in cooperation with domestic and international partners, is implementing 52 different programs for entrepreneurship," the press release reads.
Presented handicrafts (Photo: Svetlana Mandic)
At the conference, seven women with disabilities, as well as members of the Roma community in Niksic, presented handicrafts, and as a significant result of the project, it was pointed out that five beneficiaries of the project started different businesses. Among them are three women with disabilities from Niksic.The project "Empowering Women with Disabilities in Niksic" was supported by the US Embassy in Podgorica.
Text by Svetlana Mandic, on July 11th, 2019, read more at Vijesti