Foreign Investors Council
47, Gospodar Jevremova Street, IV Floor, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 3281 958, 3281 965
e-mail: office@fic.org.rs

Member News

Good results of the Sava Insurance Group and its members in Serbia in 2020

According to unaudited results, the Sava Insurance Group generated EUR 674.9 million in operating revenues in 2020, which represents growth by 15.5% in comparison to the previous year, despite a significant increase in the risk of potential additional adverse effects of the pandemic on the Group’s operations. Net profit amounts to EUR 56.4 million, which is an increase by 12.3% in comparison to the previous year and is higher than planned. This increase in the outcome of good results in the life and non-life insurance segments, but also due to higher receivables in the reinsurance segment on the international market.

In 2020, the Group generated EUR 679.7 million in gross premiums, which is an increase by 13.6% in comparison to the previous year.

Gross claims paid in the Slovenian non-life segment decreased significantly, primarily in car insurance, which is a reflection of the lower frequency of claims. On the other hand, there were more claims and significantly higher losses in the reinsurance segment, many of which related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although 2020 was full of surprises and changes due to the pandemic, the members of the Sava Insurance Group in Serbia managed to quickly adapt to the newly emerging situation and achieve good results.

In 2020, Sava životno osiguranje achieved premiums 30.9% higher than in 2019. Investment income in 2020 was 20.6% higher than planned.

Sava neživotno osiguranje exceeded the 2020 invoiced premium plan by 4.9%. Gross premium per employee increased by 20.8% in comparison to the amount planned for 2020.

In 2020, Sava Insurance Group enhanced its projects for the development of digital solutions in order to provide its clients with faster and easier access to its services and paid special attention to investment opportunities in projects focused on the environment and sustainability.

Kind regards,

Sava osiguranje

Karanovic & Partners – Webinar on IP Guide for Young Adults

Karanovic & Partners is organizing a webinar on intellectual property rights, which will be held on 17 December at 12:00h. At this online event, Karanovic & Partners IT expert Nikola Kliska will present the IP guide for young adults “The law of creativity – your creativity, your right”, published in November this year. This short guide trough intellectual property law is intended for fledgling artists, scientists and creators, in order to introduce them to the basic postulates of IP law, to help them find out which rights they have and how to protect their creativity.

You can access the Serbian and English versions of the guide at www.karanovicpartners.com/kommunity.

The webinar is free of charge for all registered attendees. You can register HERE.

Karanovic & Partners marks the first 25 years

So far, Karanovic & Partners has become a leading regional legal practice in Southeast Europe with more than 100 attorneys at law cooperating in Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, all working together as one team.

Karanovic & Partners is known for being a reliable partner in complex legal matters, for innovative legal solutions, and being at the forefront of legal developments in Southeast Europe, pioneering new areas of the law and paving the way for new practices and regulations.

„We had the vision to create a “world-class” team in the former Yugoslavia and that vision has been achieved“, said Dragan Karanović, Managing Partner at Karanovic & Partners. „We have come this far by pioneering projects, vision, values, and the practice of looking at clients as long-term partners. Advocacy must be up to date with the development of clients, but in the first 25 years of our practice, we have shown that the best way is to always be a few steps ahead,” added Dragan Karanović.

Thank you for walking on this path with us.

Meet the new Partners of Živković Samardžić Law office

Živković Samardžić, one of the Serbia’s leading law firms, announces the promotion of two Partners, effective July 1, 2021. Ivan Ljubisavljević in the Dispute Resolution Department and Sava Pavlović in the Corporate and M&A Department.

“Congratulations to Ivan and Sava on achieving this important milestone in their careers. It is a testament to their commitment to being our trusted advisors to our clients for their most complex and important challenges and opportunities. Together they highlight the quality, diversity and depth of talent that support our strategy and embody the shared and business culture that is at the heart of our firm,” said Managing Partner Branislav Živković.

Živković Samardžić is today a successful outfit, the leading law firm on the Serbian market. Nevertheless, we see a lot of potential for improving our processes and structures and becoming even more effective. We are confident that newly promoted Partners shall help us achieve that goal.

Nebojša Samardžić, Senior Partner: „Congratulations to our new partners on their well-deserved promotions and I look forward to watching them progress in new roles as they continue to provide exceptional and innovative solutions for our clients.“

Prior to joining Law Office Živković Samardžić in 2016, Ivan Ljubisavljević used to work for several international companies from the financial industry. Ivan is specialized in Dispute Resolution and Regulatory compliance with emphasis on Financial Services sector. Previously, Ivan was an in-house lawyer with the major B2B services provider and later he worked as a legal and compliance officer with the major international insurance company. He graduated at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law in 2011. In this newly created role, Ivan will be responsible for the implementation of projects and cases of strategic importance for the firm from the area of civil litigation, banking and finance litigation in particular. Furthermore, his task will be to upgrade the level of external firm reputation in the legal network’s and between clients in region.

Sava Pavlović, Corporate and M&A Senior Associate, joined Živković Samardžić in 2013, after graduating at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law and almost after one-year long apprenticeship in a government’s ICT regulatory body. At the beginning with Živković Samardžić, he was advising clients in media, telecom, and advertising industry, and later, Sava joined Živković Samardžić’s Corporate and M&A team. Sava’s specialization in Corporate, M&A and banking, at one side, and his deep understanding of IT, media, and telecom industries, allows him to deal successfully with a broad range of clients, from startups, media outlets, through investment funds, banks and multinational corporations. In his legal advisory track records, Sava has a broad array of complex domestic and cross-border transactions, including some of the most valuable and complex transactions on the Serbian market in past years. It should not be left unmentioned Sava’s very prominent activity in the area of e-commerce – beside providing legal advisory to the clients, Sava is also very active in e-commerce advocacy; since its beginnings, Sava is lecturing at the eCommerce Academy organized by eCommerce Association of Serbia and also, he is taking his part as lecturer at many courses, trainings and workshops in this area. As a member or delegate, he is giving his valuable professional contribution through several professional organizations as well, including Foreign Investors Council (FIC) and Serbian Association of Managers (SAM).

Živković Samardžić strives for a proactive and business-oriented approach to solutions and an impressive ability to pivot and adapt to challenging circumstances, all of which enable us to provide the highest level of customer service. We congratulate our colleagues on their appointment and wish them many new, exciting challenges and the best of luck.

Meet The Winners Of The Generator Gamechanger Competition

More than 170 participants applied for the OTP banka’s Generator competition, which supports digital projects that help small and medium enterprises overcome the consequences of the crisis caused by the corona virus, out of which ten semifinalists and subsequently six finalists advanced to the next stage. At the final online event, the jury selected two winners who won one million dinars each for the further development of their projects.

BELGRADE – October 15, 2020 – Generator Gamechanger This year’s OTP banka’s competition supported digital projects – websites, applications and other digital platforms – that help and offer new opportunities to SMEs to overcome the challenges they have faced in the pandemic. From more than 170 entries, the jury selected ten semifinalists who were awarded a media promotion so that as many people and small and medium enterprises as possible could hear about their project. After that, at a large-scale online event, six finalists were selected, out of which the jury chose one winner in each category – new idea and existing solution.

Your Pet World, the winning new idea is an intermediary-type portal that would bring together the two connected groups for the first time in the region. On the one hand, the database would include all service providers in five industries – groomers, sitters, boarding kennels, veterinarians, trainers, and on the other hand dog and cat owners who could choose the most cost-effective and transparent services in a location that suits them best.

 

 

 

 

Zanateria, the winning existing solution, is an online platform that brings together all small domestic producers who cannot enter large distribution chains. On Zanateria platform, clothes, shoes, furniture, household items, natural cosmetics, food, drinks, products for children and babies, for pets, as well as books, comics and music editions of small publishers are sold.

Selected semi-finalists and finalists were also awarded by the partners of the competition. Vojvodjanska banka awarded the ReportNest project the MasterCard payment card with the available amount of RSD 200,000 ready to be used, as well as a virtual visit to the OTP Lab, the head office of the OTP Group for Innovation in Budapest, where the awarded team will have the opportunity to get acquainted with OTP Lab programs, present their project and thus potentially cooperate with OTP Group. ICT HUB, the centre for technology entrepreneurship and innovation, awarded the Bizplaner project the free use of coworking space for the entire team for six months, membership in the eHub platform and access to all educational content and maps for the next Corporate Innovation Conference. The TeleGroup company also awarded Zanateria and Your Pet World projects a 50% discount on the consulting service of researching the needs of customers and defining inputs for further development of solutions to the finalists. The Belgrade Open School and the Eneca organization awarded the prize to the Dr Agro, Your Pet World and Stari Zanati projects, which won mentoring and consulting in the field of strategic planning, finance and sources of financing and marketing and sales.

Since the grand finale of the Generator event was organized online for the first time due to the epidemiological situation, OTP banka donated the money intended for the cocktail reception to Cafe Bar 16, which employs young people from the drop in shelter Svratište and provides them with social inclusion.

Please find more information on the Generator website.

About the Generator project:

In order to strengthen the competitiveness of Serbian entrepreneurship, the Generator project was carefully designed and launched in 2017, and it brings together the initiatives and activities that encourage innovative entrepreneurial ventures. In the same year, Generator supported 40 entrepreneurial innovations through financial support, promotion and mentoring. The winner received one million dinars, and almost 800 innovators submitted their ideas. In the following year, 2018, the best student entrepreneurial innovations were awarded, and last year Generator 2.0 was intended for the digital transformation of small and medium enterprises. At the end of 2019, within the Generator project, OTP banka launched the Good Deed Generator initiative, which supports social entrepreneurship.

Together. We move things forward.

#otpbankasrbija #generator2020 #podrška #SME #digitalizacija #inovacije

Metropol Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Belgrade is Open Again!

Experience the stunning Metropol Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in the very center of the city. With its park surroundings, exceptional accommodation and impeccable service, Metropol Palace offers you an unforgettable Belgrade experience. This striking hotel first opened in 1957, welcoming throughout its existence the city’s elite, culturally influential people and foreign guests.

Apart from the luxurious accommodation, guests can indulge in a sumptuous dinner, enjoy a drink at noon or a nightcap at the Red Parallel Lounge.

You can host an event or meeting at one of many event halls and ballrooms.

As gem of modern Belgrade, hotel features 236 beautifully designed rooms and suites, unique restaurant with park view, and oasis of tranquility and elegance, a 25m long pool.

Link for more info is below.

 

Newsletter  |  [1642kb,  docx]

New President of the Executive Board of API Bank

Valery Ovsyannikov has been the President of the Executive Board of API Bank since July 2021. He has many years of experience in the development of international, corporate, and retail banking, as well as in the management of small, medium and large banks, both in Russia and internationally, in different market circumstances. For the last 15 years, he has held the positions of President of the Executive Board of many banks, including VTB Bank in Armenia, Sber Bank in Serbia and the Russian Globex Bank. With his unique expertise and proven competence, he contributes to the API brand in the field of development of adequate market niches and modern banking services on the Serbian market: “Flexibility is a key factor in development, and it is the way in which API Bank with its professional team will meet the needs of clients.”

OTP banka gives two million dinars for product development solving rapid spoilage of fruits and vegetables

Project B-fresh, winner of the Generator Zero Competition

Belgrade, 18.03.2022 – Project B-fresh, that solves the problem of rapid spoilage of fruits and vegetables, is the winner of the Generator Zero entrepreneurial competition of OTP banka Srbija, dedicated to supporting and rewarding the best solution for reducing the carbon footprint, as one of the biggest challenges of today. A total of 72 solutions applied for this year’s competition, while 10 of them entered the finals. The winning team won two million dinars, as well as the support of OTP banka in further project realization and promotion.

Driven by the fact that a third of food produced globally ends up as waste, which affects CO2 emission, the domestic startup B-fresh Technologies has developed a product that extends the life of fruits and vegetables, which accounts for as much as 40 percent of that waste.
The B-fresh spray is an innovative, environmentally friendly solution that emulsifies the interior of existing packaging, such as plastic, cardboard, paper boxes or wooden crates.                                                                                                                                                                                  As a leading creditor of the corporate and retail sector and a market leader in factoring, leasing and e-commerce services, OTP banka has been working for years on promoting and supporting innovation and domestic entrepreneurship, and the Generator Zero is one of the most important projects in this field.

“The Generator is a competition that has been growing from year to year. It is the result of our thematically monitoring market trends and needs. In this way, thanks to its constant relevance, we manage to present a large number of promising and innovative projects every year. Climate change and global warming are probably the greatest challenge for humanity in the 21st century. As difficult as it is to predict what awaits us in the years to come, one thing is certain: every contribution matters. In other words, each and every one of us should take responsibility and do everything we can to fight for a sustainable future. That is why, we at OTP banka, are strategically focused on the green transition with the objective to not only improve our operations in the direction of environmental sustainability, but to also motivate all our clients to do the same. One of our most important activities on this path is the Generator Zero project, which we have dedicated this year to the topic of reducing the carbon footprint, as one of the key causes of global warming. In this way, we want to motivate and encourage innovators to offer us new and creative solutions and thus engage in a common fight for a better future”, said Predrag Mihajlović, President of the Executive Board at OTP banka Srbija.

The number and quality of applications evidence the importance of this topic, while the jury had a real challenge to select the best project from the 10 that entered the finals.

I would like to congratulate the winning solution B-fresh. To choose the best project was not an easy task at all. All finalists were really great, so participating in this demanding and extremely uncertain process of choosing the winner was a real pleasure and a great experience. I would like to thank all participants for the innovation and creativity they presented. We are glad that the topic proved to be so inspiring, which gives all of us at OTP banka an extra tailwind to continue with activities that contribute to an environmentally sustainable future. We will provide large support to the winning solution in the upcoming period, working together on its development and promotion. We believe that this will contribute to inspiring new creative projects in future editions of the Generator”, said Vuk Kosovac, member of the Executive Board at OTP banka Srbija for Retail Banking and president of the jury for selecting the winner.

Zorica Branković, representative of startup B-fresh Technologies, this year’s winner of the Generator Zero competition, thanked OTP banka for the award and won first place and congratulated on the excellent organization and finals of the competition. “We are very honoured for winning the first place and main prize at this prestigious competition. Participating in the competition was a fantastic experience that allowed us to meet great teams with whom we plan more intensive cooperation. We would also like to thank the members of the professional jury, top experts in the field of business, for recognizing the importance and potential of our product”, Branković said.

How does the B-fresh spray work? The inside of the packaging is sprayed and an insoluble and transparent layer is formed while drying, thanks to which the shelf life of food is extended. The emulsion is based on biopolymers, i.e. natural materials, chitosan and gelatine, and all its components are on the so-called GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list, which means that they are safe for human use and have no negative impact on the environment. The presence of this protective layer does not affect the look of the packaging.

The Bank supported this year’s finalists by presenting them on its communication channels, and the winner, in addition to winning a cash prize, will also receive long-term advisory support, as well as presentation of the solution in OTP Lab Innovation Hub of the parent OTP Group and in the Portfolion Investment Fund.

The project partners, members of which comprised the professional jury, also awarded the finalists, namely:

Mastercard awarded the solution “Od tradicije do zelenije budućnosti” (engl. From tradition to a greener future) of the Bifrost Bioplastic team with EUR 5,000, while the SRBIJA INOVIRA (engl. SERBIA INNOVATES) project will provide this startup with access to funding and its consulting support.

 

 

Schneider Electric donated computer equipment to the Buttsy NFT team for their solution, while Robert Bosch presented a prize of 200,000 dinars for project “Samoodrživi staklenik sa komposterom” (engl. Self-sustainable greenhouse with composter) to company Bit inženjering.

ICT Hub dedicated three months of co-working space, the opportunity to present itself to the ICT HUB Venture Fund, consultations and networking with partners from the FMCG industry to startup Eat Me App for their solution bearing the same name, while Netokracija will provide valuable media support to this project.

The initiative DIGITALNA SRBIJA (DIGITAL SERBIA) awarded the project “Cloud city” coming from startup Smart City Technologies with mentoring and access to business angels, and the Belgrade Open School (BOŠ) donated valuable mentoring and support to the Association for Supporting Persons with Developmental Disabilities “Naša kuća” (Our House) for the project of handmade paper and packaging.

About the Generator

The Generator is a multi-year project of OTP banka intended for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, startup companies, startup informal teams and entrepreneurs wishing to contribute to the reduction of carbon footprint with their ideas and projects, one of the biggest challenges of today. The project has been running since 2017 and has so far supported innovative entrepreneurial ideas, students with entrepreneurial innovation, helped small and medium-sized enterprises to digitally transform and rewarded those entrepreneurs who helped micro, small and medium-sized enterprises overcome the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

About OTP banka Srbija

OTP banka is the largest creditor of the corporate and retail sector and a market leader in factoring, leasing and e-commerce services. It is focused on innovation and digitalization of its operations, which provides customers with new benefits with a focus on enhancing digital banking and user experience. One of the key strategic directions is the green transition, i.e. commitment to sustainable business and environmental projects. Thanks to the presence of OTP banka in 91 cities with 184 branches, clients across Serbia have access to a wide range of products and services, as well as efficient service and offers tailored to their specific needs, while the network of almost 300 ATMs is the largest in our country.

OTP banka launches Generator Zero

 

Belgrade, November 18, 2021 – One of the key strategical orientation will be marked by the “green transition” in business and by commitment to sustainable business and environmental sustainability, as confirmed by the topic of the new Generator Zero entrepreneurship contest, officially opened today.

 

Generator Zero is dedicated to supporting and rewarding innovative sustainable solution projects with real and measurable effect on decreasing carbon footprint – one of today s main challenges. The contest opened from November 17 for micro, small, medium and startup companies, informal start teams and entrepreneurs, which may apply through website Generator by December 20, 2021 at midnight.

The bank is looking for solutions that have a clear plan of the necessary resources and funds for its realization, and priority will be given to those whose realization is possible within six months from the moment of receiving the award.

The jury will select the finalists from the received applications and all of them will be rewarded with media promotion and promotion on the Bank’s communication channels. The prize for the winner will be 2,000,000.00 dinars and support in further development and promotion. In addition, part of the prize for the winner will be project presentation in OTP Lab Innovation Hub of parent OTP Group, which is present in 11 countries in Europe, as well as in the Portfolion investment fund.

Numerous partners recognized the importance of the Generator: Mastercard, Schneider Electric, Bosch, ICT HUB, Serbia Innovates, Initiative Digital Serbia, Netokracija and BOŠ – the Belgrade Open School, as well as OTP lab innovation hub of OTP Group and the Portfolion investment fund. Project partners also award numerous prizes to the best finalists.

About Generator:

In order to strengthen the competitiveness of domestic entrepreneurship, Generator was designed and launched in 2017, as a project that brings together and supports solutions that encourage innovative entrepreneurial ventures. That year, Generator supported 40 entrepreneurial innovations through financial support, promotion and mentoring. Next year, 2018, the best student entrepreneurial innovations were awarded, and Generator 2.0 was intended for the digital transformation of small and medium enterprises. At the end of 2019, within the Generator, the bank launched the Generator of Good Deeds, which supported six social enterprises and their representatives. In the year marked by the pandemic, Generator Gamechanger was dedicated to digital projects, websites, applications and other platforms that help small and medium enterprises to overcome the challenges they faced. At the beginning of 2021, another cycle of support was organized for five individuals and small businesses under the roof of the Generator of Good Deeds, this time in an online environment.

 

 

 

 

 

Raiffeisen Banka a.d. Beograd successfully closed acquisition of Crédit Agricole Srbija A.D. Novi Sad

 

Belgrade, April 1st, 2022 – Raiffeisen banka a.d. Beograd announces that it has, upon receiving necessary approvals from the National Bank of Serbia and relevant regulatory bodies, successfully closed the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of Crédit Agricole Srbija (Crédit Agricole Srbija A.D. Novi Sad and CA Leasing Srbija d.o.o.) from Crédit Agricole S.A.

 

“With this acquisition, we are realizing our long-term strategic plans regarding our business expansion in Serbia,“ Zoran Petrović, CEO of Raiffeisen banka, stated on this occasion. “We are proud of the fact that our head office, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, recognized the potential in Serbia and supported us in the intention to position ourselves in the market even better. We express our gratitude towards the National Bank of Serbia, for having a highly professional approach to the approval process of this acquisition. Strengthened by a high-quality product and service offering, but most of all by the people of Crédit Agricole, we will be in a position to offer superior customer experience to an even greater number of clients in all segments and to become the bank recommended by the greatest number of individuals and companies in Serbia,“ he added.

 

The acquisition process started in August 2021 when the contract was signed, and the merger of Raiffeisen banka a.d. Beograd and Crédit Agricole Srbija A.D. Novi Sad is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2023. Consequently, Raiffeisen banka is expected to increase its market share to 12 per cent* and to rank third* by total assets. After the merger with Crédit Agricole bank, the loan portfolio of Raiffeisen banka is expected to reach almost € 3 billion and the client base to exceed one million.

 

”Crédit Agricole enhances the business of Raiffeisen Group in Serbia in the best manner, thanks to its complementary business model and the same values we share. Our clients will continue receiving the high-quality services they they are accustomed to in the following months, until the merger has been fully completed. We are looking forward to starting this path together and building an even stronger bank that will, thanks to its innovative service, be even more competitive,” stated Petar Jovanović, new CEO of Crédit Agricole and former Deputy Chairman of the Managing Board of Raiffeisen banka.

 

* Data on market share and market ranking are based on the latest published data form the National bank of Serbia, as of 30.09.2021

 

***

Raiffeisen banka a.d. Beograd is a member of Raiffeisen Bank International, one of the leading banking groups in Central and Eastern Europe. It began its business activities in 2001, and is developing its focus in three segments: retail banking, corporate banking, treasury and investment banking.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Katarina Gaborović

Marketing & PR Department

Raiffeisen banka a.d. Beograd

Đorđa Stanojevića 16, Beograd

katarina.gaborovic@raiffeisenbank.rs

tel. +381 11 2207 301

 

Jelena Lapčević

Marketing & PR Department

Raiffeisen banka a.d. Beograd

Đorđa Stanojevića 16, Beograd

jelena.lapcevic@raiffeisenbank.rs

tel. +381 11 2207 306

www.raiffeisenbank.rs