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Albania Country Report - March, 2016

  • April 2016
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 53 pages

This report covers the key macroeconomic and financial releases as well as the political events from Albania for the period of March 10, 2016 - April 11, 2016.

INTERVIEW: Albanian president says politics needs to change to enable reforms

China's Geo-Jade Petroleum buys Albania-focused Bankers Petroleum

Tirana court to rule on bankruptcy of top Balkan steel producer Kurum

EBRD to provide EUR218mn loan to Albanian power producer KESH

Albanian govt okays sale of state-owned insurer Insig to local peer Eurosig

Petromanas closes sale of Albanian assets to Shell

Albanian c-bank cuts key rate to record low of 1.5%

World Bank cuts Albania's GDP growth projections to 3.2% in 2016

IMF reaches staff-level agreement for completion of seventh review of Albania's EFF arrangement

Albanian police extends presence along Greek border for possible influx of migrants







Key points:

o Albania's CPI inflation edges up to 0.3% y/y in March

o Jan-Feb state budget revenues 1% above plan

o Albania's insurance market down 4.7% y/y in Jan-Feb

o Albania's net power generation up 24.1% y/y in 2015

o Commercial bank loan portfolio down 2.2% y/y at end-February

o Growth of Albania's gross external debt accelerates to 10.1% y/y at end Q4

o Albania's 2-month trade gap widens 11.8% y/y

Table Of Contents

Albania Country Report - March, 2016
MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW5

World Bank cuts Albania's GDP growth projections to 3.2% in 20165

Albanian c-bank cuts key rate to record low of 1.5%5

IMF reaches staff-level agreement for completion of seventh review of Albania's EFF arrangement6

REAL SECTOR7

1.Inflation7

Albania's CPI inflation edges up to 0.3% y/y in March7

2.Turnover index8

Total turnover index of Albanian economy grows 2.1% y/y in Q48

Albania's retail sales growth slows to 6.8% y/y in Q4 20159

3.Jobless10

Albania's jobless rate falls 0.3pp y/y to 17.7% in Q4 - labour force survey10

4.Energy11

Albania's net power generation rises 24.1% y/y in 201511

FISCAL SECTOR11

Albania expected to present 2017 state budget in July12

Albania raises EUR82.1mn in one-year, six-month T-bills, yields mixed12

Albania sells out EUR36.6mn in one-yearT-bills, yields slightly down12

Albanian Jan-Feb state budget revenues 1% above plan13

Albania sells out EUR95.7mn in one-year, two-year government papers, yields down13

Albania raises EUR21.7mn in seven-year T-bonds14

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION14

Albania's commercial bank loan portfolio down 2.2% y/y at end-February14

Albania's M3 money supply up 1.2% y/y at end-February14

Growth of Albania's commercial bank deposits slows to 0.8% y/y at end-February15

Albania's insurance market down 4.7% y/y in Jan-Feb16

EXTERNAL SECTOR17

Growth of Albania's gross external debt accelerates to 10.1% y/y at end Q417

Albania's Q4 current account gap widens 8.3% y/y18

Albania's 2-month trade gap widens 11.8% y/y18

Albania's end-Feb net foreign assets up 15.1% y/y19

STRUCTURAL REFORMS AND CORPORATE NEWS19

New SEE energy exchanges boost regional integration20

Albanian oil trader ISC Petroleum sold to Austria's Tamm Oil Trading22

Tirana presents Skanderbeg Square project, to be finished in June 201722

Albania to open second airport by end of 201622

Albanian launches second stage of campaign against informal economy23

TAP gas pipeline inauguration ceremony to be held on May 1724

Petromanas closes sale of Albanian assets to Shell24

Albania and Kosovo works on creating joint electricity market25

Albania to shortlist companies for EU capacity building project26

Albanian govt okays sale of state-owned insurer Insig to local peer Eurosig26

Canada's Pennine announces EUR1.0mn non-brokered financing to advance Albanian oil block Velca27

EBRD to provide EUR218mn loan to Albanian power producer KESH27

Takeover of Bankers Petroleum by Chinese company will not affect concession contract with Albanian govt28

Albanian parliamentary body agrees UNEP grant for Kune-Vain lagoon28

China's Geo-Jade Petroleum buys Albania-focused Bankers Petroleum29

Albanian power utilities transfer security guard services to private firms29

Tirana court to rule on bankruptcy of top Balkan steel producer Kurum30

Saranda International Airport registered as new company in Albania31

Albania launches reforms in water supply sector to improve infrastructure31

Albanian farm ministry will provide EUR23mn in subsidies to farmers in 201632

Albania's OSHEE says upgrade of power distribution network in Tirana's suburb near completion32

Albania to finish soon construction of new EUR6mn building for police' rapid reaction force32

Albania's National Business Centre to launch operations in April33

Albanian insurer Eurosig places highest bid of EUR15.7mn for local state-owned peer Insig33

Oil co Bankers Petroleum Albania turns to net loss in 201534

POLITICS34

Albanian Socialist Party members confirm PM Rama as leader34

Mandates of two Socialist Party MPs likely to go Constitutional Court to unlock talks on judicial reform35

Albania army helicopter crashes near Shkodra, two died, one injured35

Albanian prosecution office asks jail terms for nine imams for recruiting Islamic fighters36

Sacked Albanian central bank governor demands compensation36

Tirana to host next NATO parliamentary assembly on May 27-3037

COMMENT: China and the Balkans - 'New Engine, New Power, New Platform'... and new graft37

EU commissioner urges Albania to adopt judicial reforms to progress further on EU path39

INTERVIEW: Albanian president says politics needs to change to enable reforms39

Albania's Socialist Party MP seeks launch of criminal proceeding against opposition MP42

EU enlargement commissioner Hahn visits Albania43

Albanian opposition leader sets condition to continue talks on judicial reforms43

Foreign affairs MEPs say Albania needs to intensify reforms in aim to start EU accession talks44

Avramopoulos says EU will provide support to Albania to cope with possible influx of refugees44

Albania's governing Socialist Party to hold referendum for party's leadership on April 945

INTERVIEW: Former supreme commander says closer Nato ties will help Balkans attract investors45

BALKAN BLOG: Disillusion grows as Europe fractures over migrant crisis47

Macedonia, Albania want to increase trade exchange50

Albania govt sets up national committee for refugees amid growing migrant crisis at neighbours51

Albania prosecution office sets up special body for implementation of decriminalisation law51

Venice Commission's draft on Albanian judicial reforms disregards some opposition demands52

Albanian governing Socialist Party to hold congress on March 1952

Albanian police extends presence along Greek border for possible influx of migrants53

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