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Montenegro Country Report - April, 2016

  • May 2016
  • -
  • Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings
  • -
  • 26 pages

This report covers the key macroeconomic and financial releases as well as the political events from Montenegro for the period of April 6-May 5, 2016.

The European Commission lowered its 2016 economic growth forecast for Montenegro to 3.6%, as the economy is hampered by the weak recovery of bank lending. At the same time, the IMF expects that the country's economy will post the highest growth, of 4.7%, among the countries in Emerging and Developing Europe this year. The World Bank made the most pessimistic forecast for a 3.3% growth.

Representatives of opposition parties in Montenegro signed a long-expected agreement with prime minister Milo Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) on the entry of the opposition to the government on April 26. However, the parties also signed another document, pledging that they will not form coalitions with the DPS either before or after the general election this autumn.

Montenegro advanced eight positions on the 2016 Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders (RSF), but still remained among the worst in South-East Europe, ranking 106th out of 180 countries.

Montenegro's prosecution has reportedly initiated an investigation into several former and current managers of power monopoly EPCG over consultancy contracts signed with Italy's A2A, which is one of the company's main owners.

The Montenegrin company of Canadian businessman Peter Munk - Adriatic Marinas - has sold its stake in Porto Montenegro marina project to the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).





Key points:



o The budget deficit shrank 19.3% y/y to EUR47.2mn in the first quarter of 2016

o The number of foreign tourists visiting Montenegro increased by 15.9% y/y to 21,850 in March

o Industrial output swung to a 2.9% annual growth in March, following three months of decline

o Bank assets rose 9.6% y/y to EUR3.441bn at end-March

Table Of Contents

Montenegro Country Report - April, 2016
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY4

REAL SECTOR5

1.GDP5

EC lowers Montenegro's 2016 GDP growth forecast to 3.6% on sluggish recovery of bank lending5

Montenegro's economy to have highest growth in emerging Europe in 2016, IMF says5

World Bank forecasts 3.3% medium-term economic growth in Montenegro5

2.Inflation6

Montenegro's HICP turns to 0.5% y/y deflation in March6

Montenegro's consumer prices turn to decrease in March6

Montenegro's PPI stays flat y/y in March7

3.Industry and Trade7

Montenegro's retail sales grow by 1.2% y/y in March7

Montenegro's industrial sales ease annual fall to 38.2% y/y in March7

Montenegro's industrial output turns to growth in March8

4.Labour Market8

Montenegro's unemployment rate declines to 17.94% on May 48

Montenegro's monthly average net wage grows 2.5% y/y in March9

5.Tourism9

Foreign tourist arrivals in Montenegro rise 15.9% y/y in March9

FISCAL SECTOR9

Montenegro's Q1 budget gap contracts 19.3% y/y on rising income9

Montenegro could sell concession on Bar-Boljare motorway to cut construction costs, finance minister says10

Montenegro raises EUR13.4mn of 182-day T-bills issue, above target10

Montenegro's govt drafts plan for public debt settlement, finance minister says11

FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION12

Montenegro's bank deposits growth slows in March12

Montenegro's bank assets growth slows to 9.6% y/y in March12

Average lending interest rate in Montenegro falls to 8.043% in March12

Montenegro's c-bank says financial system at moderate risk in 201513

EXTERNAL SECTOR13

Montenegro's Q1 trade gap widens 11.7% y/y13

Montenegro posts net FDI outflow of EUR18.3mn through February13

STRUCTURAL REFORMS AND CORPORATE NEWS14

Adriatic Marinas sells stake in Porto Montenegro to Dubai's ICD14

Montenegro Airlines tops the list of biggest tax debtors in April15

Montenegro to borrow EUR35mn from KfW for wastewater infrastructure project15

Serbia's AIK banka acquires 15% of Montenegro's Budvanska Rivijera15

Montenegro widens investigation at power monopoly EPCG16

IFC to invest $40-$80mn in Montenegro, c-bank says16

Montenegro's economy committee gives green light to offshore oil, gas exploration deal17

Montenegro reportedly investigates former EPCG management over consultancy contracts with A2A17

Montenegro's power monopoly to separate transmission unit by end-April18

EU to invest EUR25mn in rule of law, human rights projects in Western Balkans and Turkey18

Montenegro, Skoda Praha to ink deal on new TPP Pljevlja unit by end-April18

POLITICS19

Disagreements between Montenegro's opposition parties delays vote on government changes19

Montenegro's parliament to debate opposition's entry to government on May 420

Montenegro's opposition sign deal to join government21

Montenegrin parliamentary committee to interrogate anti-corruption head22

Montenegrin opposition parties set to join government23

Montenegro's opposition parties start talks to distribute ministerial seats23

Media freedom improves in Montenegro, but remains among the worst in SEE, RSF says24

Nato's foreign ministers to sign Montenegro's accession protocol on May 19-20, Stoltenberg says25

Montenegro's parliament speaker reportedly seeks deputy PM position25

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