The NPL market in Serbia traditionally knows of only two concerns, embodied in the numbers 48 and 204. Although you would assume that numerology had something to do with this assertion, the backstory is actually a lot more appealing.
"Two major things are happening right now which are the focus of our practice: The Tech Industry and Chinese Investors,” says Ivan Nonkovic, Partner and independent attorney at law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners in Belgrade. "Both things are happening all over the region,” he concedes, ”so not exclusively in Serbia, but they’re definitely significant here too."
As of 1 January 2019, the National Bank of Serbia (“NBS”) took over the competencies of the Ministry of Finance and its department Tax Administration for issuance and revocation of licences to perform exchange operations. The NBS also took over the supervision of foreign exchange operations of Serbian residents and non-residents, being natural persons, entrepreneurs and general legal entities. The NBS adopted several decisions in order to execute the delegated competencies:
BDK Advokati has advised Montenegro's Industriaimport-Industriaimpex AD on its acquisition of 49% of the registered capital of Serbian pharmaceutical wholesaler Farmalogist d.o.o. from private equity firm Adriatic Fund B.V., and in connection with the Shareholders’ Agreement entered into with the owners of the remaining 51% of the shares. HRLE advised Adriatic, while Bojanovic & Partners advised the owners of 51% of the shares in Farmalogist.
BDK Advokati, working with international legal counsel Allen & Overy, has announced that it acted as Serbian legal counsel to the lenders providing over EUR 400 million loan commitments for Vinci's concession agreement to take over the management of Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Airport, which closed on December 21, 2018.
The Serbian Parliament adopted the Law on Financial Collaterals on 8 June 2018, which will become effective as of 1 January 2019. To implement the solutions from the Law on Financial Collaterals, the Serbian Parliament also adopted amendments to the Bankruptcy Law, which will enter into force on 1 January 2019.
It is not uncommon for post-communist societies to wrestle with the idea of competition enforcement. Executives of a more old-school bent are often confounded by having something which once was common market practice, sometimes even mandated by the state, now scrutinized and considered a serious infringement of law. This is why competition advocacy is a crucial tool for relatively inexperienced competition authorities – it would hardly be fair to beat upon market players legitimately unaware of changes to the modus operandi.