As Serbia is gearing up for EU accession, harmonizing with EU legislation and business practices becomes not only mandatory, but also a market necessity. Although there are discrepancies between business practices in Serbia and in the EU, one thing seems to be unanimous: local businesses, just like their international counterparts, think ahead when it comes to securing their assets. This applies to every type of business, but it is prevailingly visible in local medium-sized to large businesses which predominantly handle and/or deal with IP portfolios. Nowadays, in the ever-evolving digital world, where almost information is at the reach of one’s hand – even to those located in remote corners of the world – attention and focus are being switched to ensuring the adequate protection of trade secrets. This process is happening in Serbia as well.
Zivkovic Samardzic has advised Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport, a joint-stock public company that owns and operates the Belgrade airport, on its new, third issuance of shares. The issuance of shares was a result of NTA’s share capital increase.
Staying compliant with applicable legislation requires constant tracking of new legislation while staying on top of amendments to existing regulations. When employers are not compliant, they risk being fined. No exceptions are made for labor legislation.
Markovic Vukotic Jovkovic has advised De Heus on its acquisition of Serbian compound feed plant Komponenta from HZZ Komponenta DOO. Tasic & Partners advised the sellers in the deal.
Gecic Law has successfully advised the Republic of Serbia and EPS, one of the largest energy companies in the region, in a probe led by Energy Community Secretariat regarding alleged State support for the multi-million-euro Kolubara B project.
Serbia is paving its way towards the European Union, and the process of accession, according to Ksenija Golubovic Filipovic, Partner at Zivkovic Samardzic in Belgrade, is not always straightforward. “On the one hand," she says, “we are trying to create secure investment environment for potential investors and achieve high standards of living. On the other hand the process requires that our legislation be harmonized with the EU laws.”
Wolf Theiss has advised the Chinese home appliance producer Hisense on its takeover offer for 95% of the shares in Slovenian white-goods manufacturer Gorenje. Jadek & Pensa advised Gorenje on the sale. The transaction value exceeds EUR 250 million.
Wolf Theiss has advised BMI Securities Ltd, Hong Kong as lead manager on the debut issue of an international bond by the Republic of Srpska of up to EUR 200,000,000, 4.75% Notes due 2023.
Karanovic & Nikolic has advised ZF Friedrichshafen AG on the opening of an electric vehicle parts factory in Pancevo, Serbia, with an investment planned to amount over EUR 100 million.
Need for Transparency
The Serbian Parliament adopted the Financial Collateral Act ("FCA") on 8 June 2018 (published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, no. 44/2018). The FCA bill was proposed by the Serbian Central Bank (National Bank of Serbia, "NBS") on 22 May 2018 and the FCA will apply as of 1 January 2019. Financial contracts which have not been enforced by 1 January 2019 will be enforced pursuant to the existing rules that were in force before the FCA started to apply.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”
Implementation of large-scale real estate development projects almost always requires the simultaneous development of new or upgrades to existing public infrastructure necessary for the unimpeded use of the main project. Back in the old days, real estate development projects suffered, from time to time, from slow public infrastructure development since the relevant public authorities either had no interest in or had no available funds to develop the missing infrastructure.
The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).
The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has on 20 April 2018 adopted amendments to the Foreign Exchange Operations Act (“FEXO”) in order to meet the requirements stemming from the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union. These provisions, now allow, amongst other things, for the free movement of capital related to portfolio investments and short-term finance loans and credits.
Although Serbian Constitution introduces the general principle of equality between Serbian nationals and foreigners, in certain domains it allows for this proclaimed equality to be limited through laws.
EU’s General Data Protection Regulative (GDPR) comes into force on May 25.
Bojovic & Partners has advised Nestle on the sale of its local confectionary brand, CIPIRIPI, to Paracinka AD, a member of the Silbo distribution group.