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Igor Ilic

Austria's Raiffeisenbank seeks potential acquisitions in Croatia

22 May 2019

ZAGREB Austria's Raiffeisenbank (RBA) is looking to make acquisitions in Croatia as organic growth alone will not be sufficient to boost its market share in the country, the CEO of the lender's Croatian unit said on Wednesday.

Canada's Vermilion to drill new exploration wells in central Europe

15 Apr 2019

ZAGREB Canada's Vermilion Energy will drill its first two exploration wells in Croatia in June, a senior official from the company said on Monday.

Canada's Vermilion to drill new exploration wells in central Europe

15 Apr 2019

ZAGREB, April 15 Canada's Vermilion Energy will drill its first two exploration wells in Croatia in June, a senior official from the company said on Monday. Vermilion won four licences in 2015 for oil and gas exploration in Croatia's flat northeastern areas and the drilling will take place on one of these.

Croatia's INA plans to modernise Rijeka refinery, convert second plant

19 Dec 2018

ZAGREB, Dec 19 Croatian energy group INA plans to invest more than four billion kuna ($616 million) to modernise its largest refinery but a second, smaller refinery will be converted into an industrial plant, it said on Wednesday.

CEE MARKETS-Brexit, growth uncertainty put pressure on CEE assets

10 Dec 2018

* Czech inflation drops, CNB seen increasing rates next year * Crown sets five-week highs, Brexit fears keep investors cautious * Croatian central bank could continue to sell kuna -analysts (Recasts with worries over Britain's EU exit deal, new analyst comments, Hungarian bond yield rise) By Sandor Peto and Igor Ilic BUDAPEST/ZAGREB, Dec 10 Central European currencies and stocks came under pressure on Monday as worries grew over global economic growth and the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union. The sterling fell on reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May would delay a parliamentary vote on "Brexit". Brexit without a deal would pose risks to the EU's eastern members because of their trade links with Britain and indirectly via Germany, whose companies own a big part of Central Europe's heavy car industry. A political crisis in Britain would also hit sterling, putting pressure on Central European, Rabobank analyst Piotr Matys said in a note. "A sharp fall in GBP/USD could squeeze EUR/PLN towards recent high at 4.3382 and USD/PLN could rise to around 3.81 where recent tops are located," he said. The zloty and the forint were steady versus the euro, which was moving sideways before Thursday's European Central Bank meeting. The zloty, trading at 4.2901, drifted further off last week's two-month highs. The leu eased 0.1 percent to 4.652 against the euro and the crown gave up ground, trading flat at 25.877, off a five-week high of 25.844 reached early in the session. Expectations for further Czech central bank interest rate hikes prevailed despite a drop in annual inflation in November to 2 percent, the bank's target level, from 2.2 percent in October. Inflation pressure remains strong, despite the fall, and will require tighter monetary conditions next year, Erste analysts said in a note. Central European equities were mostly lower on fears of a global economic slowdown, with Warsaw's blue-chip index shedding 1.2 percent. Pressure on some of the region's central banks to increase interest rates has eased in the past two months as global crude prices fell, helping government bond yields fall. "The crude slump has rewritten expectations. People are waiting," one Budapest-based fixed income trader said, adding that Hungary's central bank could keep its rates on hold at its meeting on Dec. 18. Hungary's 10-year government bond yield rose 7 basis points to 3.16 percent from a 6-month low reached on Friday. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1542 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2018 Czech <EURCZK= 25.8770 25.8780 +0.00% -1.29% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 323.1800 323.1800 +0.00% -3.80% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.2901 4.2910 +0.02% -2.65% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.6520 4.6464 -0.12% +0.60% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.3880 7.3882 +0.00% +0.57% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 118.2600 118.3200 +0.05% +0.20% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2018 Prague 1031.94 1040.370 -0.81% -4.29% 0 Budapest 39722.76 39384.56 +0.86% +0.88% Warsaw 2253.83 2281.54 -1.21% -8.43% Bucharest 8632.25 8684.75 -0.60% +11.33% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 806.71 812.31 -0.69% +0.04% > Zagreb 1704.29 1714.89 -0.62% -7.52% Belgrade <.BELEX1 741.41 745.40 -0.54% -2.42% 5> Sofia 593.16 595.32 -0.36% -12.44% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.6150 -0.0030 +218bps -4bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.7710 0.0080 +202bps -4bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 2.0350 0.0070 +178bps +0bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.5590 0.0070 +213bps -3bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.4770 0.0400 +273bps -1bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 3.0370 0.0320 +278bps +3bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.18 2.30 2.37 2.01 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.29 0.50 0.79 0.13 Poland 1.74 1.76 1.78 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Additional reporting by Radu Marinas in Bucharest; editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Larry King)

CEE MARKETS-Rate hike bets buoy Czech crown despite inflation fall

10 Dec 2018

* Czech inflation drops to target as expected * CNB seen holding fire on Dec. 20, increasing rates next year * Crown sets a 5-week highs, Brexit fears keep investors cautious * Croatian central bank could continue to sell kuna-analysts By Sandor Peto and Igor Ilic BUDAPEST/ZAGREB, Dec 10 The crown set a 5-week high against the euro on Monday as expectations for further Czech central bank interest rate hikes prevailed despite a drop in annual inflation in November. Inflation dropped to 2 percent, the central bank's target level, from 2.2 percent in October. The crown reached its strongest levels since early November at 25.844 versus the euro before retreating to 25.855 by 1004 GMT, still firmer by 0.1 percent from Friday. Other Central European currencies were steady or a touch easier, while global fears of an economic slowdown pushed regional equities mostly lower, with Warsaw's bluechip index shedding 0.4 percent. Investors were cautious ahead of Tuesday's vote in which Britain's parliament could reject a deal on the terms of the exit from the European Union. "Brexit" without set terms would pose some risks to Central European economies and Poland in particular, in part due to their trade links with Britain. Trade was slow in the crown's market after the inflation figures, one dealer said. The inflation drop confirms that the CNB could take a pause at its Dec. 20 meeting after four straight rate hikes. But inflation pressure remains strong despite the fall driven by a decline in food and packaged holiday prices, and will require tighter monetary conditions, Erste analysts said in a note. "If koruna (the crown) starts appreciating again, we expect the CNB to deliver only one additional hike approx. in the middle of the next year," Erste said, adding that three hikes may come if the crown does not strengthen. Pressure on some of the region's central banks to increase interest rates has eased in the past two months as global crude prices sharply retreated. "The crude slump has rewritten expectations. People are waiting," one Budapest-based fixed income trader said, adding that Hungary's central bank could keep its rates on hold at its meeting on Dec. 18. The Croatian central bank, which manages the kuna in tight ranges, even had to sell the unit last week to stem its strengthening driven by European Union fund inflows, tourism revenues and increased lending in the local currency. Further interventions are likely, Erste said in a separate note. The kuna traded near 5-month highs, at 7.385 against the euro. Romania is also expected to report on Tuesday a fall in annual inflation, to 3.7 percent in November from 4.3 percent in October, which may provide support to Romanian government bonds, analysts said. "With liquidity conditions improving, today's October-2020 bond auction should see good demand," ING Bank said in a note. CEE SNAPSHOT AT MARKETS 1104 CET CURRENCI ES Latest Previous Daily Change bid close change in 2018 Czech <EURCZK= 25.8550 25.8780 +0.09% -1.21% crown > Hungary <EURHUF= 323.2400 323.1800 -0.02% -3.81% forint > Polish <EURPLN= 4.2912 4.2910 -0.00% -2.68% zloty > Romanian <EURRON= 4.6514 4.6464 -0.11% +0.61% leu > Croatian <EURHRK= 7.3850 7.3882 +0.04% +0.61% kuna > Serbian <EURRSD= 118.1400 118.3200 +0.15% +0.30% dinar > Note: calculated from 1800 CET daily change Latest Previous Daily Change close change in 2018 Prague 1035.07 1040.370 -0.51% -4.00% 0 Budapest 39444.11 39384.56 +0.15% +0.17% Warsaw 2270.56 2281.54 -0.48% -7.75% Bucharest 8661.14 8684.75 -0.27% +11.70% Ljubljana <.SBITOP 806.52 812.31 -0.71% +0.02% > Zagreb 1702.83 1714.89 -0.70% -7.60% Belgrade <.BELEX1 741.22 745.40 -0.56% -2.45% 5> Sofia 593.81 595.32 -0.25% -12.35% BONDS Yield Yield Spread Daily (bid) change vs Bund change in Czech spread Republic 2-year <CZ2YT=R 1.6150 -0.0030 +220bps -2bps R> 5-year <CZ5YT=R 1.8000 0.0370 +208bps +1bps R> 10-year <CZ10YT= 2.0340 0.0060 +179bps +1bps RR> Poland 2-year <PL2YT=R 1.5660 0.0140 +215bps +0bps R> 5-year <PL5YT=R 2.4700 0.0330 +275bps +1bps R> 10-year <PL10YT= 3.0420 0.0370 +280bps +4bps RR> FORWARD RATE AGREEMEN T 3x6 6x9 9x12 3M interban k Czech Rep 2.14 2.24 2.30 2.01 <PRIBOR= > Hungary 0.31 0.54 0.84 0.13 Poland 1.75 1.76 1.79 1.72 Note: FRA are for ask prices quotes ************************************************* ************* (Additional reporting by Radu Marinas in Bucharest Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

Labor shortage compounds Croatia's struggle to catch up to western Europe

05 Dec 2018

ZAGREB Croatia is suffering a severe labor shortage, most glaringly in its booming seaside tourist resorts, that is compounding obstacles to economic growth and dimming hopes of catching up to more developed European Union peers.

Croatians protest over government plan to raise retirement age

21 Oct 2018

ZAGREB Several thousand people protested in Croatia's capital on Saturday over government plans to raise the retirement age to 67 and cut pensions for those who retire early.

Croatia may pay some 1.2 pct of GDP for costs of shipyard

18 Oct 2018

ROVINJ, Croatia, Oct 18 Croatia may have to pay 4.2 billion kuna ($651.57 million) for the costs of state guarantees extended to an ailing Adriatic shipyard that has been struggling to survive in recent months, Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Thursday.

Croatia on course for Schengen zone entry in 2020 - government official

16 Oct 2018

ZAGREB Croatia expects to meet the technical criteria for the border-free European Union's Schengen zone by year-end and hopes to join it by 2020, a senior Interior Ministry official said on Tuesday.

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