Business

22 Nov 2019, 10:36 AM

According to Monstat, the minimum consumer basket in October amounted to EUR 645.1, which is 0.4 percent more than in September.

"Out of the total value of the minimum consumer basket, expenditures for food and non-alcoholic beverages amounted to EUR 269.2, which is 0.4 percent less than in September," the statement said.

Statisticians said expenditures for non-food products and services amounted to 375.9 euros, which is one percent more than in September.

The minimum consumer basket refers to household consumption, which includes food and non-food products and services, which enables the maintenance of life and working ability of household members.

The minimum consumer basket complies with the minimum recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the USDA Food Guide 2010 for a minimum caloric intake of 2.21 thousand calories per person per day.

“The value of the minimum consumer basket is based on data from the Household Budget Survey and the World Bank (WB) recommendations. The value of a minimum consumer basket for a four-person household is the minimum monthly expenditure related to food and non-alcoholic beverages and non-food products and services," said Monstat.

For the calculation of minimum expenditure relating to food and non-alcoholic beverages, average prices for the current month and monthly quantities in kilograms for a four-member household are used.

Consumer price indices (CPIs) are used to calculate the value of a basket of non-food products and services.

Text by MINA Business, on November 20th, 2019, read more at Vijesti

16 Nov 2019, 15:56 PM

November 16, 2019 - Mr Darko Radunović, Minister of Finance, and director-general of the Directorate for State Budget in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Bojan Paunović, presented the Proposal for the Montenegro Budget Law 2020 at the media conference.

 

“The objective of the economic policy of Montenegro’s Government is increasing the living standard and bringing GDP closer to the EU level”, said Mr Radunović.

“With the aim of bringing living standard closer to the European average, the Government is implementing measures of economic policy aimed at strengthening fiscal stability and increasing competitiveness of the economy”, said Mr Radunović.

He added that results of the economic policy achieved in the past period had shown that Montenegro’s fiscal position had been further consolidated: record economic growth rates, 15% increase in employment, and increase in salaries, implemented fiscal policy measures and creation of stable sources of financing through the most successful bond issue so far. Furthermore, conditions for increasing salaries of the employees with the lowest wages have been created, tax debt has been reduced by 30% compared with 2016. Wages, pensions and social benefits have been maintained at a regular level and capital projects aimed at infrastructure development through the greatest investment in Capital budget in the history of Montenegro.

In the past two years, more favorable borrowings enabled financing of payment of previous debts, which allowed the creation of a more favorable credit structure of public debt. The need for additional indebtedness has been considerably reduced as well as our country’s exposure to possible unfavorable economic trends in the international environment.

 

Measures of fiscal adjustment enabled the following: over €20 million increase in budget revenues, reduction in budget deficit with current expenditure surplus, capital budget funds for the implementation of new infrastructure projects.

“Strong economic growth, increase in the number of employed people, strengthened fiscal stability and maintained a level of competitiveness of Montenegro’s economy create the position in which our country would respond to the global economic slowdown”, said Minister.

Mr Radunović emphasized that further consolidation of public finances as proposed in the projected 2020 Budget. He highlighted additional support that this Budget provided.

“Proposal budget also creates conditions for the affirmation of the airports and the sustainability of the national air carrier”, said Mr Radunović.

The development component of the budget creates conditions for the continuation of a strong investment scheme.

This budget will be used primarily for development.

Text by CDM on November 16, 2019, read more here

To read more about business in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page

15 Nov 2019, 10:00 AM

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic spoke with representatives of the Qatari Diar Company in London, which in 2010 purchased 285,000 m² of land in the area of the former hotel Blue Horizons in Przno Bay, Tivat Municipality, in order to build a tourist complex.

Satisfaction with the fact that the challenges that slowed down the work on the project have been overcome was expressed at the meeting as well as mutual readiness to proceed as soon as possible to continue construction of a complex that includes a luxury hotel, more than 140 residential villas and a tourist resort with all the amenities. The total value exceeds €250 million.

uvala-Przna_resize.jpg

Bay Przno

Qatari Diar representatives, led by Tarik al Abdula, Qatari Diar development director for Europe and America, expressed satisfaction with the implementation of development projects in Montenegro and the progress of our tourism and informed the Prime Minister that they have prepared a plan for further activities and that they will continue soon with the construction of this resort.

The Prime Minister informed the interlocutors with the development plans in the area of Lustica as well as details of the forthcoming modernization of Tivat Airport and transport infrastructure, which will increase the value of the Qatari Diara project.

Text by Boka News, on November 14th, 2019, read more at Boka News

14 Nov 2019, 15:27 PM

November 14, 2019 - Co-owner of Montenegro stars hotel group, Mr Žarko Radulovic, says that optimization of job posts in that company is underway. The optimization envisages the reduction of those who work during winter. According to Mr Radulovic, that means that between 130 and 170 employees will be dismissed. However, he claims that the salaries of those who remain will be increased by 20%.

 

“We’ve started the optimization process. Since 2014, we’ve had a surplus of 130-170 employees. We need optimization now, in order to increase salaries for those who remain in the company. Fewer employees, higher salaries. We have to do that. The goal of the optimization of workforce and costs is to spill them over into a personal income”, says Mr Radulovic for CdM.

Salaries will be by 15-20% higher.

“The company is doing a great job, revenues are on the rise. Every year we generate a profit of €70.000 to up to €1 million. Our fund is stable and is going to get bigger”, said Mr Radulovic.

He points out that 35% of the gross turnover accounts for operational costs.

 

“Salary fund increases between €300.000 and €450.000 every year. It’s one of the sources of the increase in pays. The second source is optimization. Those with the lowest salaries will be given priority. So far, we’ve had around 590 employees in the winter period. We are going to bring that number down to 430-440”, says Mr Radulovic.

He adds that the company has great people, willing to work.

“We didn’t want to fire employees and, therefore, we’ve had a surplus of them in the past 4-5 years. In order to “save” them during the winter season, we’ve introduced a system of unpaid leave. They had their employment relationship, pension and social insurance for the whole month. We paid their apartments and an employee could eat three meals a day even when he/she wasn’t working”, says Mr Radulovic.

However, they realized it wasn’t a very good solution and that everybody was dissatisfied.

“The analysis showed that this solution hadn’t brought many benefits. That’s why we decided to carry out the optimization process”, concluded Mr Radulovic.

Text by CDM on November 14, 2019, read more here.

To read more about business in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page.

11 Nov 2019, 13:17 PM

November 11, 2019 - Budvanska Rivijera Hotel Group generated revenue of €4,88 million at the end of September this year, the report on the operating performance of the company shows.

 

Limited liability company, which encompasses Palas and Castellastva hotels in Petrovac, Aleksandar and Mogren in Budva, as well as tourist settlement Slovenska plaža, made great results during the main season despite a portfolio of investments in internal restructuring.

Operating income amounted to €20,05 million in the first nine months. Around €18,44 million were used for the sale of capacities and services in five hotels.

In the same period, expenses amounted to €15,33 million. Around €5,69 million were related to employees’ salaries, €3,76 million went for the material, amortization required €1,83 million and more than €4 million related to other operational expenses.

Since other business activities brought another €174.165, Budvanska Riviera finished the third quarter with the final €4,88 million.

 

The company’s total assets amounted to €140,78 million in this period.

The company earmarked €1,65 million for the short-term financial arrangements – €12,54 million for the cash and €1,41 million for stocks.

The current initial capital is worth €55,04 million and is divided into more than 8 million shares.

Deferred tax liabilities amount to €7,96 million whereas retained earnings reached €9,76 million.

On 25 June, the majority shareholders of Budvanska Riviera HG gave green light to restructuring project. A new limited liability company was established – Sveti Stefan hotels, encompassing Sveti Stefan and Miločer hotels.

Text by CDM on November 11, 2019, read more here.

To read more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

10 Nov 2019, 14:57 PM

November 10, 2019 -  Toll tax for the priority Bar-Boljare motorway section will probably range from 3 – 3.5 euro, executive director of the Monteput company Mr Jonuz Mujević told Pobeda daily.

 

“The exact amount of the toll has not been specified yet, but it will range from 8 to 12 cent per kilometer. The final decision on the toll tax will be made by the Government,” said Mr Mujević, adding that the Government is supposed to determine the exact amount in a year.

 

According to him, it [the Govt] will most likely opt for the lower rate of toll tax – 8 cent/km.

Mr Mujević continued: “For now, the Government believes that Monteput should collect toll taxes and perform complete maintenance of the highway, but we are waiting for the adoption of the Road Law when we’ll know everything in detail,” he noted.

Text by CDM on November 9, 2019, read more here

To read more about business in Croatia, follow TMN's dedicated page

07 Nov 2019, 14:07 PM

November 7, 2019 - Next year, Montenegro will be functioning in a complete financial and fiscal stability, said Minister of Finance, Mr Darko Radunović, adding that he hopes it will be for the middle-term.

 

While answering the questions asked by the MPs, the Minister said that strong economic growth, increase in employment, strengthening fiscal stability and a stable level of competitiveness of Montenegro’s economy represented the position in which Montenegro would welcome the projected global economic slowdown.

“Growing uncertainty in the international surroundings, led by trading and geopolitical tensions, is one of the reasons we took into consideration while making projections of Montenegro’s economic growth in the next year”, said Mr Radunović.

Estimated economic growth this year amounts to 3,1. The projected growth rate between 2020 and 2022 will be 3%.

 

“From 2019 to 2022, cumulative nominal GDP growth will amount to 18,1. Real GDP growth will be 12,6”, said Mr Radunović.

He emphasized that the decline in public debt “is expected in the forthcoming period”.

According to the estimates, the budget deficit should amount to 2,5% of GDP at the end of the year.

Mr Radunović pointed out that source budget revenues increased by more than €250 million, owing to fiscal consolidation. Next year, public debt will amount to €3,51 billion, that is, 70,3% of GDP.

Text by CDM on November 7, 2019, read more here.

To read more about business in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page.

06 Nov 2019, 07:04 AM

November 6, 2019 - From the beginning of the year to the end of September, over 1,13 million of cargo has been handled in the Port of Bar, 18% more than in the same period last year, said the company's CEO, Mr Vladan Vučelić for Dnevne novine. 

 

“I’m very satisfied with the results and the activities we have undertaken in the past nine months. I’d like to single out certain activities: the establishment of the legislative framework for smooth work and development of the company by signing the Annex and the Agreement on the Use of Coastal Zone. This agreement allows the Port to use the port area and infrastructure, as well as to undertake specific activities aimed at optimal use of the existing potentials and development of new capacities, in accordance with the law and strategic commitments of the Government. The second important fact is the assessment of the property value. It was carried out for the first time since 2008," said Mr Vučelić.

He adds that signing Collective agreement was another important thing, as it provided the widest range of employees’ rights.

“We’ve negotiated a dispute settlement with the Port of Adria and managed to bring to an end two issues that bothered us. We also have a considerable number of new clients and agreed on business projects. One of them is the conclusion of the contract with HBIS Ironworks Smederevo company on the transshipment of the iron ore. We’ve established contact and agreed on the cooperation conditions. The signing of the contract with ZIJiN RTB Bor on the import of copper concentrate is coming next," pointed out Mr Vučelić.

The results the Port achieved exceeded the ambitious plan it had drawn up.

 

“Total revenues for nine months amount to €6.946.312. On the grounds of the unloaded cargo in October (167.000 tonnes), it can be expected that it will exceed 1.650.000 projection for 2019 and hit the record high annual cargo handling after the port underwent restructuring in 2009”, adds Mr Vučelić.

He said that he wasn't very satisfied with the existing level of technical equipment.

“In my opinion, it’s the Port’s limiting factor, as it sabotages the volume of cargo handling. There hasn’t been any great investment in the development of technical systems in the port for a long time. We’ve earmarked around €600.000 for that purposes and we’ve focused on valuing and using the property in the domain of tertiary activities. We’ll use the funds to invest in the provision of port mechanics in the first place," explained the CEO of the Port.

He stressed that the Port was dominantly state-owned. Unfortunately, he said, the Port “has no investment potential for the fulfillment of strategic development goals defined in the spatial documentation for the port area”.

“In my opinion, the focus should be put on finding a strategic partner that would contribute to the development of the Port”, said Mr Vučelić.

Mr Vučelić firmly believes that capital projects would improve the Port’s market position.

Text by CDM on November 5, 2019, read more here

To read more about business in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page.

04 Nov 2019, 12:51 PM

The biggest benefits of non-working Sunday for shops are obtained by gas station owners, who have expanded their product range over the past two weeks since the new trade law came into effect. Now, you can find oil, milk, salt, and sugar on their shelves.

The ban for shops to be opened started from Sunday 20th October, with the provisions of the new trade law, with a few exceptions such as gas stations, bus and train stations, and airports, kiosks, pharmacies. Prices at these privileged stores are much higher than in markets that may not operate on Sundays.

The Chamber of Commerce Board, on whose initiative the prohibition provisions were adopted for non-working Sunday, will have a session on November 8 and will discuss the implementation of the new law.

"We have received information that gas stations have expanded their range to such an extent that groceries from all product groups are on offer. Bearing in mind that we, for whom the trade is our primary activity, do not work on Sundays according to the Act, we consider this an obvious abuse of the non-working Sunday. A meeting of the Commerce Committee is scheduled for November 8th, where we will point out the non-compliance with the Law. In agreement with the Chamber of Commerce, we will call on the Minister of Economy. We expect the authorities to react because the law must apply equally to everyone, ” it was said to “Vjesti” from the company “Voli”, who was one of the proponents of introducing a non-working Sunday for all shops.

The Association of Petroleum Companies of Montenegro (UNK) told “Vijesti” that petrol stations with their facilities, however, cannot significantly endanger the consumption in supermarkets, because the level of trade with them is much lower and they say that there are no baskets or carts for groceries located at gas stations., which indicates that this is a short trade of the basic items”.

Asked if the amendment to the law was really fair to all traders, because the owners of gas stations used the non-working Sunday, whose shops, along with the increase in turnover on Sundays, sell products at significantly higher prices, from the cabinet of the Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulic, it was answered that in Montenegro the principle of free pricing is applied and that it is up to citizens when and where they will shop.

In shops inside gas stations, goods can be sold if, for the same, the facility meets the prescribed conditions.

As for the sale of food, as explained by the Ministry, following the Law on Food Safety, the Food Safety Directorate registers retail shops.

“Such certified facilities may also be gas stations if they own facilities where they place food on the market and if they have a decision on entry in the register of food establishments by the Administration. The register of the Food Safety Administration contains a large number of gas stations, which also have facilities for retail food sales, ”the Ministry added.

The Association of Petroleum Companies of Montenegro (UNK) admits "a clear increase in sales on Sundays for individual items", which they explain "says that citizens and tourists, while refueling, recognized the opportunity to buy some basic articles on Sundays, while the supermarkets are closed”.

“The increase in sales varies and depends on the location of the gas station itself, so traffic is higher in populated areas. Most often, gas stations, in addition to car cosmetics, oils and lubricants, sell cigarettes, drinks, juices, confectionery and other packaged food products, which are more or less standard and approximately similar in range at all gas stations across Montenegro,” the UNK said.

The association adds that "this increase for only one day is not so significant financially as sales at gas station stores aim primarily to serve customers of oil and petroleum products further, and margins and prices at gas stations are higher than those of standard supermarkets, so buyers only trade basic items, mostly to carry and use while driving.”

Asked by "Vijesti" whether it is true that the owners of gas stations expanded their product range, UNK responded, "that it is an individual decision of each individual gas station to sell goods at the facilities and that the decisions are sometimes seasonal."

“Some gas stations sell heating pellets during the winter, beach mobile during the summer season, car chargers, souvenirs, etc. It’s all a matter of management decision. Outside Montenegro, especially in the EU, it is evident that various goods can be bought at the gas stations. In terms of sales capacity and assortment, petrol stations cannot significantly threaten the turnover in supermarkets. There is no need for the public to favor, to this extent, the advantage of gas stations over supermarkets when working on Sundays. In our opinion, this does not contradict the law, it can only be an advantage for citizens or tourists, who, when traveling, expect to buy certain items to carry, drink or eat in cars at gas stations. Anyone who buys the groceries for their home will probably continue to do so in supermarkets as usual or where they think is best for them," UNK concluded.

Food can only be sold at gas stations with approval

The Ministry of Economy notes that every retailer who sells food products is required to comply with the Food Safety Act, to have equipment in place to store it, and to comply with the principles of good hygiene practice.

When asked if food can be sold at gas stations, UNK replied that "any gas station that duly registered its trade and received a decision from the Food Safety Authority can sell food, factory-packed products."

"We do not have information that has been defined which product can and should not be sold on Sundays, so we asked the Market Inspectorate to answer the same question. Owners of gas stations have the same interest, which is to generate profits solely following the law, which they do now. Some gas stations that have coffee shops or restaurants within their facilities can also sell and serve customers, sell pastry by permits from those in charge, ”UNK said.

The Inspection Directorate told “Vijesti” that their market inspection continuously controls the stores inside the gas stations.

Text by Milorad Milosevic and Goran Kapor, on November 4th, 2019, read more at Vijesti

04 Nov 2019, 06:55 AM

November 4, 2019 - Montenegro visitor numbers hit record levels by all parameters, including over one million overnights in hotels, more than half a billion revenues from travel for the first seven months and €13.5 million of assigned budget revenues at the state and local level, writes Dnevne Novine daily.

In an interview, director of the National Tourism Organization of Montenegro, Ms Željka Radak Kukavičić, confirms positive estimations regarding the success of the tourism industry this year.

“Having in mind that we generated more than €1 billion in revenues from tourism last year, and that the interest in Montenegro as a tourism destination is on the rise, we believe this year will be record-breaking as well.”

Ms Radak Kukavičić also indicated that Montenegro has been developing and thus becoming a high-end tourism destination that “cannot be imagined without a quality tourism infrastructure and high-category hotel capacities.”

“Famous hotel brands such as Hilton, Aman, Regent, Four Points by Sheraton, H Hotels, Chedi, Melia, Iberostar, Falkensteiner, the first One & Only in Europe and announced Ritz Carlton have recognized Montenegro as a favorable investment and tourism destination. The presence of such hotels is significant because they include all amenities that meet the criteria of a modern guest and promise high occupancy rate throughout the year, and therefore the largest revenues,” concluded the Director of NTO.

When asked about data on arrivals and overnights from the beginning of 2018, she said: “According to data of the Statistical Office of Montenegro (MONSTAT), the total number of registered arrivals that refer to collective accommodation for the first nine months of 2019 was around 1.1 million, which is by around 153,000 more compared to the same period last year, while the number of overnight stays was almost 4.2 million, which is by 362,000 more compared to last year’s season.”

 

On the latest data concerning collected taxes, Ms Radak Kukavičić said: “According to data of the Central Bank of Montenegro, the revenues from travels, i.e., from foreign arrivals amounted to €532 million in the first seven months of 2019, which represents a 4.2% growth compared to the same period last year.

Only from collected city tax in the first nine months of the year, the revenues amounted to around €9.1 million, which is by approximately €1.6 million more compared to the same period last year. The total assigned revenues belonging to the budget of Montenegro, local tourism organizations and local self-governments, which include revenues from city taxes, membership fee and tourist tax, were collected in the amount of approximately €13.5 million from the beginning of the year to the end of October, which is by €2.1 million more when compared to the same period in 2018.”

As for the future activities regarding the promotion of our tourism offer, she said: “After the successful summer tourism season, the NTO has already started promotional activities for the 2019/20 season, which we are implementing in cooperation with local tourism organizations and the tourism industry.“

Text by CDM English on November 3, 2019, read more here.

To read more about business in Montenegro, follow TMN's dedicated page.

01 Nov 2019, 02:24 AM

01 November 2019 - The local government of Herceg Novi has recently drawn up an Investment Map for the city, which includes several significant projects crucial to the development of the city.

Guided by the desire to overcome all the negative effects of privatization, and to change the previous orientation of economic activities in the narrow zone of the urban part of the municipality, to promote the development of its rural part, especially Luštica, the local government representatives have drawn up a map of investments. The Investment Map includes 15 projects, of which as many as 11 relate directly or indirectly to tourism development, reports Radio Jadran.

Some projects included in the Map will be built from the city’s own resources, such as a public garage and a square in front of the municipal building - worth 3 million EUR. Future investors will be offered to invest in 14 more projects, according to a presentation of the Map organized by the municipality's management.

The Investment Map of Herceg Novi includes the following projects: Bus Station Complex with Shopping Centre in Igalo, Business Centre in Igalo, Tourist Settlement Njivice Viewpoint, "Sport inn" hotel with football pitch in Igalo, Porto Bono Tourist Complex in Luštica, business and apartment type facility in Meljine, mixed-use facility in Igalo, Hotel Play-Igalo, Sports town in Sutorina, Cable car Njivički put-Ilinica, Sanitary landfill Duboki do, City bypass and Zelenika-Rose ferry, nautical tourism at the Škver and the revitalization of the narrow-gauge railway line through Herceg Novi.

The Mayor of Herceg Novi, Stevan Katić, said that the Map was prepared on the basis of valid planning documentation and the spatial plan. He highlighted that one of the most significant projects for Herceg Novi is the construction of the Igalo Bus Station.

Katić also reminded that the current priority is the completion of water and road infrastructure in Luštica, for which project documentation is being drafted, and towards the end of this year and early next year, the realization of infrastructure investments in the peninsula, worth 10 million EUR, will start.

Director of the Agency for Construction and Development of Herceg Novi Boro Lučić emphasized that all 15 investment sites were developed following the spatial plan and added that he expects that future investors will be interested in these projects.

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