Serbia Invites Bids for EUR 1.82 billion NPL Portfolio

Serbia's Deposit Insurance Agency has invited bids for the sale of a non-performing loan (NPL) portfolio of EUR 1.82 billion, was announced by the Finance Ministry. Investors can submit letters of interest by 8 November 2019 and the deadline for placing non-binding bids expires on 2 December 2019. The deadline for submission of binding offers is 15 April 2020.

State Aid: European Commission Approves EUR 300 Million Public Co-Finance for the Greek Ultrafast Broadband Scheme

According to the Digital Economy and Society Index 2019 (DESI 2019), Greece ranks 26th amongst EU countries in fast broadband coverage per household. In particular, only 66% of homes have access to fast internet of above 30 Mbps, far below the EU coverage of 83%, and less than 1% have access to ultrafast broadband of at least 100 Mbps. The European Commission has recently approved as compatible State Aid €300 million of public support for Greece's Ultrafast Broadband Infrastructure Scheme (publication of decision pending - case number SA.53135). The scheme will bring ultrafast broadband services to approximately 2.400.000 customers in areas with insufficient connectivity in Greece.

The Second Round of Technology Specific (PVs & WPs) RES Tenders for 2019

The next round of two technology specific tendering processes for wind (WP) and photovoltaic (PV) parks of capacities of 287,11 and 225,45 MW respectively, are set for 12 December 2019. The applications are to be submitted until 4 November 2019.

Romania – Light and Shadows

Romania has a 2018–2020 governing programme that recognises the development of infrastructure of all types as a second-to-none policy focus. Its 2019 National Reform programme includes a number of priority actions that would be conducive to growth in combination with commercially focused institutional assistance to businesses and a true partnership between the public and private sectors. The country has seen historical under-investment in infrastructure and mounting pressure to replace and expand facilities. Its economic development has outgrown existing capacities and the country faces compelling requirements to meet applicable EU standards for various categories of infrastructure and an increased need to facilitate cross-border trade of goods and utilities.

2019 Romania – Call for Petroleum Blocks Tender. A Breath of Fresh Air?

In a country with a significant number of mature fields and few discoveries made and/or developed in the last years, the Romanian National Authority for Mineral Resources has recently launched a public call for tender for the concession of 28 exploration, development and exploitation petroleum blocks, both onshore and offshore (Licensing Round XI/2019). The list of the petroleum blocks has not yet been published in the Official Journal of the European Union, but such publication should occur soon. The list of petroleum blocks is available in the Romanian Official Gazette. Offers can be submitted by any legal entity, Romanian or foreign, within 120 business days from the date when the tender notice is published in the Official Journal of the European Union and the petroleum concession agreements are expected to be signed within 9 months from the date the negotiations started. Pursuant to Romanian law, the concession agreements will enter into force only after approval by Government Decision, which is sometimes a lengthy process. Although a new licensing round is welcome as the country clearly needs to revive investments in the oil & gas sector, the launching of the licensing round comes as a surprise given that there are still key issues to be fixed in the regulatory framework.

VIVACOM is for Sale

Bulgarian Telecommunication Company EAD (BTC) is a Bulgarian telecommunication operator known by the trademark VIVACOM. VIVACOM owns the best developed network in Bulgaria and is a leader in the provision of modern telecommunication services. The company is the only telecom operator in the country that provides converged solutions through terrestrial, copper and satellite infrastructure, a mobile network and public internet. VIVACOM maintains the only networked international networking center in Bulgaria, the network management center and the largest real-time data storage and booking center.

The Badel Block Project in Zagreb

The City of Zagreb launches a Call for expression of interest to investors in relation to the participation in the development and realisation of the Badel Block Project in Zagreb. The Badel Block project is in the area bordered by the Vlacka, Šubiceva, Marticeva and Derencinova streets in Zagreb, whose surface is around 30,000 m². The purpose of the project is to render the Badel Block area a new identity highlight of the city district in question and the centre of significant business, tourist, hospitality and cultural, and artistic events, and a location providing a high quality of life to its current and future residents. The expected value of this investment is about HRK 750 million (approx. EUR 100 million).

Privatisation of Elektropriveda Crne Gore a.d.

The Government of Montenegro, as a majority shareholder, plans to seek a strategic partner in Elektroprivreda Crne Gore a.d. Elektroprivreda Crne Gore a.d. is the main electricity supplier in Montenegro that is currently 80% owned by the Government of Montenegro and 20% by Italian A2A. The plan of the Government is to acquire the remaining 20% from A2A before seeking a strategic partner that can contribute to the company's profit increase. The Government has not yet selected a strategic partner and no price for the sale of any shares has been disclosed. According to Economy Minister Dragica Sekulic,…

Gorenje Announces Sale of Serbian Subsidiary Gorenje Tiki

Gorenje, the major Slovenian household appliance manufacturer, announced that in the coming weeks, it will publish a call for bids for its Serbian subsidiary Gorenje Tiki, a small water heater manufacturer. Gorenje also intends to sell the Tiki brand along with the subsidiary. Gorenje Tiki is the fourth largest water heater manufacturer in Europe. Ninety percent of its products are exported to 34 countries across the globe, primarily to Germany, Austria, Croatia, and Russia. The Serbian market is the third largest and Gorenje Tiki's market share there is 40 percent. Gorenje opened the Serbian…

Sale of Lasta a.d.

The Republic of Serbia has announced its intention to privatise Lasta a.d. by selling the state share of 77%. Lasta a.d. is one of the major companies in the transportation sector with a great fleet of coaches for transportation of passengers on local and international lines. The Republic of Serbia contracted BDO Business Advisory Belgrade as a privatisation consultant which finalised its report at the beginning of April 2019. The tender for the sale should take place by June. The minimum price for the sale is unknown, while BDO estimated the value of Lasta a.d. in a range between EUR 16 million…

Sale of Petrohemija a.d.

The Republic of Serbia has announced its intention to sell 62% of its share in Petrohemija a.d. in 2019. Petrohemija a.d. is the largest petrochemical company in Serbia. The Republic of Serbia is yet to select a privatisation advisor. The minimum price for the sale has not been set and the estimated price of the company is unknown. Gazpromneft has been mentioned as the most serious contender for the purchase of Petrohemija a.d., but lately, companies from Poland and China also expressed interest for the purchase.

Sale of Komercijalna Banka a.d.

The Republic of Serbia has announced a tender sale of the majority share of Komercijalna Banka.  Komercijalna Banka is among the top five banks in Serbia with approximately 11% of the market share. The Republic of Serbia has engaged with consortium Lazard, KPMG, and Prica and partners that should analyse the bank's business and advise with the selection of a potential buyer. Their work should be finalised by May 2019 when the tender for the sale should be scheduled. The tender is expected to take place in May-June 2019. The minimum price for the sale is unknown. According to publicly disclosed…