Fitch improves outlook for NKBM and Abanka as merger expected
The ratings agency Fitch has kept the long-term credit rating of the NKBM and Abanka banks at BB+, while revising their outlook from stable to positive. The main reason for the improved outlook are the expected positive results of the banks' merger.
S&P 500 posts new record close, but trade worries cap gains; European stocks close higher on US-China trade optimism; WPP shares down 2.5%
Stocks were little changed on Tuesday after the U.S. threatened a new wave of tariffs on European goods, dampening recent optimism surrounding the Washington-Beijing trade truce. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 3 points while the S&P 500 rose marginally. The Nasdaq Composite pulled back 0.1%.
Citigroup shares fell 0.6% while Bank of America and Wells Fargo dropped more than 1% each. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) traded 1.5% lower as Treasury yields declined. The benchmark 10-year yield traded around 1.97% while the 2-year rate fell to 1.75%.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 0.4% provisionally. Utilities led the gains with a 2% rise, while oil and gas stocks fell 0.6% amid a sharp drop in crude prices.
In corporate news, meanwhile, British advertising giant WPP announced Monday that it is in exclusive talks to sell a majority stake in data analytics unit Kantar to private equity firm Bain Capital. The $4 billion deal is intended to steer the world’s biggest advertising company back to growth. WPP’s stock fell 2.5%.
Wage and pension increases no threat to public finances
National Bank of Serbia (NBS) Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic said Tuesday the announced wage and pension increases, slated to be introduced by the end of this year, were well-grounded and would in no way threaten low inflation or stable public finances. "Since April 2017 and up to and including yesterday, we have bought 3.7 bln euros, strengthening the foreign exchange reserves of this country. Then it is clear the foreign exchange inflow and supply are higher than demand, and it is one of the results we have achieved since 2012," Tabakovic told Prva TV on the 135th anniversary of the NBS.
EC still working on review of steel import quotas
The European Commission is still working on a review of measures concerning steel imports to the EU, which also include quotas for exports by Serbia's Smederevo steel mill. "We intend to complete our analysis as soon as possible to ensure the potential necessary changes can take effect by October 1, 2019," a source in the EC told Tanjug Tuesday. The EC began a review of the protection measures in May. Brussels has announced that the steel quotas, introduced in February, would be reviewed no later than in July in case they were a problem for Serbia's economic outlook.
ENHL: Energoprojekt will not pay cash dividend this year
According to the decision of General Assembly, dating from 28th June, Energoprojekt will not pay any cash dividend this year. The entire RSD 763m of net profit, from 2018 is about to be retrained. Total amount of the company retained earnings now stands at RSD 1.02bn.
Source: Belex, Iliirka