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Karanović & Nikolić

RESAVSKA 23, 11000 BELGRADE, SERBIA
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Work +381 11 30 94 200
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Fax +381 11 30 94 223
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https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com

Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Zijin Mining takes over RTB Bor for USD 1.46 billion

September 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Zijin Mining, one of China's biggest gold producers and the second biggest producer of copper ore, won the tender to become a strategic partner in Serbia's sole copper complex RTB Bor. The Chinese company pledged to invest USD 1.46 billion in return for a 63% stake.

Karanovic & Partners advised Zijin Mining in this privatisation procedure. The services performed by the Karanovic & Partners legal team – led by Senior Partner Miloš Vučkovićand Partner ⃰ Ivan Nonković, included legal advisory, a due diligence of RTB Bor, the review and analysis of the transaction documents, as well as assistance in the privatisation process.

Copper ore has been excavated and melted for more than 100 years in RTB Bor, which contributes 0.8% to the country's GDP. 

Currently mining contributes 0.9 to 1% of Serbia's GDP, however, the aim is to raise this amount to 5%. By itself, RTB Bor.

Zijin Mining Group Company Limited is a leading a Chinese gold, copper and non-ferrous metals producer and refine. The company employs more than 17 thousand workers in nine countries, and last year it was the 22nd most valuable mining company in the world. Zijin's annual operating income amounts to EUR 10 billion, with net profits exceeding EUR 230 million.

Zijin has pledged that it would keep all 5,000 workers currently employed in RTB Bor.

⃰ Independent attorney at law in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić.

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Karanovic & Partners wins the 2018 Euromoney Real Estate Awards

September 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We are proud to announce that Karanovic & Partners won the Euromoney Real Estate Survey in the Advisors and Consultants category for the second year in a row! Karanovic & Partners was once again chosen as the Number One Legal Service provider in Serbia in the Real Estate industry.

"It is truly a privilege to be honored with this award for the second time. This recognition attests Karanovic & Partners's commitment to outstanding client service, as well as the expertise and professionalism of our Real Estate team", said Rastko Petaković, the Managing Partner at Karanovic & Partners.

The Euromoney Real Estate Survey canvasses the opinions of the leading firms involved in the real estate sector worldwide – the advisors, developers, investment managers, banks, and corporate end-users of real estate are all invited to take part. These awards, now into their 14th year, are a way of recognising the leading providers of real estate products and services.

The renowned Euromoney magazine was created in 1969, originally to cover the re-emergence of the international cross-border capital markets. Today, their specialised journalists bring an authoritative round up of banking, capital markets, investment, foreign exchange & treasury, and regional markets including Asia, Latin America, and EMEA.

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Changes in Serbian Employment Legislation 2018

August 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The beginning of the summer brought amendments to several employment-related laws. The most notable changes are presented below:

The Law on the Employment of Foreigners

  • The duration of the labour market test - The labour market test within the work-permit acquisition process (through which the National Employment Service examines whether there are any Serbian citizens suitable for the vacant position), is shortened to 10 days, having previously lasted one month. This amendment is expected to expedite the procedure of issuing work permits.
  • A new type of work permit is introduced - the temporary work permit. This permit may be issued in cases of national interest or for the purpose of fulfilling Serbia's international obligations. In this case, the labour market test may even last less than 10 days, upon the Minister of Labour's decision. The temporary work permit may be issued with consent from the Minister of Interior to a foreigner who applied for a temporary residence permit, with a validity period of up to 45 days.

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Serbia Amends Company Law

June 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Serbian Parliament adopted amendments to the Serbian Company Law (Law) on 8 June 2018, and they were published in the official journal on the same date.  

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Serbia: Athletics Equipment Distributors Under Investigation for Failure to Notify Exclusivity

June 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Following a tip, the Serbian Competition Commission (the "Commission") recently started investigating the business relationship between GR Sport and Polanik, a Polish company, concerning an alleged infringement of competition – the conclusion of a restrictive agreement which was not notified for prior exemption under the applicable legal framework.

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Karanović & Nikolić at the 2018 Balkans M&A and Private Equity Forum

June 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Rastko Petaković, managing partner at Karanović & Nikolić, held a presentation of the latest private equity trends CEE region on the 2018 Balkans M&A and Private Equity Forum. Organized by Mergermarket, a leading media company that provides specialist news, research, analysis and data on financial markets, this is the second year this conference was held in Belgrade.

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Karanović & Nikolić Wins the 2017 Deal of the Year Award

June 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We are pleased to announce that Karanović & Nikolić has won the 2017 Deal of the Year Award for Serbia for the EBRD and IFC financing of Vetrolektrane Balkana - Čibuk 1 Windfarm. Organized by the renowned CEE Legal Matters magazine, this is the first year that these awards were held and they are a way of recognizing the biggest and most important deals by leading law firms in Central and Eastern European jurisdictions.

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New Serbian Law on Foreigners Adopted

May 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

In March 2018, the new Serbian Law on Foreigners was adopted, replacing the 2008 version of this law- in force until recently without any amendments. The new law will enter into force on 3 October 2018.

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The Serbian Law on Foreign Exchange Amended

May 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On 20 April 2018, the amendments to the Law on Foreign Exchange (the “Law”) were adopted and will enter into force on 28 April 2018. Exceptionally, the application of certain provisions related to the assuming of competencies over foreign exchange control by the National Bank of Serbia is delayed until 1 January 2019.

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The use of AI in Law: How just is machine justice?

April 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Artificial intelligence is a burning topic in many sectors today and the legal industry is no exception. Recently, at the World Services Group’s annual employment law conference held in February, AI was heavily debated along with its’ impact not only on the legal profession, lawyers, clients, the way business is done, but also our traditional understanding of concepts such as “law” or “justice”.

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Montenegrin Competition Agency takes over State Aid control

April 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

As of recently, state aid control is a part of the Montenegrin Competition Agency's (the "Agency") scope of authority. The Montenegrin Parliament enacted a new State Aid Control Law (the "State Aid Law"), largely aligned with the EU legal framework - especially with Articles 107 and 108 of the TFEU. In the institutional sense, the new law grants the Agency the competence for reviewing state aid, since the former State Aid Commission was not considered a sufficiently operationally-independent authority - which represented an issue in Montenegro's EU accession negotiations (Chapter 8).

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Karanović & Nikolić Recognized as Top Tier Law Firm by Legal 500

April 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We are proud to announce that Karanović & Nikolić and its cooperating lawyers have once again been recognized as a top tier legal practice on the 2018 Legal 500 list of leading law firms. This prestigious UK-based directory provides comprehensive worldwide coverage on recommended law firms.

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Karanović & Nikolić Supports The Belgrade Pre-Moot Competition & Arbitration Conference

April 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

With record breaking attendance this year, Karanović & Nikolić continued its traditional support to the Belgrade pre-moot and X Belgrade Arbitration conference, organized by the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law.

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Landmark Deal: PPF Acquires Telenor’s CEE Operations for 2.8 Billion Euros

April 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić, together with White & Case as lead international counsel, advised PPF Group, the Czech investment firm, on the EUR 2.8 billion acquisition of Telenor's assets in Central and Eastern Europe. The transaction includes the Norwegian telecoms firm's mobile operations in Bulgaria, Hungary, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as the technology service provider Telenor Common Operation. The transaction requires necessary regulatory approval and is expected to be completed within Q3 2018.

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Karanović & Nikolić at the Symposium for Lawyers in Serbian Banks

April 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Maja Jovančević Šetka, partner ⃰ at Karanović & Nikolić's Banking & Finance practice group, held a presentation titled "Risk Participation Agreement – Collateral or Derivative, Implementation of the Law on Foreign Exchange Operations" at a symposium for lawyers in Serbian banks. Organised by the Association of Serbian Banks, the conference was held at Lake Palić in Serbia, on the 8th and 9th of March, under the title "The Status of Banks and Legal Protection".

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Karanović & Nikolić at the Intellectual Property in Serbia Conference

April 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Tamara Bubalo, Associate in Karanović & Nikolić's Intellectual Property practice group, held a presentation on 5 March at the "Intellectual Property in Serbia" conference. Organized by the European Law Students Association (ELSA) as part of the "IP Law in Serbia" project, the event was held at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law< premises and was attended by more than 140 eminent legal and business professionals and students.

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Karanović & Nikolić: Managing Emotions in Labour Disputes – More than Law

April 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On 21 March, Karanović & Nikolić held its traditional student workshop titled “Managing Emotions in Labour Disputes – More than Law”. The event was organised in cooperation with the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law.

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Karanović & Nikolić Ranks as Leading Law Firm in Chambers Europe 2018

March 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We are proud to announce that Karanović & Nikolić has once again emerged on top of the rankings on the most recent list of leading European law firms – the prestigious Chambers Europe 2018. This year's edition of the Chambers Europe has highlighted seven different practice areas within the Karanović & Nikolić legal practice and cooperating offices as belonging to top tier level – Corporate/Commercial, Banking & Finance, Competition/Antitrust, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Energy and Real Estate.

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Alltech Sells its Factory in Serbia to Lesaffre

March 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Alltech - a leading global animal and crop nutrition company, sold its baking yeast factory in Senta, in northern Serbia, to Lesaffre - a leading global baking yeast and fermented products company. The acquired factory will continue to produce baker's yeast for the Serbian market and yeast extracts for the food and animal feed industries. The transaction is in line with Alltech's continued focus on its core business in animal and crop nutrition.

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Serbian Commission Fines Another Bid Rigging Cartel

February 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Serbian Competition Commission (the "Commission") recently fined four undertakings for bid rigging in the public procurement for the maintenance of train wagons. The contracting authority, the "Nikola Tesla" power plant, which represents the largest electricity-producing complex in Serbia, informed the Commission about possible collusion in public procurement for repair services for the train wagons it uses in coal transportation.

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Karanović & Nikolić Shortlisted To Win Another Law Firm Of The Year Award

January 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

After winning the Law Firm of the Year awards in 2014 and 2017Karanović & Nikolić is once again a finalist for this prestigious recognition. The awards, now in their ninth year, are organised by The Lawyer, a prestigious British weekly magazine for lawyers and in house counsel. According to the organisers, this year's contest is particularly fierce.

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Karanović & Nikolić Promotes New Senior Partner And Six Partners

January 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to welcome Marko Ketler as its new Senior Partner, as well as Ivan Nonković, Goran Radošević, Ivana Dišović, Katarina Gudurić, Jaka Simončič and Petar Mitrović who have been named Partner. We are proud to announce the promotion of these attorneys at law cooperating with Karanović & Nikolić who have demonstrated their utmost professional excellence and in such a way contributed to strengthening our international practice and furthering the legal network’s reputation as a regional legal powerhouse.

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Cross-Border Cooperation Between Competition Authorities In The SEE Region Intensifies

January 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The national competition authorities in South Eastern Europe are evidently increasing and strengthening their cross-border cooperation and communication, allowing for a more effective regional approach in the protection of competition. Taking into account common challenges and economic interdependence, as well as similar goals in EU integration, the authorities appear to have recognized significant merit in a broader regional framework for competition enforcement.  

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Societe Generale Acquires Jubanka’s Credit Portfolio

January 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić advised on Societe Generale Srbija's acquisition of a part of Jubanka's credit portfolio – which included housing and cash credits, credit cards, as well as credits for small and medium-sized enterprises. Societe Generale Srbija is now the third largest bank in Serbia in terms of credit volume.

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Serbian Bankruptcy Law Amended

January 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

arbitrationAfter two long years of analysing and debating, the Serbian Parliament adopted changes to the Bankruptcy Law and they have entered into force on the 25th of December, 2017.

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Transfer Of Claims No Longer A Problem In Enforcement

January 2018. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Ever since the latest Law on Enforcement and Security entered into force on the 1st of July, 2016, an issue arose over the wording and scope of Article 48, dealing with how creditors acquiring claims can initiate enforcement. The main idea behind this new law was to make it easier for creditors to collect claims.

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OTP Bank Buys Vojvođanska Banka

December 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Hungary's OTP Bank bought Vojvođanska Banka, as well as NGB Leasing and the National Bank of Greece's corporate loan portfolio in Serbia. This is one of the biggest recent banking transactions in the region and it was closed on Friday, the 1st of December in Belgrade. Karanović & Nikolić advised the buyer – OTP Bank, one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe, throughout all of the stages of the acquisition process.

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Karanović & Nikolić Hosts The Empowering Students To Enter The Workplace Conference

December 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić hosted the "Empowering Students to Enter the Workplace" HR conference, held on the 30th of November in Belgrade, Serbia. The event was organised in cooperation with Stanton Chase, one of the top 10 global retained executive search firms, and the guests and panellists included leading professionals in the field of human resources, as well as employment law experts.

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Karanović & Nikolić Hosts The 12th Traditional Conference On Competition Law

December 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić, together with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, hosted the th of November, 2017, at the Metropol Palace hotel, Belgrade. The conference represents a traditional yearly gathering of experts from the business and legal community, as well as key regulators and stakeholders, to discuss the most important issues and practical implications in field of competition law.

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The New National Employment Service’s Practice of Prolonging of Work Permits

November 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The National Employment Service changed its years-long practice regarding the extension of work permits for persons on secondment.

In particular, pursuant to Article 19 of the Law on the Employment of foreigners, work permits based on secondment are obtained for a period of the duration of an agreement between the local employer - who is the service user, and a foreign employer, but no longer than for one year. Exceptionally, a work permit for a seconded person can be issued for a longer period in case the employee is seconded from a country with which the Republic of Serbia has concluded a secondment related bilateral convention.  

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Slovenia Adopts Class Action Law

October 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Slovenian National Assembly adopted the Class Action Law, which will implement an important institute to the Slovenian legal system, i.e. mechanism of class action. This mechanism is already applied in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden, but is yet to be implemented in numerous EU member states. The new mechanism of class action will provide for the injured parties, both natural and legal persons, to file a compensation claim in case of mass harm situations. Besides a collective action for compensation, the law also provides for the possibility to file a collective action for the cessation of illegal behaviour against the infringers, as well as the procedure of collective settlement in case of mass harm events. The law will come into force on the 21st of October, 2017, while it will apply with effect from the 21st of April, 2018.

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Karanović & Nikolić Advises In The Signing Of The Landmark PPP For The Vinča Waste Treatment Proj

October 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić advised in the signing of the biggest PPP project in Serbia for the landfill remediation and development of the waste treatment facility in Belgrade, Vinča. The Belgrade Secretariat for Environmental Protection, the company "Beočista Energija" and the French-Japanese consortium, SUEZ Groupе - I-Environment Investments limited, signed a public-private partnership for the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the waste management treatment and disposal centre in Serbia.

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Karanović & Nikolić Advises On AmSpec’s Acquisition Of Agri Services

October 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić advised AmSpec on the acquisition of Agri Services doo - an inspection and testing company serving the Agricultural and Petroleum market in the Danube region from their locations in Serbia and Hungary. The acquisition of Agri Services shows AmSpec's continued expansion into the Agri-market and is yet another strategic step for the company, as it maintains its focus on expanding its global service network.

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The Untapped Potential of South Eastern Europe

September 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We have seen emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe opening up and developing quite quickly. Some of them have done so through their ascension to the European Union, and others by organising their legislation in accordance with European standards, opening up borders, having foreign investors come in, as well as putting in place free trade agreements and investment incentives.

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New Way of Claiming Damages for Competition Law Infringements in Croatia

August 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On the 22nd of July, 2017, the Law on Actions for Damages for Competition Law Infringements came into force in Croatia (the "Law"), implementing the EU Damages Directive​. Even though the existing Competition Law provides for the possibility of private enforcement in a relatively general manner, private claims for damages suffered from antitrust breaches have been underdeveloped and rarely utilised in Croatia (and in the rest of the region).

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Karanović & Nikolić Advises on OTP’s Acquisition of Vojvođanska Banka

August 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić, in cooperation with the global law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, advised OTP Bank – one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe, on the acquisition of Vojvođanska Banka. The National Bank of Greece signed an agreement to sell its Vojvođanska Banka unit in Serbia and NGB Leasing, as well as its corporate loan portfolio in Serbia to Hungary's OTP Bank, for 125 million euros.

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Karanović & Nikolić advises on the Acquisition of Telenor Banka

August 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić advised River Styxx Capital on the acquisition of Telenor Banka. The companies signed an agreement by which the Bulgaria-based investment fund will acquire 85% of Telenor's shares in the Serbian online bank. Under this agreement of strategic partnership, the Norwegian telecommunications group will keep 15% of its shares in Telenor Banka.

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FAVOURING SLOVENIAN ORIGIN IS CONTRARY TO EU LAW

July 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On the 8th of June, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) reached an important decision in the case Medisanus d.o.o. v General Hospital Murska Sobota (C-296/15) concerning public procurement procedures. The judgement is relevant from both the procedural aspect - since the National Review Commission (DKOM) was acknowledged for the first time as a “national court” for the purposes of Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as well as from the substantive point of view – due to the emphasis on the principle of equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination within public procurement procedures.

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Croatian Competition Agency Found No Abuse Of Dominant Position By An Authorised Dealer Of Land Rove

June 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Croatian Competition Agency (the "Agency") initiated proceedings against Grand Auto – an authorised dealer of Land Rover and Jaguar cars for Croatia, after an initiative by the Auto Dealership "Karlo", a former authorised repairer of the said cars for Croatia. The proceedings were initiated in order to establish whether an abuse of a dominant position, in the provision of repair and maintenance services for the car-makes Land Rover and Jaguar, occurred on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. In March 2017, the Agency closed the proceedings by reaching a non-infringement decision.

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The Slovenian Response To The Agrokor Crisis - "Lex Mercator"

June 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The turmoil within the Croatian retail company Agrokor, which owns Mercator, the largest Slovenian retailer, caused a significant stir in the Slovenian public, with the suppliers and especially in politics. The response of the Slovenian Government – with which additional measures for the protection of Mercator as a company of systemic importance are being established is also the Act on Conditions of Appointment of Associate Member of the Management Board in the Companies of Systemic Importance for the Republic of Slovenia. The Act was adopted by the Parliament on the 25th of April, 2017. It will become valid immediately on the day following its adoption.

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Antitrust Fine Imposed On Producers Of Cooking Oil In Serbia

May 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Competition authority imposes fines on ViktoriaOil and Vital, the leading producers of cooking oil in Serbia. The authority stated in its decision that the two companies entered into a joint production agreement that featured restrictive provisions. In particular, the authority claims that the provisions effected the exchange of information and joint production and sales in a way that led to increased prices to end consumers. The authority has engaged in a detailed analysis of the effects on price using regression analysis and other econometric tools on this market with perfect substitutes.

VictoriaOil and Vital are fined approximately EUR 186,297 and EUR 64,799, respectively, which amounts to 0.33% of the total annual turnover realised in Serbia in 2014 by each of the companies. The two companies will now have the opportunity to challenge the Competition Commission's decision before the Administrative court - acting as the second instance court in anti-trust cases.

As a reminder, in accordance with Article 10 of the Serbian Competition Law, restrictive agreements are agreements between undertakings, which have as their object or effect the significant prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Restrictive agreements can take various forms, written and oral, and may yield fines of up to 10% of the turnover realised on the Serbian market in the year preceding the initiation of proceedings.

The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.

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Macedonian Competition Commission Further Strengthens Its Leniency Policy

April 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

For several years now, a leniency model exists in Macedonia and it is shaped in line with the EU leniency model. Nevertheless, the Macedonian Competition Commission ("Commission") decided to refine the existing rules (contained in the Law on Protection of Competition and the accompanying Leniency Regulation) by recently adopting the Leniency Guidelines ("Guidelines").

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Networking: Cable Operator Merger Conditionally Cleared By The Competition Commission

April 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Following a four month-long Phase II investigation, the Serbian Competition Commission granted conditional clearance to SBB's takeover of IKOM. This consolidation of leading cable operators in Belgrade represents a landmark case for the Serbian authority and is related to global trends in consolidation of cable network operators, which fosters the investments necessary for improvements to network infrastructure and competition with IPTV, OTT and satellite content providers. The merger provided an opportunity for the Commission to investigate the workings of the Serbian telecom sector in detail, especially in relation to fixed telephony, broadband Internet and the distribution of media content.

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Dawn Raid In Montenegro

April 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

In March 2017, the Montenegrin Agency for the Protection of Competition carried out an unannounced inspection (dawn raid) at the business premises of Sava Trans d.o.o. Cetinje, a company engaged in freight transport, in order to collect data necessary for undertaking further actions carried out by the Agency. In its public statement, the Agency stated that the dawn raid was conducted fully in line with the Law on the Protection of Competition, whereas the raided company showed a high degree of cooperation.

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Gorenje Zagreb Fined For Resale Price Maintenance

March 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Resale price maintenance and price-fixing has been and still is under scrutiny by the Croatian Competition Agency (the "Agency"). Carrying on from a number of high-profile cases, in February 2017 the Agency fined Gorenje Zagreb, a subsidiary of Slovenia's premier manufacturer of household appliances for HRK 1,557,000 (approximately EUR 206,000).

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Karanović & Nikolić Wins The Award For Law Firm Of The Year In Eastern Europe And The Balkans By T

March 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Lawyer Magazine, a weekly British magazine for top Commercial Lawyers and In-House Counsel, has named Karanović & Nikolić law firm of the year for Eastern Europe and the Balkans during their annual European Awards ceremony on March 16, 2017 in London. The awards, now in their eighth year, were the first initiative of their kind to reward and celebrate excellence across the European legal market. This year the Awards focused on and recognised the growing importance of cross-border instructions to firms across the continent.

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Karanović & Nikolić Supports EFSE Extension Of Investment Portfolio

March 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We are pleased to announce that Karanović & Nikolić team has supported the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) in a recently closed extension of the investment portfolio of EFSE to UniCredit Bank Serbia. The transaction involved new EUR 20 million financing of UniCredit Bank Serbia, which will serve to finance housing loans for private households in Serbia.

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New Serbian Data Protection Law In 2017?

March 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

After having prepared the first draft of the new data protection law back in 2014 (which was ignored by the Government in the meantime, and even dismissed by the Ministry of Justice's introduction of a separate draft law in 2015), the Serbian Data Protection Commissioner ("Commissionaire")1 published the second draft of the new law on March 6th, 2017 ("Draft"). As announced by the Commissioner, the new Draft was necessary in order to address the deficiencies of the existing Law on Personal Data Protection and in order to harmonize the law with EU legislation, particularly with the newly enacted General Data Protection Regulation.

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Termination Due To Actions Of Employee Constituting Criminal Act

March 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Amending the Labour law in July 2014 raised some arguable and sensitive issues regarding termination of the employment contract when employee's behaviour represents criminal act. In fact, it was the employer who decided if an employee's behaviour represent a criminal act. This is why the Constitutional Court found it important to define (i) if an employer competent and authorized to decide if certain behaviour is a criminal act and (ii) if termination on this ground is in breach of the presumption of innocence.

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Karanović & Nikolić Shortlisted For IFLR’s “Deal Of The Year”

March 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce that we, in cooperation with local lawyers, have been shortlisted by IFLR for "Deal of the Year" within the Project Finance category for our assistance in the SASA mine refinancing project in Macedonia.

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Karanović & Nikolić Employment Team Contributes To The Shepherd And Wedderburn’s European Employ

March 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić employment team has assisted Shepherd and Wedderburn in the development of The European Employment Law Update for 2017.

European Employment Law Update for 2017 provides an overview of the vital reforms being introduced to European employment law over the next year, including areas such as seconding employees, increased protections for whistleblowers, and legislation changes related to increased work-life balance. Key considerations related to traditional employment areas such as increases to the minimum wage and unfair dismissal are also assessed.

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New Senior Partners Announced

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Karanović & Nikolić is pleased and proud to announce the promotion of a new generation of Senior Partners - Milan Lazić, Marjan Poljak and Darko Jovanović.

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EU Commission Investigates Planned Combination Of Bosnian And Croatian Cement Producers

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The European Commission has opened an in-depth merger investigation into the planned acquisition of Cemex Croatia by Duna-Drava Cement ('DDC'). Registered in Hungary, DDC is jointly controlled by German construction material producers HeidelbergCement and Schwenk. DDC inter alia operates a cement plant in Kakanj, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Cemex Croatia, an arm of the international cement heavyweight Cemex, controls three cement plants in the Croatian coastal city of Split.

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Energy Community Goes Back On Suspension Threats For Serbia

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Latest news reports are informing us that the European Energy Community (EC) went back on their threats of suspending Serbia's membership, after a series of fruitful negotiations between EC's representatives and the Serbian Ministry of Energy. The agreement which allowed for this development stipulates that Serbia has accepted the plan of action regarding the restructuring of Srbijagas, at the same time complying with the requirements of the Third Energy Package. On 11 October, the Serbian government issued a decree that is binding all gas companies to act according to the agreement in question, while also outlining that the Ministry of Energy will regularly be reporting on related activities to the Community as part of a fully transparent process of cooperation.

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Google Charged Concerning Android OS

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Recent media reports have informed us that the European Commission has issued an official charge sheet accusing Google of an abuse of dominance concerning its Android mobile operating system and contracts with smartphone producers and telecom operators. The European Commission considers Google dominant in the markets for general internet search services, licensable smart mobile operating systems and app stores for the Android mobile operating system. This is not the first time the Commission has been looking into Google's operations through an antitrust lens. The company has already faced heavy scrutiny concerning its search engine and treatment of competing shopping services and advertisements.

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Registration Of Company's Changes Will Not Be Allowed During Tax Audit

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Serbian Minister of Finance issued the Rulebook on the Manner and Procedure of Delivering and the Content of the Tax Administration's Notification on Commencement or Finalization of Tax Audit ("Rulebook").

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Real Estate Deal Triggers Competition Issue

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

This article is originaly published in IBA International Real Estate News.

During 2015, one major acquisition of real estate property occurred in the Serbian real estate market. What happened was that a major international bank purchased over 8,000 sqm of space in two office buildings located in the Serbian capital, Belgrade. In fact, the buyer only acquired the parts of the buildings, while it already owned a significant part of this property. The purpose of the purchase was to localise the bank's management in Serbia in one place. The deal was completed by the end of 2015 after long negotiations with the sellers – four companies that are incorporated in Serbia with the sound of champagne popping. However, just as the party was warming up and the bank's employees were about to settle down in the newly purchased premises, an unprecedented event occurred – the kind of an event which may have long-term consequences for real estate acquisitions throughout the Balkans region.

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Karanović & Nikolić, Together With Freshfields, Advise On UniCredit’s Takeover Of CEE Business F

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We are pleased to announce that Karanović & Nikolić team, together with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, has supported UniCredit S.p.A. (Italy) in a recently closed take-over of the CEE business of UniCredit Bank Austria AG including shareholdings in 13 banks in Southern Europe and CEE as well as a relevant loan portfolio. Freshfields and Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner were the lead advisors on the transaction, while Karanović & Nikolić acted as the local advisor in Serbia and (through its corresponding law offices) in Croatia and Slovenia.

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Serbia: New Platform For Data Exchange And E-Filing In The Judicial Sector – Work In Progress

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

To the untrained eye, technology and the judiciary sector may seem rather far apart. IT is ever changing and dynamic, while courts are by design deliberate and slow. However, even the most resistant institutions are not immune to change; Serbian courts now appear to be further steps towards incorporating new technology for the ultimate goal of greater efficiency.

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Amendments To The Montenegrin Tax Laws

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Montenegrin Parliament adopted the amendments to the Corporate Income Tax Law ("CIT Law") and Value Added Tax Law ("VAT Law"). Below is a brief description of the main amendments.

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Karanović & Nikolić Advises Affidea In Opening Serbia’s First Foreign Hospital

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić provided complete legal support to Affidea, a largest European medical service provider with respect to opening the first foreign hospital located in Belgrade. Our services consisted of extensive regulatory and corporate advice related to formation and start of operations of Affidea`s first hospital in Serbia.

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Serbia - Antitrust Sector Inquiries Up Ahead

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

After a remarkable year in both merger control and antitrust, the Serbian Competition Commission (the "Commission") is already starting to look ahead. The announcements made on the Commission's website during November and December of this year suggest that the Commission's focus in the year ahead will be directed at several industries in particular.

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Serbia: Criminal Sanctions For Cartels

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Serbian Parliament has recently adopted amendments to the Criminal Code. The amendments include a significant overhaul of the legal framework for white collar crimes, touching upon the rules relevant for antitrust enforcement as well.

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Happy Holidays To The IT Sector

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Near the tail-end of 2016, the Serbian Competition Commission initiated an investigation for an alleged competition infringement that took place in June of the same year. The infringement involved a failure to notify a merger for mandatory clearance. The transaction in question concerned an unreported acquisition of sole control on the IT market.

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New Amendments To The Criminal Code Regarding Tax Avoidance

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On 23 November 2016, the Serbian Parliament adopted amendments to the Criminal Code. Changes made include, among other, criminal offence of tax avoidance. Prosecution of tax avoidance was a matter of much controversy in the recent practice, and some of the changes made by the latest amendments are aimed to address these controversies. Though generally welcome, the scope of changes made are unlikely to bring significant improvements in the prosecution of tax avoidance. 

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New Managing Partner Announced

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce that Rastko Petaković has been elected as Managing Partner. Rastko takes over the firm's leading position from Dejan Nikolić who served as Managing Partner until 2016. Rastko's dedication and energy was evident from the beginning of his career when he joined the firm as a legal trainee back in 2005. He led in the development of the firm's corporate, competition and M&A practices and acted on major M&A deals and ground breaking antitrust cases. In 2009 and 2010 he has acted as lead counsel in two of the largest antitrust cases to date in the SEE region. More recently, in 2014 and 2015 he acted as lead local counsel in regional deals totalling EUR 4 billion.

Rastko's career enabled him to emerge as a highly competent lawyer who, in addition to his expert knowledge of the law, brings innovative and modern ideas that contribute to Karanović & Nikolić being a market leader in the SEE region. His track record in expanding the firm's network across the region demonstrated his vision and leadership, and most importantly, the perseverance to deliver on the vision and goals he sets for his clients and the firm.

In 2015 Rastko was selected as the winner of the 2015 European Emerging Leaders Awards by M&A Advisor.

Commenting on his appointment, Rastko said: "I'm honoured and privileged to be elected as Managing Partner. These are exciting times for the firm and our clients and we plan to work with them closely to help them achieve their goals and use every opportunity that this region offers. We thank Dejan for his strong leadership and vision."

Dejan Nikolić comments: "Karanović & Nikolić recognises true virtue, and potential. Rastko not only embodies these qualities but also consistently employs both his excellent organisational skills and his admirable dedication to client care, helping us sustain our reputable status in the market. He has been a fantastic role model to our younger associates and has continuously proven his vast capabilities. We are all excited to see where his fresh and bold energy and leadership will take us."

For more information please contact Alexandra Yoshida,

alexandra.yoshida@karanovic-nikolic.com, on +381 11 3094 200.

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BiH - New Law on Financial Operations

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Law on Financial Operations

On the 30th of December 2016, the application of the Law on Financial Operations (Law) will commence in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Law is intended to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market by introducing adequate and systematic risk management measures and solvency measures, as well as to promote the competitiveness of local commercial enterprises by legislating a culture of prompt payment.  

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BiH - General information on the Law on prohibited advertising

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Advertising in the Federation of Bosnia & Hercegovina is regulated through a series of laws and regulations (example: Law on Consumer Protection of BiH, Law on Media, Law on Medical Products etc.), but with the new Law on Prohibited Advertising (Official Gazette of FBiH 101 / 16, the "Law"), which entered into force on 31.12.2016, the control of illegal advertising is regulated, with regards to the relations between merchants, which in the Law on Consumer Protection of BiH remained open. By doing so, the protection of merchants from illegal advertising and the process of protection are regulated, additionally, the forms of prohibited advertising are established, which are misleading and prohibited comparative advertising.

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Serbian Parliament adopts changes to Tax laws

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

At the end of 2016 the Serbian Parliament adopted changes to Serbian tax laws, introducing a number of important changes in the area of VAT, excise duties and general tax procedures. Amendments to the laws governing these areas were adopted at the very end of 2016 – on the 28th of December 2016.

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EUR 2.6 Million Fine Imposed On The Electricity Distribution Company By The Competition Commission

January 2017. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Competition Commission found that the company EPS Distribucija, the only operator of the electricity distribution network in Serbia, abused its dominant position in the market of electricity distribution in Serbia. The abuse consists of applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with trading parties, whereby some of those trading parties have been placed at a competitive disadvantage in comparison to their competitors. The abuse was the result of, amongst other things, a non-transparent business policy of EPS Distribucija.

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Energy Community To Suspend Serbia’s Member Status?

November 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Recent news  bring us an update from the Energy Community (EC), whose latest report has outlined that Serbia has not resolved the key issue of non-compliance with the aquis – something that presents a continuous violation of obligations under the EC Treaty – by not completing the separation of Srbijagas and Yugorosgaz activities in accordance with the "Second Energy Package". The EC's report specifies that, in the reporting period, Serbia has in a way cancelled much of its prior efforts when it comes to the separation of these activities, effectively slowing down the process of harmonising secondary legislation. Furthermore, the EC has also requested Serbia to complete the transformation of its Electric Power Company into a joint-stock company by 1 July 2016 – another deadline that has been breached.

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Karanović & Nikolić Advises On R&R And Nestle’s Joint Venture

October 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce its involvement in advising R&R Ice Cream, a leading ice cream company based in the UK, on Serbian law matters relating to its 50/50 joint venture with Nestlé, the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company. The advising team consisted of Srdjan Dabetić Stefan Antonić from Karanović & Nikolić’s Belgrade office. Globally, our client was advised by London based Allen & Overy LLP.

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Karanović & Nikolić Advises On GoDaddy’s Acquisition Of ManageWP

October 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić, in cooperation with law firm Goodwin Procter, is pleased to have provided all around legal support and advice to GoDaddy on its acquisition of Devana Techologies’ ManageWP business.

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Czech Company Acquires Podravka’s Studenac Shares

October 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Media reports from Croatia are telling us that the Podravka food company has sold its Studenac mineral water bottling facilities to the Slovenian Radenska company, which is in turn owned by the Czech company Kofola – one of the European leaders in the field of producing and distributing non-alcoholic drinks.

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New Minimum Salary And New Branch Collective Agreements

October 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

*Information provided in this article does not represent any legal or whatsoever advice with respect to certain matter, but is intended for general informative purpose only.

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Interest Shown For The Kotor-Cetinje Cableway Concession

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Montenegrin media outlets have recently reported that the initial phase of the tender for the pre-qualification procedure in awarding the concession for the Kotor-Lovćen-Cetinje cableway – announced on 3 August in the Official Gazette of Montenegro – will be open to interested parties until 5 October this year. The president of the Tender Commission, Daliborka Pejović, pointed out that seven potential concessionaires have so far shown great interest for submitting the required documentation in the pre-qualification stage.

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Karanović & Nikolić Advises The Seller Of Electric Buses For The City Of Belgrade

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to have advised on the recent public procurement case in which our client – the seller – provided the City of Belgrade with five new electric buses for the city's public transport system. The team that led the client throughout the process was represented by Marjan Poljak, Partner, and Ana Stanković, Senior Associate.

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Italian Company To Acquire Bihać-Based Kombiteks?

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Recent news reports from Bosnia tell us that the BiH government, represented by the federal prime minister for economic issues and investments, Suvad Osmanagić, paid a visit to Bihać with Ludovico Camozzi, the president and owner of Camozzi – an Italian company that produces industrial automation machinery.

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Sale Of Serbian Agricultural Land To Foreigners: What Does The Agreement With The EU Really Say?

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Ever since Serbia’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU (‘SAA’) entered into force in September 2013, Serbian media have paid significant attention to the country’s obligations concerning the acquisition of agricultural land by foreigners. The fear of one part of the public appears to be that, due to the application of the SAA, large portions of Serbian agricultural land will be sold out to foreigners.

Here, we will take a look at what obligations precisely Serbia accepted under the SAA and what would happen if Serbia failed to act in accordance with these obligations.

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Drawing The Line – Parallel Import

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

This article was initially featured in CEE Legal Matters, June 2016 edition. ​

The contemporary business world has become fundamentally tied in with the progress of globalisation, and for anyone involved in it, that is no secret. Anybody would be hard pressed to find an industry that can exist and sustain itself in a purely national context, without – at least in some regard – relying on either a piece of legislation or a practice trend that is related to whatever kind of international functioning. A fine illustrative example of such an issue nowadays can be found in the international trade of fast moving consumer goods (and to a lesser extent pharmaceutical products), as well as the ways in which such products find their path to consumers' hands. More precisely, in the ways that products are moved on a cross-border basis, and how such movement corresponds with the respective national intellectual property (IP) protections in place, bringing us to a division between an international exhaustion of IP rights and the national exhaustion of these same rights. It is the presence of the parallel import issue that has sparked a rather controversial debate over which of the two is preferable.

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Memorandum On The Serbia-Bulgaria Gas Pipeline Construction To Be Signed Soon

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

According to latest media reports, the governments of Serbia and Bulgaria have agreed on the formulation of a new memorandum for the task of building a gas pipeline between the two countries, during a recent meeting of the group for gas connections in Central and South East Europe that was held in Budapest.

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Belgrade-Timisoara Highway Announced

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​An interesting news update has recently come up in the media, as the Serbian roads company "Putevi Srbije", and the Ministry of Construction, Transport, and Infrastructure – together with the representatives of the relevant institutions in Romania – announced that a contract on implementing a cross border project of building the Belgrade-Timisoara highway is due to be signed in the next two weeks.

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Serbia’s Investment Potentials Presented In Paris

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Media reports are letting us know that the "Serbia - A Strategic Crossroads between Western and Eastern Europe," conference was held in Paris on 15 September, where the French companies were presented with the political and economic environment in Serbia, as well as with the ensuing investment opportunities and the possibility of financing economic projects.

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Taxing The Business Atmosphere – Tax Administration’s Aggressive Inspections

September 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

An interesting trend can be noticed recently as the Serbian Tax Administration and Tax Police have raised their level of activity in conducting routine tax inspections in companies across the country. This is not to say that such activities can be labelled as unconventional on its own – seeing as how they present one of the fundamental aspects of the Administration's scope of work – but the ways in which they have been undertaken and their consequences do perhaps give some cause for concern.

 

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Karanović & Nikolić Film Production Guide Presented At The Sarajevo Film Festival

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Recognising the great potential for film production and post production in South East Europe, a group of legal experts have gathered to develop industry expertise and work with organisations and Governments supporting this fledgling sector. 

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Darko Jovanović And Marko Ketler Comment On The State Of NPL’s In The Region

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Darko Jovanović and Marko Ketler, Partners at Karanović Nikolić, recently commented on the state of the regional NPL market in a bne Intellinews article, as they earmarked Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia to be the backbone of the region in this regard. Their comments follow some of the recent developments on the market, as Romania – a country considered to be the leader in terms of market activity for NPL's – seems to have lost its potential, with no large-scale transaction anticipated in the near future.

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Withholding Tax In The EU – New Developments

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

An interesting piece of news in the sphere of tax law has recently been provided by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decision that found Portuguese withholding tax rules to be breaching EU law.

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Serbia To Sign An Agreement With The Eurasian Economic Union

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

According to recent media reports, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications in Serbia's newly formed government, Rasim Ljajic, stated that a free trade agreement between Serbia and the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) should be signed come November, while outlining that at this stage, the matter is out of Serbia's hands and fully dependent on the EEU.

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Lower VAT On Hotel Services In Montenegro

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

An important piece of regulation has been introduced in Montenegro recently, through the reduction of VAT on catering services in four stars hotels (in the north of the country) and five-star hotels (on the seaside), which will be effective from 2018. According to media reports, Olivera Brajović, General Director of Tourism Development and Standards in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, pointed out that these reduced tax rates on services of preparing and serving food and drinks are expected to raise the overall competitiveness in the hospitality sector, while at the same time contribute to the combat against grey economy.

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Karanović & Nikolić Joins The NextLaw Global Referral Network

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce that it has joined the NextLaw Global Referral Network, created by global law firm Dentons. We are particularly excited by the fact that Nextlaw presents a new type of network, with a unique invitation-only approach in their selection, ensuring that all of its members have the highest quality standards and a proven track record of excellence.

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Sweet Smell Of Success - Serbian Sugar Industry Consolidates Its Forces

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

After more than a four months and a Phase II (in-depth) investigation, the Competition Commission gave conditional approval, to Sunoko's acquisition of the Star Šećer company and its subsidiary Te-To - the owner of the sugar factory in Senta. No divestments have been required from Sunoko.

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New Bridge Over Danube To Be Built In Belgrade

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

News reports are informing us that Belgrade will gain another bridge over the Danube river in the near future – this one at the Ada Huja island and over three kilometres long.

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Nikola Tesla Airport To Acquire Sava Centar?

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Media outlets have recently been reporting on the possibility that Nikola Tesla Airport will acquire Sava Centar (SC), with the purpose of turning it into its company headquarters. This acquisition would be followed by an investment of over EUR 30 million in the next three years for the building's reconstruction and adaptation. Such a decision would result in Sava Centar changing its name to "Congress Centre Nikola Tesla Airport", with an expanded array of facilities, including a tower, a shopping mall, and a hotel. The funds for the investment in question will be hailing from the Airport's own assets.

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Too Big To Hide – European Commission Sanctions Truck Cartel

August 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Global competition law circles have recently been shaken by the European Commission's record-setting fine of EUR 2.93 billion for collusion on the automotive market, imposed against Volvo, Daimler, Iveco and DAF trucks. The sanctions in question varied amongst the accused parties, with Daimler facing the largest penalty in the amount of more than EUR 1 billion on its own. Iveco's fine was set at EUR 494 million, DAF's at EUR 752 million, and Volvo's fine has been set at EUR 670 million.

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New Renewables Incentive Scheme (At Last)

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

With more than 6-months of delay, the Government of the Republic of Serbia finally adopted the following package of decrees setting out the new incentive scheme for green energy:

  • ");
  • FIT Decree"); and
  • Status Decree").

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Serbia Gets A Grip On Non Performing Loans

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On 11 July 2016, The National Bank of Serbia adopted amendments to three by-laws of the Law on Banks (Risk Management Decision, Decision on the Classification of Bank Balance Sheet Assets and Off-balance Sheet Items and the Decision on Reporting Requirements for Banks), and in doing so, took a significant step towards effectuating the implementation of the strategies on resolving non-performing loans and the action plan rendered by the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the National Bank of Serbia in cooperation with the IMF, World Bank and EBRD – adopted at the end of last year. Furthermore, the amendments are also intended to improve the regulatory framework for the treatment of restructured receivables, in order to provide sustainable incentives in practice and to prevent unsustainable refinancing, as well as in the area of banks' obligations on reporting the structure of restructured receivables and reporting on banks' non-performing loans. These amendments entered into force on 15 July 2016, whereas amendments to the Risk Management Decision shall be applicable as of 15 July 2016, and the application of the amendments to the Decision on the Classification of Bank Balance Sheet Assets and Off-balance Sheet Items and the Decision on Reporting Requirements for Banks is postponed until 1 October 2016.

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EPCG Interested In Entering Montenegrin Telco Market

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

According to latest news reports, Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) has shown significant interest in buying a majority stake of the Montenegrin branch ofTelekom Srbijam:tel – with rumours circulating about the initial talks between the two sides recently being held.

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European Commission Ruling – Serbia Holds Management Rights Over Air Serbia

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Latest news reports from the airline industry show that the European Commission has ended their investigation into the ownership structure of "Air Serbia", reaching a conclusion that Serbia indeed holds management rights over its national air carrier. Furthermore, having in mind their minority stake in Air Serbia, Etihad Airways has thus been enabled to operate according to EU standards in Serbia.

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British-Chinese Joint Investment In Loznica Thermal Power Plant

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Scarborough Group International< and the Chinese owned China National Electric (CNEEC) company, has signed a contract to build a thermal power plant in Loznica, in the amount of EUR 230 million. The consortium received additional financial support from the China Development Bank, while the Chinese insurance company Sinosure also showed interest in participating in the project.

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Rastko Petaković Promoted To Senior Partner

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is proud to announce that Rastko Petaković has been made Senior Partner.

Rastko began his impeccable career as a trainee at the Belgrade's office of Karanović & Nikolić in 2005. He spent his internship within the firm's corporate and M&A practice and in parallel specialized in competition law at programs with major international law firms and engaged in advocacy ahead of the adoption of the 2005 Competition Law. Already in 2006 he acted on many ground breaking merger and antitrust cases in Serbia and Montenegro.

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Slovenian Gas Pipelines To Be Brought Under State Control

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

According to latest news reports, Plinovodi – the company managing Slovenian gas pipelines, will be brought under majority state control, while the energy company, Petrol, is due to secure a majority stake in the gas wholesaler Geoplin under a contract signed this month. It should be noted that the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) and Petrol are currently the largest Geoplin shareholders. Geoplin, in turn, is the sole shareholder of Plinovodi.

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Croatian IT Market Growing

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

An encouraging news update comes from Croatia, as some of the recent reports claim that the Croatian IT market reached a value of EUR 950 million in 2015. According to IDC Adriatic – a regional branch of the global market intelligence provider – this shows an increase of 10.8% when compared to the previous year.

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Investments In Montenegrin Road Infrastructure

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Montenegrin Ministry of Transport has recently been in the news as it provided an overview of investments that it has made over the past ten years in the country's road infrastructure – investments that have totalled at EUR 300 million through renovation, modernisation, and construction processes throughout the country.

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Agreement Between Montenegro & BiH On Seasonal Employment

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

According to recent news reports, the Bosnian Ambassador in Podgorica, Đorđe Latinović, stated that a labour agreement between BiH and Montenegro on temporal employment is due to be signed soon. The main purpose of this agreement being to regulate the status of seasonal workers in the two countries and reduce the possibility of undeclared work.

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Serbia To Increase Renewable Energy Sources Contribution

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

One of the liveliest parts of the recently held panel discussion organised by the Association for Sustainable Development and the Youth Forum of the European Movement, was revolving around Serbia's obligation to reach 27% of its total consumption of energy to be coming from renewable energy sources (RES) by year 2020.

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Green Economy’s Labour Potential In Serbia

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Emphasising the importance of the shift to green trends and sustainable development has become something of a global custom in recent years, although mostly through being associated with the production of green energy and its consequential distribution. However, an often overlooked aspect in this regard has been the need for labour force that arises from the development of the so-called "green economy".

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Karanović & Nikolić Attends Balkan Legal Forum In Vienna

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Patricia Gannon, Senior Partner, and Rastko PetakovićVeton Qoku and Nevena Tomić Lučić, attended the Balkan Legal Forum ( BLF) 2016 – a conference organised by the IBA European Regional Forum and the Legal Development Foundation.

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Czech Company Acquires Avala Film

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

There has been an exciting development in the entertainment industry, as the Czech company "Sebre a.s." bought a 20% stake in Serbian "Avala film" – an iconic studio hailing from the golden age of Yugoslavian film. Among other duties taken on through this acquisition, Sebre will be responsible for the formation of the studio's management board, as well as for its modernisation – something that the company's officials have already promised to do by investing over EUR 10 million over the next 3-5 years. The construction and renovation of buildings on Avala Film's lot will be realised through Hinton, a Czech construction company.

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Mercator To Sell Intersport And Modiana

July 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Recent news reports are claiming that Mercator is expected to sell its chains of sporting goods stores, Intersport and Modiana, by the end of July. This kind of activity would be the latest in a longer line of investments that Mercator has been selling off, including Pekarna Grosuplje and Mercator-Embi, all of it as means of shifting the corporate focus to the company's main activity – trade.

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Aligning Our Interests – Regional Mobility In The Context Of Tourism

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

At the recently held Summit 100 Business Forum in Sarajevo, many topics of contemporary relevance for the region of Southeast Europe were expectedly touched upon. Be it the supply of sustainable energy, the position of women in business, or the issues related to infrastructure & transport conditions, it was an opportunity for a number of prominent experts and government officials to weigh in with their opinions on how to improve the overall business situation in our region. However, one of the greatest impressions from the conference have been the discussions on the mobility of goods and people within our region, as well as the respective implications. Having in mind the beginning of summer being just a few days away, perhaps the most illustrative example in this regard can be the tourism industry and the ways in which it has been – or potentially can be – affected by such regulatory frameworks of SEE countries.

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EBRD Activity In Serbia

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

According to recent reports, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has plans of investing more than EUR 3 billion in the Western Balkans region, of which approximately EUR 300 million is assigned to Serbia.

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Slovenian Competition Agency Adopts A Commitment Decision In The Hyundai Case

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On 12 March 2015, the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency ("HAT"), the national distributor of Hyundai vehicles, together with a network of authorised repair shops for Hyundai motor vehicles.

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Bosnian Diaspora Looks To Invest Back Home

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

According to recent media reports, the Bosnian Central Bank (BCC) has presented information regarding the scope of investments made by the country's diaspora.  More precisely, it has been reported that more than EUR 1.5 billion of investments are being made by the Bosnian diaspora each year through remittances and formal channels – meaning that the exact figure is even larger when accounting for other, informally made investments which have been proven to exist. If to some these figures seem somewhat overblown, it should be noted that there are around 2 million registered citizens of BiH around the world, ranking the country 1th in the world when looking at the share of immigrants in relation to the population, at the same time further showcasing the importance of diaspora's involvement in investment practices. 

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Ikea Invests In A Designer Outlet Complex In Croatia

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Recent news reports show that IKEA, the world famous Swedish multinational retailer, is getting ready to invest EUR 88 million in the construction of a Designer Outlet complex in Croatia.

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Karanović & Nikolić Attends TMA Europe Conference In Rome

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Europe held its ninth annual conference in Rome on 9 and 10 June. Partner at Karanović & Nikolić, Maja Jovančević Šetka, attended the conference as a board member of TMA Serbia.

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Turkish Airlines Considers Acquisition Of Croatia’s National Carrier

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​According to recent reports, it seems to be that an exciting update in the aviation world might be waiting around the corner. More precisely, it has been circulated in the media that the global giant and world's fastest growing airline, Turkish Airlines, is contemplating the acquisition of Croatia's national carrier – Croatia Airlines. 

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Slovenian Government Decides To Put NLB Bank Up For Initial Public Offering

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Last week's news reports from Slovenia are letting us know that the Slovenian state holding company (SDH) decided to privatise Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), the country's biggest bank, through initial public offering (IPO). The decision has been made after Deutsche Bank – the appointed advisor in the process – conducted a feasibility study and consulted with a number of institutional investors, reaching the conclusion that in the current economic environment, a parallel listing of shares on the Ljubljana bourse and the International stock exchange (ISE) presents a better action than a trade sale of the bank's shares to a strategic buyer or financial investor. According to SDH, the sell-off process is not expected to happen before autumn of this year, with the completion anticipated by the end of 2017.

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Competition Commission Suspects Price Fixing – Engages In Dawn Raids Again

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The latest activity update regarding the Serbian Competition Commission has been the Decision brought by the Commission's President to initiate ex officio proceedings for suspected price fixing against 26 undertakings operating in the field of geodetic services.

The proceedings come following a complaint by the Belgrade Land Development Public Agency, delivered to the Commission in April this year. The complaint alleged suspected collusion between providers of geodetic services participating in the Agency's public procurement procedures – the prices the land surveyors were offering for their services during this year were significantly higher than the prices from the previous two years.

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Karanović & Nikolić Attends TMA’s Business Breakfast

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On 18 May 2016, the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce hosted a working breakfast on the topic of "Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms – Mediation and Arbitration". The event was organised by the Turn Around Management Association Serbia (TMA Serbia), in cooperation with ADR Partners and the Belgrade Arbitration Centre.

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The Importance Of EU Funds In Montenegro

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

At the recently held coordination meeting of IPA (Instrument for Pre Accession Assistance) multi-beneficiary programs in Herceg Novi, the main focus was put on announcing the importance of EU funds for the implementation of important internal reforms and the progress of the Western Balkan countries towards membership in the European Union.

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IBA’s International Financial Law Conference Highlights

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Karanović & Nikolić Senior Associate, Katarina Gudurić, attended the 33rd International Financial Law Conference, recently held by IBA in Athens between 18-20 May. The event was a great opportunity for international lawyers with expertise in banking and securities law to (re)connect and exchange views on many hot topics in the area of banking and capital markets. The attendees were honoured to witness the keynote speech of Mr. Yannis Stournaras, Governor of the Bank of Greece, whose presentation focused on the financial stability in the recent turmoil filled times for Greece. More precisely, Mr Stournaras emphasised the fact that central bankers and supervisory authorities bear an enormous responsibility in shaping a system capable of delivering prosperity to the citizens of Europe, outlining that even though important progress has been made in securing the financial stability needed to deliver such prosperity, the job is still not completed.

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Foreign Direct Investments In Montenegro

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Central Bank of Montenegro has recently published a report on foreign direct investments (FDI) that have been made in Montenegro during the first three months of this year. This FDI total has amounted to EUR 223 million, thus presenting proof of noticeable growth in this sense when compared to last year's EUR 100 million over the same period of time.

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From Old Ties To New Relationships – Turkey And The SEE Region

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Various media outlets have recently been reporting on the economic relationship between Turkey and the Balkan countries, as well as the growing interest of Turkish companies to do business in this region through acquiring or cooperating with local companies – many of which are state-owned and in the process of being put up for sale by their respective governments. If we look closer into specific examples, the numbers are supportive of this positive trend, i.e. in Serbia, three years ago only 25 Turkish companies were present in the country's market, with that number rising up to 90 in 2016.

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Montenegrin Beach Properties Put Up For Sale

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We have more real estate news from Montenegro, as there are media reports on 4.9 million square meters of beach properties being put up for sale in the municipalities of Buljarica, Budva, and Bar by the Montenegrin Council for Privatisation and Capital Projects. Interested bidders are obliged to submit their offer as part of an investment program, which would also then include a plan for the development of infrastructure at the site, as well as a business plan that provides a clear outline of the structure and dynamics of investments by years and designated source of investment capital. The investment program in question should also by accompanied by an acceptable bank guarantee, while the tender itself stipulates that the obligations of the investment program must be fulfilled within seven years from the sale contract’s entry into force.

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Karanović & Nikolić Advises On Air Serbia Aircraft Lease

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We are pleased to announce that Karanović & Nikolić has advised Jet Airways (India) Limited, together with Dentons UKMEA LLP, in an aircraft leasing transaction that will enable the long-haul trans-Atlantic route between Serbia and the United States (Belgrade-New York) to be restored. The transaction in question consisted of an operating lease of the Airbus A330-202 by Jet Airways (member of Etihad Airways Partners) and Etihad Airways (as sub-lessee) to Air Serbia, with the participation of foreign export credit agencies and banks that provided financing for the acquisition of the aircraft by the owner.

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Turkish Airlines Considers Acquisition Of Croatia’s National Carrier

June 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

According to recent reports, it seems to be that an exciting update in the aviation world might be waiting around the corner. More precisely, it has been circulated in the media that the global giant and world's fastest growing airline, Turkish Airlines, is contemplating the acquisition of Croatia's national carrier – Croatia Airlines. 

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European Commission Recognises The Importance Of Crowdfunding

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

It has been announced last week that the European Commission (EC) has published a report on the EU crowdfunding sector, as part of its Capital Markets Union Action Plan. In doing so, the EC has recognised the growing importance of crowdfunding platforms – websites that allow fundraisers to interact with investors and donors – for the improved economic growth and job creation in Europe. Despite being acknowledged as relatively small at this moment in time, its rapid development has been noted, and for that reason, efforts are being made for crowdfunding to be appropriately regulated en route to becoming one of the key sources of financing for small & medium sized enterprises in the future.

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Dubai Investors Take Ownership Of Porto Montenegro

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

One of the biggest news reports in the region last week was the acquisition ofPorto Montenegro, the luxury yacht marina located in Tivat, by theInvestment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). The marina was handed over to the new owners during a press conference at the Regent Hotel, where the accompanying protocol was signed by ICD's Executive Director, Sheikh Mohammed Al Shaibani, and the CEO of the marina's previous owner – Adriatic Marinas, Oliver Corlette. The conference was also attended by the Montenegrin Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, and the Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Branimir Gvozdenović.

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Competition Commission Joins Forces With The Ministry Of Internal Affairs

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Another piece of news related to our competition team in Serbia are the recent signings of a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement of Cooperation in the field of forensics between the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA).

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Chinese Company To Invest In Bosnian Thermal Plant

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Sarajevo Business Forum 2016 (SBF) was, among hosting a number of lectures and discussions, a platform for one of the largest post-war investments in the energy sector in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH). The reason for this can be found in the latest reports that an agreement was reached for the EUR 722 million construction of Thermal Power Plant Tuzla's Block 7 betweenElektroprivreda BiH and the China Gezhouba Group Corporation, with the official MoU signing taking place on the first day of the SBF 2016. The project financier for the deal in question will be the Export Import Bank of China(EXIM), and the repayment period – together with a five-year grace period, is reported to be 15 years.

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Karanović & Nikolić Attends Commission’s Anniversary

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Karanović & Nikolić attorneys were among the guests at the Republic of Serbia's Commission for the Protection of Competition's 10 year anniversary celebration, which also included an international conference on the topic of the law and policy of competition protection. The conference was opened by Deputy Prime Minister, Prof. Dr Kori Udovički, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Dr Miloje Obradović, President of the National Assembly's Committee for Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy, Dr Aleksandra Tomić, and European Union Delegate, Steffen Hudolin.

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Managing Emotions In Labor Disputes – More Than Law

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić recently organised a workshop in cooperation with the Faculty of Law, under the title of "Managing Emotions in Labor Disputes – More than Law", as part of the Trial Simulation and Case Studies course.

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Karanović & Nikolić Featured In Chambers Europe Ranking 2016

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

After publishing their Global Ranking in March, Chambers & Partners has recently published the latest edition of its Chambers Europe Ranking, and we are pleased to announce that Karanović & Nikolić has once again been included in its list of Europe's finest legal practices. Furthermore, we are proud to again notice a significant presence of our lawyers in this year's ranking – in both a national and regional context – and we see this as another in a long line of proofs witnessing the continuous evolution of our office into a top 100 European law firm.

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Data Protection Developments In Bosnia & Herzegovina – Business Briefing Review

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Lana Sarajlić, attorney-at-law in cooperation with Karanović & Nikolić, participated in a Business Briefing on 10 May, which was hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), on the topic of data protection developments and trends in BiH practice.  Lana was accompanied as panellist by Sophie Kwasny, Head of the Data Protection Unit for the Council of Europe, as well as Samira Čampara, Assistant Director, Section for Inspections and Complaints, and Silvija Fučec, Senior Public Relations Advisor, from the Data Protection Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

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IBA Real Estate Conference In Copenhagen Highlights

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Karanović & Nikolić Senior Associate, Ana Luković, visited the recently held 8th International Bar Association's (IBA) Real Estate Conference in Copenhagen.  As was the case during the previous editions of the conference, it provided a platform for around 150 attendees – hailing from all across the contemporary business spectrum – to communicate and exchange their views on various topics related to the field of real estate law. This year's main topics have dealt with a number of a regulatory updates including, but not limited to, the real estate tax reform in Austria, the restrictions for foreigners to acquire real estate in Switzerland, the acquisition of residential properties by foreign individuals in Turkey, as well as some issues from "across the pond", such as the foreign investment control in Canadian real estate, and the film location release agreements in the US.

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A Field Trip To Vršac - Karanović & Nikolić Visits Client

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On a sunny morning in April, an expedition comprised of Karanović & Nikolić's lawyers from various departments, set across the Vojvodina plains of Serbia for a client visit to Vršac. Our host and client on this occasion, Fresenius Medical Care, welcomed our group in the company's production headquarters and gave us a presentation on the company's background and history, before taking us for a tour around the Serbian branch of their enterprise.

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A Relationship Like No Other – IP & Pharmaceuticals

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

As the overall level of convergence between industries in the business world keeps increasing, it is only logical for the related legal aspects to follow suit every step of the way. Nonetheless, even though this is becoming something of a regular occurrence nowadays, there are particular legal practice areas that have been tied to their industry counterparts for quite a long time now, and perhaps none so much as the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and intellectual property (IP) rights.

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Moving With The Times – The Impact Of Technology On The Business Of Law

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The world is moving at a break neck pace, and a crucial element at the root of these changes are technological developments. As the global business landscape has been irrevocably altered by these developments, it was only a matter of time before each comprising industry would have had to adapt and – to a certain degree – reinvent itself as a consequence. Even though, admittedly, a little notorious for their traditionalist approach and the old-fashioned nature of their work, legal professionals had no choice but to join in on utilising technology, along the way discovering a plenitude of otherwise impossible benefits that are now available to them.

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Feeling Energised – Supporting Sustainable Energy In The Region

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

It is slowly starting to feel like distant history when civilisation's efforts to satisfy the most fundamental need for energy were focused mainly on utilising non-renewable sources. Fossil fuels, natural gas, oil, and coal have been the backbone of the industrial age's rapid development, effectively helping bring on the contemporary era of existence we are witnesses of. However, due to the many risks involved with exploiting such resources (the least of which being their limited quantities), society has been making a significant push over the past few decades to raise the global level of ecological awareness and refocus our attention onto those energy sources which have been present on our planet since the dawn of time, tasking international and national authorities to come up with the best possible solutions on how to fully rely on such sources. Our region has not been much different in this regard (except for perhaps being a bit more sluggish at first than our Western European counterparts), and has recently introduced a variety of reforms and regulations that are intended to drive this initiative into a fully-formed realisation in the near future.

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Slovenia Amends Its Insolvency Act

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​ Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act (ZFPPIPP or the Insolvency Act) again, following amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to the Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016.

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Viva Fresh Looks To Expand With EBRD Help

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We have news on the M&A front coming from the south of our region, where there have been reports about Viva Fresh, a Priština based Kosovan grocery retailer, looking to sell a minority stake to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in order to accelerate its growth and gain the necessary funding for potential acquisitions. Furthermore, selling a minority stake through a strategic agreement is not the sole focus of the Viva Fresh management, as it is reported that they would also like to attract private equity investors. The company's president and full owner, Xhevdet Rexhepi, outlined that he would like to start the negotiations off valuing his company at 10x and 12x its EBITDA (its EBITDA was EUR 11 million in 2015).

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Lidl’s Plans In Serbia Materialising

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Even though the arrival of the German company "Lidl" in Serbia has been in the media since 2012, the construction of its first store in Smederevo was completed only in late 2015. However, further construction has recently begun on an additional four locations, namely, Belgrade, Bor, Zrenjanin, and Šabac. The work on the rest of the projects, in this first stage of construction, is planned to commence during the summer of 2016 in cities including Novi Sad, Smederevo, Niš, Kruševac and Subotica. The second stage would involve the construction of another 10 stores, since the company's plan is to have a simultaneous opening of all 20 stores in March 2018 – despite previous reports of planned partial openings. In addition to the mentioned stores, a distribution centre with national coverage will be built as well, in the town of Nova Pazova.

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Slovenian Start-Ups Get Backing From The Enterprise Fund

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

There is encouraging news for those with plans of getting involved in a start-up project in Slovenia, as the Slovenian Enterprise Fund has announced almost EUR 5 million to support innovative start-ups this year. The help is reported to not be purely financial, since it would also include administrative support, adviser workshops, and intermediating in establishing connections with private investors, as a means of further polishing their sales skills on top of already proven engineering skills. Maja Tomanič Vidovič, the fund's director, presented the afore noted intentions at the Ljubljana Technology Park just ahead of the "Forum 100% " event, which will serve as this year's launching point for support activities regarding innovative start-ups.

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Imlek Gets Green Light To Acquire Niška Mlekara

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Republic of Serbia's Commission for Protection of Competition, upon completion of an in-depth procedure, has approved Imlek's acquisition of Niška Mlekara's shares, making them 100% owners of this dairy company. The fulldecision document regarding this case has been published on the Commission'sofficial website.

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Slovenia Looking Forward To The Tourist Season

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Judging by industry reports, it seems that another rich tourist season is in the making for Slovenia. The spas are working at full capacity during Easter and May holidays, and both international and domestic guests are pouring in. Even though there has been a steady growth in interest for Slovenian spas during the last couple of years – regardless of the economic situation and the fluctuating purchasing power of the guests – a more significant increase in interest can be noted this year, with speculations mainly assigning this to tense security situations in a number of typical tourist destinations. In that regard, Slovenia has been marked as a safe country, most frequently visited by Austrians, Russians, Germans, Croats and the like.

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Improvement Of Commercial Relations Between Republika Srpska And Russia

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Republika Srpska's Minister of Industry, Energy, and Mines, Petar Đokić, together with a group of entrepreneurs, recently visited a business forum in Nizhny Novgorod – one of the leading industrial areas in Russia – for the purpose of promoting investments in the region. This visit has been reported as part of the general effort to strengthen economic ties between the two countries that already enjoy positive commercial relations, taking into consideration that Russia is currently the fourth biggest investor in Bosnia.

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Greece’s Biggest Tobacco Company Buys Land In Macedonia

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Last week, Greece's biggest tobacco company, "

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New Substation Being Built At “Autokomanda” Roundabout In Belgrade

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

It has been reported recently that EPS Distribucija has successfully obtained a building permit from the Ministry of Construction Transportation and Infrastructure for the EUR 1.13 billion project of constructing a new electrical substation – along with accompanying office space – near Autokomanda in Belgrade. The Vozdovac municipality's extensive Land-Use Plan has considered this construction upfront for its central zone, since it has been under power supply problems for some time now, with no easy solutions for them due to the highway being in close vicinity, presenting a significant physical barrier.

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Karanović & Nikolić Ranked On Legal 500

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We are proud to announce that Karanović & Nikolić has once again been ranked on the Legal 500 list of leading law firms!

The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world for the past 28 years, with a comprehensive research programme revised and updated every year to bring the most up-to-date vision of the global legal market.

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Macedonia Invests In Tourism – Numbers Proving Positive Effects

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Macedonia, a country of great natural beauty – and perhaps most famous for its lakes – is reported to be working hard towards further enhancing and widening its tourist offer. The latest activity on behalf of the government in this regard has been a EUR 15 million investment in the road and utility infrastructure related to Lake Prespa.

The investment has been spread across a number of projects, including the building of beaches in Stenje and Slivnia, as well as the accompanying footpaths along the lake fronts. Further improvements are to be made on the reconstruction of the water supply, on the local roads, and the Bitola-Resen regional road – which is currently ongoing with plans of being completed in September. The Resen municipality – the jurisdiction governing the area of Lake Prespa – is said to be the focus point of other future investments too.

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Serbia And Slovenia Plan On Starting Joint Production

May 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Following on regarding the mutual desire of both sides to improve the commercial relations between Slovenia and Serbia, there are now additional reports to substantiate these claims. The Slovenian ambassador in Serbia, Vladimir Gasparič, has proclaimed his country's strong support for Serbia to establish a new economic policy model and ascend to EU, as well as willingness to intensify the cooperation between companies in the two countries and improve the overall regional commercial linkage.

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Karanović & Nikolić Included In Chambers Global 2016

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​Chambers & Partners has published the latest edition of its guide this month, and we are pleased to announce that Karanović & Nikolić has once again been included in its list of the best legal practices in the world.

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Slovenian Interest in Serbian Spas – Business Relationship between Countries Grows Further

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

In a recent statement to the press, the Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, labelled the Serbian spas as great tourism potentials and 'undiscovered gems', before continuing to declare Slovenian interest for investing in them. According to him, this investment would not be purely financial, as it would also include the investment of Slovenian industry know-how in the process of developing and upgrading the spa offer in Serbia, as a response to emerging health trends and increasing spa vacation demands.

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Slovenia - Employer’s Right to Monitor Employees

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

In its recent judgment Bărbulescu v. Romania, the European Court of Human Rights ("ECHR") considered an employer's right to monitor an employee's work computer and an employee's right to privacy. Although the ECHR ruled in the case that Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights ("Convention") which provides for the right to privacy was not breached, the judgment should not be interpreted broadly as grounds for surveillance of employees in all situations, as was recently stressed by Slovenian Information Commissioner. The Slovenian Information Commission further reiterated that the right to privacy in Slovenia is a strict one since Article 37 of the Slovenian Constitution states that only the law may prescribe the suspension of the right to the protection of the privacy of correspondence and other means of communication for a set time on the basis of a court order.

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Stratex Group’s Growing Presence in Montenegro

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​As the summer season draws closer, a stream of news continues to come our way from the Adriatic coast of our region. Montenegro is the source of updates this time around, as there have been reports about the Stratex Group taking full control over Budvanska Rivijera Hotel Group – a company in which they already hold a 30% ownership stake. The deal would include all of Budvanska Rivijera's assets excluding the St.Stefan island, since the Montenegrin government expressed intentions of retaining it under its ownership. 

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Karanović & Nikolić Pro Bono Client Wins Entrepreneurial Award in Bosnia

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

​On Friday, 25 March 2016, Karanović & Nikolić hosted a lunch on its premises, with the goal of promoting our practice's pro bono activities. Patricia Gannon, Senior Partner, gave a speech where she stressed the importance of actively giving back to society and those members of our community who have never been in a privileged position to do so themselves. The luncheon was concluded with the introduction of lawyers within the practice who have been the most engaged in this area. 

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Tanja Unguran Voted as the Head of AmCham’s Finance & Tax Committee

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce the election of one of its Partners, Tanja Unguran, to the position of AmCham Serbia's Chair of the Finance & Tax Committee. The Finance & Tax Committee, as one of the seven total AmCham Committees including those in charge of Combating Grey Economy, Healthcare Systems, Corporate and Business Law, Human Resources, Labour Task Force, and Real Estate Task Force, is tasked with improving the business environment via a two-year agenda. The work of the committees comprises from producing position papers and suggesting processes, rules and regulations, all of which pertain to the general advocacy focus by working with the Board of Governors and AmCham Executive Team. Another important function of the Committee Heads is to interact with key decision and policy makers and implementing authorities, as well as communicating with the media.

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Karanović & Nikolić Publishes 2016 Learning & Development Calendar

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

From its beginnings, Karanović & Nikolić has shown a deep commitment towards attracting, developing and attaining top experts in the legal profession. In order to be the best we must have the best people and offering a world class learning and development programme has been an integral part of our business philosophy. By providing the opportunity to our people to grow individually and become better professionals we are able to provide better service to our clients.

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New Investment Opportunities in Macedonia

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The Government of Republic of Macedonia, acting through the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning ("Ministry"), recently published another public call for the awarding of concessions of HPP Ćebren and HPP Galište, and two other public calls for concession of total 48 new small hydro power plants ("SHHPs"). The public call for HPP Ćebren and HPP Galište includes designing, building and operating with these two important HPPs, while the concession for the SHHPs will include a concession on water utilisation for electricity production which will be realised through the DBOT (Design, Build, Operate, Transfer) model.

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Beyond the Horizon – Telecom Industry in the Eyes of Private Equity

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Over the previous couple of years, the region of South-Eastern Europe, or more specifically, the Western Balkans, has enjoyed a globally acknowledged position of an investment hot-spot. This comes as no surprise if we take into account how the socialist past of encompassing countries has provided their contemporary incarnations with a number of state-owned companies in core industries, all of which now present viable targets for Private Equity funds and M&A activities in general. Perhaps a front-running case in this regard (although far from being the only one) has been the case of Telekom Srbija, the telecommunications giant that went through a second unsuccessful attempt at becoming privatised four months ago. The case of Telekom Srbija, due to its size and wide extent of implications for the rest of the region, also presents a fitting base for the discussion on the overall state of the telecommunications industry in this part of Europe, and the ways in which it corresponds with unquestioned investors' interest. For similar reasons and against a similar background, the unsuccessful privatisation attempt for Telekom Slovenia echoes on the same pattern.

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Slovenia Reforms Public Procurement System

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The new Slovenian Public Procurement Act, the ZJN-3 ("Procurement Act"), enters into force on 1 April 2016. After a long period of dual regulation of the general and utility areas of public procurement, the new Procurement Act unifies both areas in a single act, thus invalidating the existing Public Procurement Act - ZJN-2, and the Act Regulating Public Procurement in Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services - ZJNVETPS. All public procurement procedures which commenced before 1 April 2016 will be concluded in accordance with the previously valid acts.  

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Macedonia Enacts New Amendments

April 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Another set of amendments to the Law on Technological Industrial Development Zones ("Law") was recently enacted by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia. The amendments address the specific activities which are allowed or prohibited under the Law in the area of information and communication technology. All activities that are allowed to be conducted within these zones are now exhaustively listed in the recently-amended Law.

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First Newly Opened Lead Mine In Bosnia Will Generate 250 Workplaces

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

In February, the British-based Mineco Group has officially submitted the request for an urban permit before the Bosnian Ministry of Physical Planning for its project of building a lead mine in the town of Olovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

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European Investment Bank Opening Its Office In Slovenia – Further Strengthens Relationship

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

We have news coming from Slovenia, where it has recently been reported that the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be opening its office in the country's capital, Ljubljana, during the summer months.

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Karanović & Nikolić At The EBRD Report Presentation

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

This month, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) traditionally presented their annual transition report at the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) at an event that was attended by Karanović & Nikolić's Banking & Finance partner, Maja Jovančević-Šetka.

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Karanović & Nikolić Plays A Role In The Launch Of SEEPEX

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Following the creation of the regulatory framework and the successful passing of required tests, the first organised electricity market in Serbia, ("SEEPEX"), has officially launched its operations on 17 February, 2016. This power exchange operator was set up jointly by Elektromreže Srbije, the Serbian state-owned power system, and the European Power Exchange (EPEX SPOT SE).

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Doing Business 2016

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

The tax team at Karanović & Nikolić participated in the 13th Doing Business 2016 – Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency, a World Bank Group Flagship Report.

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The Limits Of Privacy – Apple Vs. FBI Data Protection Case

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Since mid-February, there has been an ongoing debate in the public sphere regarding the high profile case that found the global IT giant Apple and FBI on opposite sides of the legal spectrum.

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Tax Updates From Serbia - Treaties, Arm’s Length Interest, Rulebooks

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Treaties with Luxembourg and the Republic of Korea Ratified 

Serbian Parliament ratified the double tax treaty with Luxembourg which was discussed in our recently published tax alert. If Luxembourg follow suit and ratifies the treaty this year it is likely that the treaty will be applicable from 1 January 2017.

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IKEA Finally To Begin Store Construction In Serbia

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

After a number of previously made announcements regarding the starting date of construction for the first IKEA store in Serbia, a seemingly final one was made last week by the Ikea's Director of Regional Development, Vladislav Lalić, as he stated that the construction is set to begin this month at the Bubanj Potok location, just outside Belgrade. The completion of this project would then be expected in 2017, with the store set to open in late spring/beginning of summer.

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Conflicting Views On The Construction Of The Thermal Power Plant’s Second Block In Montenegro

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

At a recently held Roundtable on the topic of the economic and environmental challenges that are surrounding the process of building the second block of the thermal power plant in Pljevlja, the Montenegrin Network for the Affirmation of the NGO sector (MANS), has scrutinised the whole idea behind this state-owned National Power Company of Montenegro's (EPCG) project.

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Hospitality Developments In Croatia

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

There is nothing surprising about the leisure industry in Croatia giving off its first sparks of activity around this time of the year, especially considering the country's popularity in the nearing summer season and the ever-growing number of tourists, yearly pouring onto its seaside from every part of Europe and elsewhere.

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12th South-East Europe Telecoms Forum

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

It is well-known that a solid framework for attracting investment is a key strategy for fostering investments in a sector as big and significant as telecommunications are. As consolidation and M&A activities continue to be looked for in the region, there is an idea that the use of new technology and smart solutions is the best way to gain a competitive advantage over other market participants. Similar topics have been touched upon and dissected as Rastko Petaković, a Partner at Karanović & Nikolić, participated in a panel discussion on the said activities at the 2016 SEE Telecoms Forum, which was organised by EEL Events in Belgrade on 17 March 2016.

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To Bloom But Not Boom / Real Estate Spring In Serbia

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Over the past two years, various media outlets have been reporting on increased investor interest for the Serbian real estate market, with a particular focus on Belgrade. Goran Vesić, the city manager, recently substantiated these reports by claiming that Belgrade's Public Land Development Agency made a total of 772 business deals with investors over the course of last year alone. Vesić further elaborated that the city's central municipalities have been shown to present a hotspot for residential properties, while claiming that more than 80% of total commercial properties are being built in the Palilula, Borča and New Belgrade municipalities. At the same time, most of the properties intended for industrial production facilities are being built in suburban areas such as Mladenovac, Grocka and Obrenovac. He attributed this progress in construction to, among other things, last year's regulatory changes that made it possible for land development investors to choose between getting a 30% discount on property fees when paying them all at once, or paying the full amount in 30 monthly instalments. Vesić called upon the aforementioned examples in concluding that Belgrade and the rest of Serbia will continue to progress in bringing both domestic and foreign, as well as both big and small investors to the country's real estate scene.

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Karanović & Nikolić Wins The Competition Case For Telemach In Bosnia

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On 16 February 2016, the Bosnian Competition Council made a ruling in favour of the cable operator and Karanović & Nikolić's client – Telemach – in the case against HD Win, the owner of the sports channel "Arena Sport", and a subsidiary of Telekom Serbia. The authority imposed a fine against HD Win for its abuse of dominant position and ordered it to enter into agreement with Telemach in order to allow its subscribers access to Arena Sport.

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Karanović & Nikolić Promotes New Partners And Senior Associates

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Karanović & Nikolić is proud to announce the promotion of new Partners and Senior Associates. The following employees have been recognised for their hard work and dedication to our values and goals, and we hope this promotion will only increase their drive and commitment in the future.

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Karanović & Nikolić Shortlisted For The Lawyer European Awards 2016

March 2016. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

On 9 March, 2016, the 22nd edition of The Lawyer Magazine European Awards will be held at the Hilton Bankside hotel in London. The event is always an excellent opportunity for senior representatives at law firms across the continent (and beyond) to network with their peers, foster new relationships and celebrate best practices in the legal profession. In a related press release, The Lawyer Magazine's editor, Catrin Griffiths, took the opportunity to reiterate how the event's overall credibility is grounded in the fact that The Lawyer is also the first magazine that has put together a senior advisory judging panel comprised of established institutions' and media members. As outlined by Griffiths, it is the combination of this factor and The Lawyer's own extensive research that has made these awards the most comprehensive and concise reflection of the commercial legal market, or in other words, why they are the most sought-after accolades in the business of law.

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Recent News Highlights in Macedonia

September 2015. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

Starting from 1st August, 2015, freelance and copyright agreements, as well as all other contracts for services provided by natural persons will no longer be subject to mandatory social and health insurance contributions. Such contracts will only be subject to 10% personal income taxes.

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Competition Commission Carries out Dawn Raids in Serbia

July 2015. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

This July, the President of the Serbian Competition Commission (the “Commission”), Mr. Miloje Obradović, hinted in an interview that the Commission was ready to commence unannounced market investigations (dawn raids) of companies suspected of infringing competition law. The President stated that the Commission did not intend to focus on small companies, but rather, on leading market players.

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Karanovic & Nikolic Celebrates Twenty Years of Legal Service

June 2015. Press Releases by Karanovic & Nikolic (view listing).

In the elegant atmosphere of Jugoslovenska Kinoteka in Belgrade, Karanović & Nikolić hosted a celebratoin marking two decades of business operations.

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Legal Developments by:
Karanović & Nikolić

  • Privatisation Disputes

    This article was written by  Milan Lazić, Senior  Partner , and  Milica Savić, Senior Associate , and originally published in the "Reshaping the boundaries of arbitrability: Are we heading forward?" publication by the  Permanent Arbitration at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia .
    - Karanovic & Nikolic

Legal Developments in Serbia

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Privatisation Disputes

    This article was written by  Milan Lazić, Senior  Partner , and  Milica Savić, Senior Associate , and originally published in the "Reshaping the boundaries of arbitrability: Are we heading forward?" publication by the  Permanent Arbitration at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia .
  • Geographical Indications Of Origin In Serbia: Where The Past Fuels The Future

    This article was written by Dragomir Kojić, Partner ⃰, and Tamara Bubalo, Associate ⃰, and was originally published in Issue 5.2 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. To see the original article, please follow this link.
  • Striving Towards the Black Gold

    This article was written by Petar Mitrović, Partner ⃰, and Nikolina Kažić, Associate ⃰, and was originally published in Issue 5.2 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine To see the original article, please follow this
  • Montenegro To Publish A Tender For A 200 MW Solar Power Plant

    The Montenegrin Government plans to publish a tender for the lease of state land for the purpose of constructing a solar power plant in the municipality of Ulcinj. According to the announcement, the tender envisages a total of 6,621,121 square meters of land for the planning, construction, exploitation, and maintenance of a solar power plant at Briska gora, in the very south of Montenegro.
  • Laying the Foundations: ZF Group Building a Factory in Serbia

    The Karanović & Nikolić team, led by Senior Partner Marjan Poljak and Senior Associates ⃰ Ana Stanković and Ana Luković, advised ZF Friedrichshafen on the project of opening an electric vehicle parts factory in Pančevo, Serbia. The German company, a global leader specialising in the design, research and development, and manufacturing activities in the automotive industry, laid the foundations and began construction on 21 June 2018.
  • Interview with Patricia Gannon: The Importance of Female Leadership in Law Today

    Patricia Gannon, founding partner at Karanović & Nikolić, was recently appointed Chair of the European Forum at the International Bar Association . In this interview, she discusses her role at the helm of the largest global gathering of legal professionals and tackles the important topic of diversity in law, as well as female leadership from her unique perspective as female co-founder of a leading law firm from Southeast Europe.
  • Raspberries and IT: New Sector Inquiries by the Serbian Competition Commission

    The Serbian Competition Commission (the " Commission ") recently finished sector inquiries concerning quite distinct industries – raspberries and the public procurement for software and hardware. The aim behind the inquiries was to perform extensive market research and analysis in order to acquire a clearer picture of the possible antitrust issues and risks in two sectors widely perceived as strategic for the development of the Serbian economy.
  • Even More Sector Inquiries: Sportswear And Oil Retail Under Scrutiny By The Serbian Commission

    The Serbian Competition Commission (the " Commission ") continues its diligent examination of the Serbian competitive landscape in specific industries, this time with inquiries in two more industries – sportswear (including footwear and sporting equipment) and oil (petroleum products). Once again, the aim behind the market test was to identify potential issues on the relevant markets and provide broader insight into the functioning of the relevant markets.
  • New Amendments to Serbian Tax Laws

    At the end of 2017, the Serbian Parliament passed amendments to Serbian tax laws, including the Law on Personal Income Tax (PIT Law), the Law on Contributions on Mandatory Social Insurance (CMSI Law), the Law on Corporate Income Tax (CIT Law), and the Law on Value Added Tax (VAT Law).
  • Permit-free Regime for Construction in Montenegro

    The new Construction Law entered into force in Montenegro and it is meant to unify construction, zoning regulations and deal with illegal objects. However, some provisions of the old Construction Law still remain in force, until the adoption of the General Regulation Plan.