Foreign Investors Council
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e-mail: office@fic.org.rs

Member News

RBI sees growth potential in Serbia / signs agreement on the acquisition of Crédit Agricole Srbija A.D. Novi Sad

Vienna/Belgrade, August 5th, 2021

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) announces that its Serbian subsidiary, Raiffeisen banka a.d. Beograd, has signed an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the shares of Crédit Agricole Srbija A.D. Novi Sad (a subsidiary of French Crédit Agricole S.A.) along with its fully owned leasing subsidiary CA Leasing Srbija d.o.o. Successful closing of the transaction is subject to inter alia obtaining regulatory approvals.

“We are convinced that Crédit Agricole bank and leasing would complement our operations in Serbia, as we share the same values and corporate culture. I strongly believe that strengthened in this way we could provide innovative products and further enhance our customer experience for even more clients”, stated on this occasion Zoran Petrovic, Chairman of the Managing Board of Raiffeisen banka Serbia.

“Serbia is a very interesting market for us and offers an attractive growth potential. Crédit Agricole Srbija would be an excellent strategic fit to our bank and our leasing operation in Serbia and the acquisition would support our growth ambition in the market”, said Johann Strobl, CEO of RBI.

Crédit Agricole Srbija serves around 356,000 customers. The bank has a leading position in agricultural-business financing (over 20% market share) and thus complements the business profile of Raiffeisen banka a.d. very well. As of Q2 2021 Crédit Agricole Srbija had total assets of EUR 1.3 billion, while Raiffeisen banka a.d. reported total assets of EUR 3.4 billion.

On the basis that deal completion is successful, there is a plan to merge Crédit Agricole Srbija A.D. Novi Sad with Raiffeisen banka a.d. Beograd and CA Leasing Srbija d.o.o. with Raiffeisen Leasing d.o.o. Beograd.

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

 

Renowned Financial Magazine “Euromoney“ Awarded Raiffeisen Banka the Title “Best Bank in Serbia“

Raiffeisen banka was awarded with the title “Best Bank in Serbia” at the traditional annual “Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2021“ contest.

“We are always welcoming awards with a sense of pride and responsibility. Now, when they represent a recognition for results achieved in the year in which we faced the pandemic crisis – these two feelings are only more pronounced. We are proud of the fact that we proved our ability to adjust, to maintain offering top service to our clients, even to improve it by introducing numerous innovations in 2020. I am glad that all our efforts and good results have been recognized by the expert public, and this brings us also additional responsibility to continue the same trend in the future“, Zoran Petrovic, Chairman of the Managing Board, stated on this occasion.

The annual contest Euromoney “Awards for Excellence“ was introduced in 1992, as the first of its kind in the global banking industry. This year, the magazine’s jury of experts had the tough task of choosing the best among the greatest number of applications from banks received so far. When deciding on the best, the basic criteria taken into account were both the basic indicators of business success, as well as the quality and innovativeness of the offer, degree of digitalization, as well as the quality of the overall business strategy.

Apart from the award bestowed on Raiffeisen banka in Serbia, “Euromoney“ awarded Raiffeisen Bank International with the title ”CEE’s Best Bank for Wealth Management 2021”.

This is the third award that Raiffeisen banka received since the beginning of the year, after a double award received from ”EMEA Finance” magazine, also as the “Best Bank in Serbia“, but also as the “Best Private Bank in Serbia“.

*  *  *

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 Serbia in 2001, and is now developing its activities in three segments: retail banking, corporate banking, treasury and investment banking. For all additional information, please contact the Marketing & PR Department of Raiffeisen banka at the phone No. 011/2207-306.

Ringier acquires the shares of Axel Springer in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Axel Springer will focus on major strategic core markets / The joint venture between Ringier and Axel Springer in Poland will remain in place and is to continue to see growth.

Ringier AG is further expanding its activities in Eastern Europe and enhancing its international portfolio of digital marketplaces and media: to this end, Ringier acquires all of the shares of Axel Springer in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In Slovakia, the company founder will remain a minority shareholder. In the other countries, the Ringier Group will thus hold 100% of the shares. As part of its growth strategy, Axel Springer will focus on digital business in major strategic markets. The company’s investment focus in the News Media segmet is on Germany, the US and Poland. Accordingly, the successful joint venture between Ringier and Axel Springer in Poland will remain unchanged

Since Ringier Axel Springer Media AG was formed in July 2010, the joint venture between Ringier AG and Axel Springer SE has resulted in one of the largest and most modern media companies in Central and Eastern Europe, with some 3,100 employees. The comprehensive portfolio includes more than 200 digital and print products. In the first half of 2021, digital activities accounted for approximately 85 percent of adjusted EBITDA.

Ringier is continuing its transformation into an international and diversified media company

With the acquisition of the shares of Axel Springer in the joint venture in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Ringier is continuing its international growth and investment strategy in the field of digital marketplaces and media brands. Thanks to these significant investments, Ringier is strengthening its current activities in Romania and Bulgaria.

Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier AG: «The acquisition of the Axel Springer shares in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and the Baltic states is an important milestone in our business development. This transaction is an acknowledgement of our long-term commitment to being a modern media investor in Eastern Europe. The portfolio in these countries suits us ideally and will further strengthen the Ringer ecosystem. In addition, Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary serve as a good basis for expanding our digital sports media strategy. I am pleased that we will be able to further advance our media and digital marketplaces in Poland with Axel Springer. We will work together to continue to make investments in this large and exciting market.»

Axel Springer sets priorities as part of the growth strategy

Axel Springer will continue to focus on its long-term growth strategy. The company is aiming to become a global leader in digital journalism and digital classifieds. In addition to substantial investments in growth fields, this will also require a clear focus on large and strategic core markets. In the News Media segment  central to this is the already highly digitized portfolio in Germany, the USA and Poland.

Jan Bayer, President News Media at Axel Springer SE: «Over the past 11 years, we have worked with Ringier to build Ringier Axel Springer Media AG into one of the most successful companies in Central and Eastern Europe, with strong news brands and successful digital classifieds. As part of our growth strategy, we will focus on our strategic core areas and large markets.This includes Poland with 40 milion people. For them, we will further digitalize and expand our journalistic offerings and classifieds together with Ringier. I would like to sincerely thank our colleagues in Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and everyone at Ringier for the very good collaboration over the past few years.»

Continuation of the joint venture in Poland 

As joint venture partners, Axel Springer and Ringier will focus their future efforts in Eastern Europe exclusively on the Polish market. The partners have been operating media brands with strong revenue and EBITDA there for many years. The continuity of the management of the joint venture is assured with Mark Dekan as CEO.

«When we started the joint venture in 2010 with what was almost entirely a print portfolio (97 percent of revenue), we had the vision of transforming the local print brands into strong digital players in their future media markets. We now generate about 70 percent of sales and 85 percent of earnings from our digital offerings. Together, we have not only brought the existing media brands into the digital age, but we have also created new leading digital media and classified brands that are now among the most relevant offerings in their markets. I would like to thank all of our colleagues in Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and the Baltic states for their commitment, their passion and their willingness to always go the extra mile. At the same time, I look forward to continuing to expand our activities in the largest market in the region with the Polish team and the joint venture partners», says Mark Dekan, CEO of Ringier Axel Springer Media AG and CEO of the joint venture in Poland.

Axel Springer included its subsidiaries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in the joint venture Ringier Axel Springer Media AG, which was founded in July 2010. Ringier added its business in Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Finalisation of the acquisition

The acquisition of the shares should be completed over the course of 2021. Completion of the transaction requires the approval of the competent local antitrust authorities. Both parties have agreed to keep the sale price and the valuation of the parts of the companies being acquired confidential.

About Ringier

Ringier AG is an innovative, digitalised and diversified Swiss media company operating in Europe, Asia and Africa. Its portfolio includes around 110 subsidiaries in the print, digital media, radio, ticketing, entertainment and e-commerce sectors and leading online marketplaces for cars, property and jobs. As a venture capital provider, Ringier supports innovative digital start-ups. Ringier, a family company founded in 1833 as a publishing house and printing plant, has invested consistently in digitalisation and global expansion in recent years. In 2020, the company’s some 6.800 employees, operating in 18 different countries, generated revenues of 953.7 million CHF. Today, 69 per cent of its operating profit already comes from digital, where Ringier is a leader among European media companies. Ringier’s core values are independence, freedom of expression and a pioneering spirit.

About Axel Springer

Axel Springer is a media and technology company and active in more than 40 countries. By providing information across its diverse media brands (amongst others BILD, WELT, INSIDER, POLITICO Europe) and classified portals (StepStone Group and AVIV Group), Axel Springer SE empowers people to make free decisions for their lives. Today, the transformation from a traditional print media company to Europe’s leading digital publisher has been successfully accomplished. The next goal has been set: Axel Springer aims to become global market leader in digital content and digital classifieds through accelerated growth. The company is headquartered in Berlin and employs more than 16,000 people worldwide.

Safety for Our Clients, Our People and Our Communities is One of Our Core Values

KLEEMANN Liftovi stands by its community during the COVID-19 pandemic and has donated 1.000.000 RSD to the Military Medical Centers in Belgrade. This is part of our group strategy worldwide, including the recent donation in Greece of 21 ICU beds to Greek hospitals. KLEEMANN Liftovi wishes to honor the Military Center and its brave medical staff, and support their tireless daily struggle to protect public health in Belgrade. We are stronger, united. #StaySafe

On the occasion of the donation, the General Manager of KLEEMANN Liftovi said: “All of us at KLEEMANN Group believe in supporting the communities in which we operate especially at a time of crisis. As the only company producing lifts in the country we wish to stress that we are committed to Serbia and its people. We are grateful to people of the Serbian health authorities and in particular the Military Medical Centers in Belgrade who are fighting daily on our behalf to keep us safe. This donation is a token of our appreciation.”

SAVA ZDRAVO health package from Sava Insurance

Sava Insurance, as a member of one of the leading insurance groups in the region – Insurance Group SAVA, has expanded its offer of insurance services with special voluntary health insurance packages.

The insurance policy primarily offers basic coverage types pertaining to outpatient treatment and encompasses the following healthcare services: examinations and diagnostic procedures, laboratory tests, tests and analysis necessary for reproductive system check-up, outpatient interventions, medical transport, ordered therapy in outpatient conditions, home treatment in emergency situations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy in outpatient treatment conditions, examinations and diagnostic procedures and laboratory tests (in relation to health problems occurring after the confirmed Covid-19 infection over the period of no longer than six months after the diagnosis), mental health, urgent dentistry, medical and technical aids, as well as additional coverage types: health protection for pregnant women and new-born babies, physical check-up, ophthalmology services, dental services, prescription drugs and orders, physical and speech therapy, complementary medicine services, tumour coverage and second medical opinion.

Sava Insurance improved the standard offer of voluntary health insurance in the Serbian market by allowing its clients, in addition to the basic and additional insurance coverage types, to also contract several supplementary insurance services: second medical opinion, coverage in case of tumours, post-covid coverage and expansion of coverage for a physical check-up.

Sava Insurance offers three SAVA ZDRAVO packages of voluntary health insurance:

  • Sava Basic – includes outpatient treatment for the sum insured up to EUR 1000
  • Sava Standard – includes outpatient and hospital treatment for the sum insured up to EUR 2000
  • Sava Pro – includes outpatient and hospital treatment for the sum insured up to EUR 3000.

Voluntary health insurance is available to all citizens of the Republic of Serbia, regardless of their age. Furthermore, insurance is also available to foreign citizens temporarily working in Serbia and to their family members.

The voluntary health insurance may be contracted as individual and collective insurance (when a legal person contracts insurance for its employees).

The companies that opt for collective voluntary health insurance policies achieve a number of benefits: the ability to create a single voluntary health insurance package that meets the employer’s needs, budget, business requirements and the needs of its employees; tax relief for the premium of voluntary health insurance; reducing employee absences due to sick leave and their faster return to work; positive impact on the image of the company, because taking care of the employees achieves one of the sustainable development strategies – it motivates and rewards the employees.     Also, by purchasing a voluntary health insurance policy for its employees, the company achieves one of the priority categories of benefits (these include: health, family, professional development, career and mobility) that have the strongest positive impact on employees, on their satisfaction and engagement in business processes.

The clients – persons insured under the voluntary health insurance with SAVA ZDRAVO packages are provided with the following: availability of Sava Call centre 7 days a week, 24 hours a day; no waiting for medical examinations, because they are scheduled in a systematic and organized manner, thus avoiding the waiting lists of publicly funded health services; freedom to choose the best doctors in private health care institutions throughout Serbia and assistance in the selection of doctors, i.e. health care facilities by the Sava Medical Call centre; no unnecessary burden on personal finances by direct payment of health services, etc.

The amount of insurance premium for Collective voluntary health insurance depends on the number of employees to be insured, on the gender and age structure of employees, on the sum insured, as well as on the selected set of medical services chosen by the company for its employees. The expert team of Sava Insurance is available to propose several various SAVA ZDRAVO packages and to help with the selection of the most adequate package option.

The potential clients may find more information about the types and scopes of insurance coverages of SAVA ZDRAVO packages offered by Sava Insurance, as well as about additional benefits for persons insured under the voluntary health insurance at the Sava Insurance website www.sava-osiguranje.rs or by e-mail sava.zdravo@sava-osiguranje.rs.

SEMIFINALISTS OF THE GENERATOR COMPETITION HAVE BEEN SELECTED

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 advanced to the next phase. The total prize fund that awaits the winners is two million dinars.

BELGRADE – September 15, 2020 – OTP banka’s Generator Gamechanger competition supports digital projects – websites, applications and other digital platforms – which help and offer new opportunities to small and medium enterprises. More than 170 participants applied for this year’s competition, held for the fourth year in a row, and ten semifinalists advanced to the next stage – those who help companies better present their services and products, provide new sales channels, exchange experiences and ideas or offer other ways of support that companies can use to successfully overcome the consequences of the crisis.

The competition was open to all individuals, informal teams, entrepreneurs and companies that have a new idea that needs support to come to life or an existing solution that needs to be improved. In both categories – a new idea and an existing solution – five semifinalists were selected, who were presented on the Generator website and who are expected to be promoted by the media in order for as many people, potential users of their services, to hear about their project. The semifinalists come from various industries and have applied their knowledge and experience in areas such as fashion, agronomy, business planning, fitness and sports, pets, domestic premium products, crafts, organization of virtual fairs…

In the next phase, six finalists will be selected, three in each category, who will compete for the main prize. At the presentations, the finalists will present their solutions, after which the jury will announce two winners who will win a prize of one million dinars. The semifinalists will also receive special awards from the partners of the competition – Vojvodjanska banka, ICT hub center for the development of technological entrepreneurship and innovation, TeleGroup, Belgrade Open School and the ENECA association.

Through this type of indirect support, OTP banka, together with its partners, continues to contribute to bolstering innovations and domestic entrepreneurship.

Meet the semifinalists of the competition 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

Toyo Tire – New FIC Member

By BoD decision, Toyo Tire Serbia was accepted into membership. Toyo Tire Corporation was founded in Japan in 1945 and is a producer of tires for passenger vehicles, light trucks, trucks & buses, as well as automobile components. It operates worldwide, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Russia, China, Thailand and Malaysia. It has more than 13,000 employees worldwide. The company was established In Serbia in 2019 and started construction of a plant in 2020, with the planned start of manufacturing in April 2022. The company plans to invest 390 million Euros and employ 523 persons by 2023. More info on their website.

TWO MILLION DINAR PRIZE FUND FOR DIGITAL PROJECTS

Aware of the challenges we are all facing due to the crisis caused by Covid-19, OTP Bank has launched the 4th Generator contest, with a total prize fund of RSD 2 million, aiming to support the digital projects that can help SMEs survive the crisis period and its aftermath.

BELGRADE – June 12, 2020 – Aware of what challenges small and medium-business in our country faced due to the crisis caused by Covid-19, OTP Bank started the 4th Generator contest, and this year the contest will bear the title Gamechanger. This year’s contest focuses on supporting digital projects – websites, apps and other digital platforms – that help and offer new possibilities to SMEs. For example, to better present their services and products and achieve additional visibility, or to secure new sales channels, to provide a space where satisfied clients can rate and recommend their products and services, exchange experiences and ideas, or to offer some other ways which will be of use to SMEs in successfully overcoming the consequences of the crisis.

Through this type of indirect support, the bank wants to contribute to overcoming the economic consequences of the pandemic and help a large number of small and medium-sized market players, by launching or improving digital platforms which can be of crucial assistance for their business to survive the crisis period and its aftermath.

The contest is open to all individuals, informal teams, entrepreneurs and companies who have a new idea that needs support to materialise or an already existing solution that needs improvement, and applications are open until July 1. The bank will award two RSD 1 million prizes in both categories – New Idea and Existing Solution.

Based on submitted applications, a jury will shortlist 10 semi-finalists, who will receive video material, as well as media promotion and promotion via bank’s channels, so as many people as possible can hear about their solution. Then, six finalists will be selected, who will compete for the main prize. During presentations, finalists will showcase their solutions, after which the jury will declare two winners, who will each win the RSD 1 million prize. Semi-finalists will receive special awards by partners of the contest – Vojvođanska banka and ICT Hub centre for technology entrepreneurship and innovation.

Criteria of the Generator Gamechanger contest, application and additional information can be found at the website www.generator.rs.

Together with its partners, OTP Bank continues to support the strengthening of innovation and domestic entrepreneurship.

About the Generator project:

In order to strengthen the competitiveness of Serbian entrepreneurship, the Generator project was carefully devised and then launched in 2017, gathering all initiatives and activities that foster innovative entrepreneurial endeavours under one umbrella. In the same year, Generator supported 40 entrepreneurial innovations through financial support, promotion and mentorship. The winner received RSD 1 million, and nearly 800 innovators submitted their ideas. The following year, 2018, the rewards went to best entrepreneurial innovations by students, and last year, Generator 2.0 was intended for digital transformation of SMEs. In late 2019, as part of the Generator, OTP Bank launched the Generator of Good Deeds initiative, which supports social entrepreneurship.

You can find more information at www.generator.rs.

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

Živković Samardžić Advises APIS Assay Technologies Ltd on Serbian Aspects of Acquisition of BeoGenomics

Živković Samardžić has advised Manchester-based biotech firm APIS Assay Technologies Ltd, a company combining outstanding In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) experience with integrated AI to develop biomarker-based diagnostic assays, on Serbian aspects of its acquisition of BeoGenomics, a specialised software developer with major expertise in Bioinformatics and Artificial Intelligence (BIOX).

BeoGenomics has been developing both on-prem and secure cloud-based data analysis solutions – helping customers design, build and run custom tailored genomics & proteomics pipelines. The start-up with amazing capability will be integrated into Manchester-based APIS, supporting the launch of a new BIOX Service Line as part of the company’s ongoing Biomarker Research and Development activities.

APIS develops new tests for the prediction, prevention, and diagnosis of disease from discovery to regulatory approval. The company’s business model is based on three pillars: biomarker diagnostics development, molecular diagnostic contract development, and applied bioinformatics.

Živković Samardžić’s scope of work consisted of performing due diligence of BeoGenomics, drafting and negotiating of transactional documentation, structuring the transaction, as well as all-encompassing legal advisory regarding post-closing activities for APIS Assay Technologies Ltd.

The Živković Samardžić team that has advised APIS Assay Technologies Ltd on this deal was led by Partner Igor Živkovski and included Partner Ana Popović, who advised on employment matters.

Živković Samardžić Advises Credo Ventures on Investment in Startup Trickest

Živković Samardžić has advised Credo Ventures on its investment in Trickest, a Belgrade-based startup building a workflow automation and orchestration tool for bug bounty hunters, penetration testers, and enterprise security teams. Trickest has raised a EUR 1.4 million seed round and the round is led by Credo Ventures, with participation from Earlybird Digital East Fund, with Daniel Dines and Marius Tirca, CEO and CTO of UiPath also participating as angel investors. Proceeds from the round will be used to accelerate hiring and support the company’s early access launch.

Credo Ventures is a venture capital company focused on early stage investments in Central and Eastern Europe. It is on a mission to identify and back the most interesting early stage companies in the region, support them in their growth plans (including expansion to the U.S. / global market), and help to achieve their objectives. Credo Ventures is looking for opportunities to invest in high-growth potential companies with international ambitions and competence to execute and deliver, while its industry focus is IT, Internet, and health.

Trickest’s co-founders combined their security and data backgrounds to start Trickest in late 2019. The company’s cloud-based workflow editor makes it easy to build and automate tests in a drag-and-drop way, and while the platform supports starting from scratch, Trickest makes the best crowdsourced knowledge available to everyone thanks to a library of 100+ open-source tools. Additionally, more advanced users can also drop in their custom scripts for maximum flexibility and control. The company also takes care of infrastructure management – workflows can be run in the cloud with one click and are designed to support features like auto-scaling and cost controls out of the box.

Živković Samardžić’s scope of work consisted of performing due diligence of Trickest, drafting and negotiating of transactional documentation, structuring the transaction, as well as all-encompassing legal advisory regarding post-closing activities for Credo Ventures. The Živković Samardžić team that has advised Credo Ventures on this deal was led by Partner Igor Živkovski and included Partners Slobodan Kremenjak, who advised on intellectual property matters and Ana Popović, who advised on employment matters.