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.
The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the "Commission") is taking steps to encourage the birth rate in Serbia, one of the country's primary political objectives. Its contribution to achieve that objective is current antitrust investigation on the baby care product market, which could ultimately lead to a price decrease and reduction of costs of raising a child in Serbia. Almost 200 undertakings are under investigation for applying resale price maintenance ("RPM"), making this investigation the biggest in the history of Serbian antitrust enforcement. This case was initiated ex-officio in April 2018, when the Commission raided Keprom d.o.o. and Yuglob d.o.o, two importers and distributors, and several retailers of baby care products. Following the dawn raid, the Commission opened four more investigations against the same distributors and their retailers (four cases in July) and, finally, on 22 September 2018, the Commission proudly announced that it had initiated investigations against 172 undertakings (the "Baby Products Investigation").
South-East Europe Private Equity and M&A Forum 2018, 13 December 2018, Belgrade, Serbia, Crowne Plaza Hotel
JPM advised Organigram Holdings Inc., the parent company of Organigram Inc., a licensed producer of medical marijuana in Canada, on a private placement investment in Eviana Health Corporation. Organigram and an unnamed strategic institutional investor each participated 50% in a USD 10 million debenture offering by Eviana.
Serbian Government took a significant step towards harmonization of data protection regulations with GDPR. On September 24, the Government adopted a Bill on Personal Data Protection (“the Bill”) . Only a day after, the Bill was sent to the National Parliament to be adopted at first regular session in autumn starting from October 2018.
“It is pretty quiet on the dispute resolution market, as hearings are not held in the summer,” says Ivana Disovic, Partner and attorney in law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners. “In contrast, we see high activity in the M&A market,” she says, pointing in particular to China’s Zijin Mining becoming a strategic partner in Serbia's RTB Bor copper complex, which K&N advised on.