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Montenegro Country Report - February, 2015

  • March 2015
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 18 pages

This report covers the key macroeconomic and financial releases as well as the political events from Montenegro for the period of February 6 - March 5, 2015.

Montenegro's government is considering the introduction of economic citizenship in order to attract more foreign investors.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to invest EUR100mn in projects in the country this year, up from EUR76mn in 2014. The bank's total investments reached EUR400mn so far in energy, agriculture, trade, industry and tourism projects.

The country's Liberal Party has drafted a bill on consumer bankruptcy that would allow insolvent and overburdened by debt individuals to reprogram their liabilities.

A group of 16 non-government organisations (NGOs) from Montenegro, its neighbouring countries and Italy, have sent a letter to Italy's A2A, asking the company not to agree with Montenegro's government plan to construct a second unit at the country's sole thermal power plant TE Pljevlja as they see the project as negative for the country in the long term. Currently, A2A and Montenegro's government are in talks on the thermal power unit construction. At the same time, A2A claimed it has completed all its obligations defined in the 5-year management contract it had signed with Montenegro's government for EPCG.

Key points:



o Public debt rose 4.8% y/y to EUR1.96bn at end-November, equalling 57.8% of the full-year GDP forecast

o The number of foreign tourists visiting Montenegro increased by 24.9% y/y to 14,102 in January

o Industrial production contracted by 3.4% y/y in January

o Unemployment rate remained unchanged at 15.14% as of early March

o The share of non-performing loans (NPL) in Montenegro rose to 16.55% in January

Table Of Contents

Montenegro Country Report - February, 2015
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY3

REAL SECTOR4

1.Inflation4

Consumer prices tick up 0.2% y/y in January4

EU harmonised deflation softens to 0.4% y/y in January4

PPI inflation slows to 0.8% y/y in January5

2.Industry and Trade6

Industrial output falls 3.4% y/y in January6

Industrial sales growth slows to 5.4% y/y in January6

Retail sales up 1.8% y/y in January6

3.Labour Market7

Monthly average net wage rises 0.8% y/y in January7

Unemployment rate flattens at 15.14% in early March - employment agency7

4.Tourism7

Foreign tourist arrivals to Montenegro jump 24.9% y/y in January7

Foreign tourist arrivals to Montenegro rise 2% in 20148

Montenegro to invest EUR220mn in tourism in 20158

FISCAL SECTOR8

Montenegro sells EUR21.23mn of 182-day T-bills at higher yields8

Montenegro sells out EUR40mn issue of 182-day T-bills at slightly lower yields9

Government reprograms EUR89mn tax debt of municipalities9

Outstanding debt of Montenegrin municipalities nearly doubles y/y to EUR350mn in 201410

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION10

Combined net profit of Montenegro's banks at EUR23.78mn in 201410

NPL ratio up to 16.55% in January - c-bank10

NPL ratio falls to 15.87% in December - c-bank11

Central bank mulls capping lending interest rates11

EXTERNAL SECTOR11

Trade gap flattens y/y in January11

2014 net FDI inflow rises 9.3% y/y to EUR353.9mn12

STRUCTURAL REFORMS AND CORPORATE NEWS12

UAE's Etihad Airways reportedly interested to buy Montenegro's flag carrier12

Montenegro to call tender for EUR23.5mn local roads upgrade in Q2 - EBRD13

Italy's A2A reportedly claims completion of all obligations as manager of Montenegro's EPCG13

Orascom, Montenegro sign deal on Mamula lease project13

Spain's Fersa Energias sells 46MW wind park project in Montenegro to UK Vestigo Capital for EUR2.9mn - report14

Montenegro said to launch privatisation of power utility EPCG in Q214

Montenegro to invest EUR120mn in road upgrades over three years15

Government reportedly considers introducing economic citizenship15

Liberal Party proposes consumer bankruptcy law15

NGOs say Montenegro should abandon plans for 250MW thermal power unit16

Telenor units in Serbia and Montenegro see combined operating profit down 10% in 201416

Airport operator ACG, EBRD launch talks on EUR20mn loan for construction of second terminal17

EBRD to invest EUR100mn in Montenegro in 201517

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