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Permit-free Regime for Construction in Montenegro Permit-free Regime for Construction in Montenegro | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2018/January/Permit-free-Regime-for-Construction-in-Montenegro.aspxPermit-free Regime for Construction in Montenegro Permit-free Regime for Construction in Montenegro | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#18/01/2018<p style="text-align:justify;">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.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The new Construction Law completely changed the legal regime of construction in Montenegro. It aims to simplify and compile spatial planning, boost the construction industry and deal with historical issues concerning the massive construction of illegal objects. It also aims to further centralise the decision-making processes in this industry. </p><h3>Authority centralisation</h3><p style="text-align:justify;">Perhaps the most important novelty under the new Construction Law is that that there will be only two spatial planning documents for the territory of Montenegro (instead of hundreds of so far enacted documents). Both plans will be enacted by the Parliament upon the <a href="http://www.gov.me/en/homepage"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Government's</span></a> preparation and proposal. Those are:</p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li>the Spatial Plan of Montenegro, which is a general planning document, that is to be valid 20 years after the adoption; and,</li><li>the General Regulation Plan, which is a more detailed zoning plan, that is to be valid 10 years after the adoption.</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;">The Spatial Plan of Montenegro is a higher ranked planning document. It will regulate the strategic guidelines for spatial planning, the basis for the development and spatial organisation and the policy of spatial usage, the concept for maritime spatial planning, the general guidelines for the adoption of the General Regulation Plan, as well as principles for the preservation of cultural heritage and environmental protection. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Strategic principles and guidelines set out in the Spatial Plan will be further developed under the General Regulation Plan – which will provide the conditions and the manner for spatial development and construction. This plan will completely encompass the territory of Montenegro, and it will regulate construction capacities. Specifically, it will provide for spatial designation, the conditions for its development, building capacities and boundaries, parcelling rules etc. The General Regulation Plan is planned for adoption within the next 36 months. Until then, all currently applicable spatial plans and zoning documents remain in force.</p><h3>A new construction and usage regime</h3><p style="text-align:justify;">Another major novelty is that the permitting system is replaced with a permit-free regime. This means that one is no longer required to obtain a construction or usage permit. In order to construct, an investor is required to prepare a report for construction, an audited main design and other necessary documents. Upon the finalisation of the construction, instead obtaining the usage permit, the new object should only be registered at the competent Land Registry.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The permitting regime still applies to the most complex construction projects, such as, for example, heavy industry and energy facilities. </p><h3>Chief state/city architects</h3><p style="text-align:justify;">The New Law introduces two new instances which will play the main role in the construction process. These are chief state architect and city architects. The chief state architect will be in charge of all projects of national interest and will guide the legalisation of objects. His role is also to ensure the protection of authenticity of the space and the promotion of best practice in areas of urbanism and architecture. The city architects will be in charge of approving concept designs of buildings, squares and other public areas in settlements, verifying the compliance of concept designs with the urban projects, and approving temporary constructions. The chief state architect is elected by the Government, while the chief city architects are elected by local municipalities.</p><h3>(Un)Developed construction land fees</h3><p style="text-align:justify;">A new burden for the owners of construction land is that they will be obliged to pay a monthly land development fee, for the undeveloped construction land in their ownership. After the development, the owner is obliged to pay monthly city land rent. The amounts of these fees will be determined by local municipalities - which is expected to occur within 60 days upon the adoption of the General Regulation Plan.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></p><p>​</p>
Karanović & Nikolić Shortlisted to Win Another Law Firm of the Year Award Karanović & Nikolić Shortlisted to Win Another Law Firm of the Year Award | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2018/January/Karanovic-Nikolic-Shortlisted-to-Win-Another-Law-Firm-of-the-Year-Award.aspxKaranović & Nikolić Shortlisted to Win Another Law Firm of the Year Award Karanović & Nikolić Shortlisted to Win Another Law Firm of the Year Award | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#16/01/2018<p style="text-align:justify;">After winning the <a href="/knnews/Pages/2017/03/17/Karanović--Nikolić-wins-the-award-for-Law-firm-of-the-year-in-Eastern-Europe-and-the-Balkans-by-The-Lawyer.aspx"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Law Firm of the Year awards in 2014 and 2017</span></a>, Karanović & Nikolić is once again a finalist for this prestigious recognition. The awards, now in their ninth year, are organised by <a href="https://www.thelawyer.com/">The Lawyer</a>, a prestigious British weekly magazine for lawyers and in house counsel. According to the organisers, this year's contest is particularly fierce. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Lawyer awards are meant to reward and celebrate excellence across the European legal market. Karanović & Nikolić has been shortlisted for the fourth consecutive time in the category Eastern Europe and the Balkans and the overall Law Firm of the Year category. The <a href="http://www.thelawyereuropeanevent.com/2018-shortlistcategories/2018-shortlist"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">shortlisted firms</span></a> have been selected by the judges as having demonstrated excellence in their work over the past year, setting themselves apart from the rest of the legal industry. Each entry is scrutinised for its quality based on highly demanding criteria and the winners are selected for their commitment to excellence and clear strategic vision.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, the 15<sup>th</sup> of March 2018, at Grange Tower Bridge, London. It will welcome over 350 managing and senior partners from across the continent to celebrate the success of the industry's top law firms.</p>
Serbian Commission Fines Another Bid Rigging Cartel Serbian Commission Fines Another Bid Rigging Cartel | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2018/January/Serbian-Commission-Fines-Another-Bid-Rigging-Cartel.aspxSerbian Commission Fines Another Bid Rigging Cartel Serbian Commission Fines Another Bid Rigging Cartel | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#09/01/2018<p style="text-align:justify;">The Serbian Competition Commission (the "<strong>Commission</strong>") 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. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Following this tip-off, the <a href="http://www.kzk.org.rs/en"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Commission</span></a> initiated an official investigation, including dawn raids at the premises of bidders. <em>Inter alia</em>, the Commission looked at historical tenders and price fluctuations, as well as deviations and inconsistencies in the bidders' own offers. However, the crowning evidence came from the notes from the meeting between the bidders, whereby they seemed to have clearly allocated the lots and pricing, correlating to the results of the public procurement procedure. The representatives of the bidders made the notes prior to the 18<sup>th</sup> of January 2016, when the bids were opened. Further questioning of the representatives and employees of the bidders determined that the bidders actually met regularly to discuss the market conditions, further developments in the industry etc. and used such meetings to divide up the tender among themselves, in a classic cartel. The Commission imposed a fine in the amount of 2% of the total annual revenue generated for each undertaking in the public procurement procedure (including MIP RŠV, Inter-mehanika, Tatravagonka bratstvo and Šinvoz). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, the Commission refrained from imposing a ban on participating in tenders, as it considered that this would lead to a temporary market exit for almost half of the market players, with three other market players currently undergoing bankruptcy.</p>
Karanović & Nikolić Promotes New Senior Partner and Six Partners* Karanović & Nikolić Promotes New Senior Partner and Six Partners* | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2018/January/Karanovic-Nikolic-Promotes-New-Senior-Partner-and-Six-Partners.aspxKaranović & Nikolić Promotes New Senior Partner and Six Partners* Karanović & Nikolić Promotes New Senior Partner and Six Partners* | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#03/01/2018<p style="text-align:justify;">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.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Managing Partner, <a href="/people/rastko-petakovic"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Rastko Petaković</span></a>, said: "These individuals represent the next generation of Karanović & Nikolić. Clients and peers recognize them as leading experts in their fields. They embody our core values, creativity and commercial approach. Often on the cutting-edge areas of the law, and with full commitment to our clients and teamwork, they have greatly contributed to the growth of our practice."</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="/people/marko-ketler"><span lang="SR-LATN-RS" style="text-decoration:underline;">Marko Ketler</span></a> is a highly experienced transaction lawyer with a wealth of experience in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions and banking and finance. Marko has immense professional experience and niche expertise in takeovers, advising on the sale of non-performing loans and international financings.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="/people/ivan-nonkovic"><span lang="SR-LATN-RS" style="text-decoration:underline;">Ivan </span><span lang="SR-LATN-RS" style="text-decoration:underline;">Nonkovi</span><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">ć</span></a>, recognised for his keen professional and commercial insights, focuses on mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, privatisations and corporate restructurings where he represents both public and private companies, as well as private equity firms in a variety of domestic and international transactions. Ivan's broad experience includes counselling clients in a variety of industries, including healthcare, energy, retail, consumer products and services, manufacturing and banking.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="/people/goran-radosevic"><span lang="SR-LATN-RS" style="text-decoration:underline;">Goran Radošević</span></a> is renowned for his ingenuity and strategic advice. Thanks to the breadth of his professional experience, he advises on a wide range of corporate and commercial law matters. His areas of expertise include contractual law, consumer protection, data protection, healthcare, public procurement, regulatory and compliance, anti-corruption, IT and intellectual property.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="/people/ivana-disovic"><span lang="SR-LATN-RS" style="text-decoration:underline;">Ivana Dišović</span></a> is highly experienced in employment law and labour relations, and regularly advises both leading multinationals, as well as domestic companies, on all types of dispute resolution in the context of employment law, including litigation in the civil courts, arbitration and mediation of employee claims including in respect of dismissals, discrimination and equality, and other labour dispute resolution matters. She also represents clients in corporate and commercial litigation and has in-depth knowledge of the pharma and FMCG sectors.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="/people/katarina-guduric"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Katarina Gudurić</span></a> brings unique perspective from the business world, joining the knowledge of what clients look for with in-depth legal professionalism. She advised clients in many major infrastructure transactions in Serbia and has extensive experience in transactions involving international banks and leading financial institutions, advising both lenders and the borrowers in a wide range of industries. She also specializes in the areas of insurance business and FX transactions. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jaka Simončič is widely recognised for his breadth of knowledge and understanding of all aspects corporate / commercial and banking & finance matters. His expertise encompasses a full range of corporate work, principally in mergers and acquisitions and restructurings. Jaka also advises on privatisations, reorganisations, financing, data protection and other commercial arrangements and associated regulatory issues. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="/people/petar-mitrovic"><span lang="SR-LATN-RS" style="text-decoration:underline;">Petar Mitrović</span></a> has played a leading role in some of the most high-profile energy projects related to both the development of new energy facilities and projects that aim to improve the regulatory framework for renewable energy sources. He is recognised as a top energy lawyer among relevant stakeholders. Petar is also a highly experienced tax attorney and he focuses on issues related to VAT and corporate income tax, general corporate law and M&A. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;">*<span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The terms "Partner" and "Senior Partner" refer to independent attorneys at law with adequate professional qualifications or standing in the respective jurisdiction in which any such person is a qualified attorney at law. </span></p>
Karanović & Nikolić Becomes a Member of the Digital Serbia Initiative Karanović & Nikolić Becomes a Member of the Digital Serbia Initiative | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Karanovic-Nikolic-Becomes-a-Member-of-the-Digital-Serbia-Initiative.aspxKaranović & Nikolić Becomes a Member of the Digital Serbia Initiative Karanović & Nikolić Becomes a Member of the Digital Serbia Initiative | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#29/12/2017<p>Karanović & Nikolić is proud to announce that our firm has become a member of Digital Serbia. This initiative was founded with the idea of creating an environment for Serbian technological companies to become regional leaders in their respective fields, and by doing so contribute to creating new jobs and improving the overall quality of life. Karanović & Nikolić is committed to creating and improving Serbia's digital and technological ecosystem.</p><p>To view Digital Serbia's holiday video, please follow this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc4SjxRtteY"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">link</span></a>. </p><p>​</p>
Serbian Commission Cracks Down on Sportswear Retailers Serbian Commission Cracks Down on Sportswear Retailers | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Serbian-Commission-Cracks-Down-on-Sportswear-Retailers.aspxSerbian Commission Cracks Down on Sportswear Retailers Serbian Commission Cracks Down on Sportswear Retailers | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#28/12/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">The Serbian Competition Commission (the "<strong>Commission</strong>") recently fined fifteen sporting goods retailers for vertical resale price maintenance. The Commission determined that the involved undertakings infringed competition law by entering into restrictive agreements on the relevant markets of wholesale and retail sale of sportswear, footwear and sporting equipment.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The <a href="http://www.kzk.org.rs/en"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Commission</span></a> initiated an <em>ex officio</em> investigation on 18<sup>th</sup> of August, 2016, with a dawn raid on the premises of "N SPORT", a major local distributer of sporting brands. The Commission collected sale and purchase agreements of the supplier and a number of local retailers, including the price lists of certain sport brands (Puma, Sergio Tacchini, Russell Athletic etc.).</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The agreements in question obliged the buyers to apply resale prices determined by <a href="https://www.n-sport.net/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">N SPORT</span></a>, together with a prohibition on promotions without N SPORT's prior approval. The supplier used various methods for ensuring that the buyers complied with the resale price maintenance obligation, including a reduction in rebates and ultimately termination of the agreement. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Commission established that all fifteen relevant agreements contained provisions that in various ways determined the resale price for wholesale and retail sale. Ultimately, all of the involved undertakings were fined, with fines ranging from 0.2% to 0.62% of the total annual turnover generated by the undertakings in 2015. The largest individual fine was issued against the supplier "N SPORT" in the amount of RSD 16,525,732.75 (approx. EUR 140,000). </p><p>​</p>
Serbian Bankruptcy Law Amended Serbian Bankruptcy Law Amended | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Serbian-Bankruptcy-Law-Amended.aspxSerbian Bankruptcy Law Amended Serbian Bankruptcy Law Amended | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#26/12/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">After two long years of analysing and debating, the <a href="http://www.parlament.rs/national-assembly.467.html"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Serbian Parliament</span></a> adopted changes to the Bankruptcy Law and they have entered into force on the 25<sup>th</sup> of December, 2017.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The idea was to improve the position of secured creditors and to provide clarity to certain provisions that caused conflicting interpretations in practice. Changes will apply only to bankruptcies initiated after the changes entered into force. Although most of the novelties allow secured creditors increased control over the bankruptcy proceedings, it remains to be seen whether these changes will achieve the desired goals in practice. </p><h3 style="text-align:justify;">The position of secured creditors improved</h3><p style="text-align:justify;">Historically, secured creditors have not had any impact to how the secured asset is being treated. There have been numerous examples of prolonging the settlement of secured creditors' claims with little to no influence on this situation by the secured creditors themselves. The newly adopted amendments are supposed to improve this by introducing several new roles of secured creditors. The most crucial improvements are the following: </p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li>The creditors board must have one secured creditor as a member;</li><li>A secured asset cannot be put under lease without the approval of a secured creditor whose claim is secured by that particular asset. If the secured asset is put under lease, the secured creditor is allowed to collect a portion of the rent, in the amount determined by the acting judge. Interestingly enough, this share in collecting the rent is not treated as a settlement of the claim;</li><li>A secured creditor who is interested in buying a secured asset within bankruptcy is now allowed to set-off its claim with the price reached at the public sale;</li><li>The bankruptcy judge approves upon request by the secured creditor its right to sell the secured asset in any manner it finds appropriate (there is no constraint to sell under rules applying to a sale in bankruptcy proceedings) within 9 months; and,</li><li>Secured creditors are given pre-emptive rights in a direct sale of the secured asset.</li></ul><h3 style="text-align:justify;">Engagement of licensed evaluators</h3><p style="text-align:justify;">A very welcome novelty is a mandatory engagement of licensed real estate evaluators. This amendment serves to harmonise the Bankruptcy law with the recently enacted Law on evaluators (<em>Official gazette 108/16</em>), that prescribes that only evaluators, licensed in accordance with this Law, are allowed to evaluate assets in bankruptcy. It remains to be seen how this provision will apply to court experts, traditionally engaged for this type of work. In any event, these amendments will certainly improve the quality of evaluations, given that before the amendments, the bankruptcy manager was allowed to evaluate the property subject to sale at its own discretion, which often led to conflicts with secured creditors. </p><h3 style="text-align:justify;">Possibility to change acting bankruptcy manager at any point in the proceedings</h3><p style="text-align:justify;">The creditors' board now has the power to remove the current bankruptcy manager and appoint a new bankruptcy manager without any reasoning, at any stage of the proceedings. The only requirement is that they make this decision by a ¾ majority. </p><h3 style="text-align:justify;">Reduced threshold for liquidation vote, no option to prolong reorganisation deadlines </h3><p style="text-align:justify;">The previous 70% of claims entitled to vote out liquidation at the first creditors hearing has now been reduced to 50%. Also, the option of prolonging deadlines to submit a reorganisation plan has now been revoked and only one amendment of the reorganisation plan is now allowed.</p><h3 style="text-align:justify;">The effect of bankruptcy to arbitral clauses </h3><p style="text-align:justify;">There has been a long debate as to how bankruptcy affects the arbitration clause. The Bankruptcy law provides for the exclusive jurisdiction of the court handling the bankruptcy to any dispute involving the bankruptcy debtor, which contradicts the effect of arbitral clauses within dispute resolution mechanisms. These new amendments bring clarity to this, with an unusual approach. Arbitral proceedings, if initiated before bankruptcy, can be continued, should the claim subject to arbitration be disputed in bankruptcy. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, the amendments exclude the possibility of starting the arbitration after the bankruptcy was initiated and after a claim, not previously subject to arbitration, is disputed in bankruptcy. This provision requires increased diligence on the side of creditors who, for the sake of upholding the arbitral clause, would need to closely monitor financial and legal status of the debtor and initiate arbitration prior to bankruptcy being opened over their debtor.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">​<em>The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></span></p>
Transfer of Claims No Longer a Problem in Enforcement Transfer of Claims No Longer a Problem in Enforcement | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Transfer-of-Claims-No-Longer-a-Problem-in-Enforcement.aspxTransfer of Claims No Longer a Problem in Enforcement Transfer of Claims No Longer a Problem in Enforcement | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#26/12/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">Ever since the latest Law on Enforcement and Security entered into force on the 1<sup>st</sup> 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.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, something went wrong along the way and, instead of improving the creditors' position, the law did quite the opposite. In cases of transfer of claims, the now (in)famous Article 48 required from the new creditor to evidence the transfer by a certified document, or to prove the transfer by a final court/administrative decision. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The court had conflicting and strange interpretations of this provision, to the extent that the courts would recognise transfer only when the transfer was based on law, but not when based on contract. The <a href="http://www.parlament.rs/national-assembly.467.html"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Serbian Parliament</span></a> has previously tried to resolve this issue, but the first interpretation from late 2016 did not make much difference.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Naturally, this caused quite a stir, especially in the NPL market. Lawyers and bankers were very active in trying to resolve the matter. After a number of discussions, round tables and conferences, the Parliament finally issued a new interpretation article 48 on the 17<sup>th</sup> of December, 2017 – leaving no doubt that the transfer of claim refers both to transfer based on law and contract. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Earlier in the fall, the Serbian Supreme Court adopted a similar standpoint, reasoning that the ratio behind this article was to give broader possibilities to creditors.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">All in all, good news for the NPL market at the end of the year, leading to a more exciting 2018 with no procedural hurdles in collecting acquired claims.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></p>
Karanović & Nikolić Advises on the Sale of Tikkurila’s Balkan Subsidiaries Karanović & Nikolić Advises on the Sale of Tikkurila’s Balkan Subsidiaries | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Karanovic-Nikolic-Advises-on-the-Sale-of-Tikkurilas-Balkan-Subsidiaries.aspxKaranović & Nikolić Advises on the Sale of Tikkurila’s Balkan Subsidiaries Karanović & Nikolić Advises on the Sale of Tikkurila’s Balkan Subsidiaries | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#22/12/2017<p>Karanović & Nikolić, in cooperation with local lawyers, advised <a href="https://www.tikkurilagroup.com/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Tikkurila Oyj</span></a>, the Finnish paints and coatings maker, on the sale of the entire share capital of its subsidiaries in Serbia and Macedonia to the local management. According to the signed sales agreement, the transaction – subject to the fulfilment of agreed conditions, will be closed in the first quarter of 2018. </p><p>The Karanović & Nikolić legal team - led by <a href="/people/milos-vuckovic"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Miloš Vučković</span></a>, <a href="/people/ivan-nonkovic"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Ivan Nonković</span></a> and <a href="/people/milijana-tomic"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Milijana Tomić</span></a>, assisted Tikkurila in the structuring of the transaction, drafting and negotiating the transaction documents.</p><p>Operating in 14 countries, Tikkurila is the leading paints and coatings professional in the Nordic region and Russia. The company entered the Balkan market in 2012, after acquiring the business operations of Zorka Color, a Serbian paint company. In addition to Serbia, Tikkurila operated in Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, and Kosovo*. According to the company statement, the divestiture of the subsidiaries in Serbia and Macedonia is part of a more extensive programme to boost profitability and competitiveness.</p><p>The combined revenue of the two companies to be sold was approximately EUR 13 million in 2016, and the number of employees totalled 130. The buyer will continue the distribution of Tikkurila branded products in the Balkan area.</p><p>​</p>
Societe Generale Acquires Jubanka’s Credit Portfolio Societe Generale Acquires Jubanka’s Credit Portfolio | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Societe-Generale-Acquires-Jubankas-Credit-Portfolio.aspxSociete Generale Acquires Jubanka’s Credit Portfolio Societe Generale Acquires Jubanka’s Credit Portfolio | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#21/12/2017<p>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.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Karanović & Nikolić team consisted of Darko Jovanović, Ivan Nonković and Marko Ćulafić. Their services included the due diligence of Jubanka's credit portfolio, work on the transaction documents, with counsel throughout the acquisition and the negotiation process.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Societe Generale Srbija, a wholly owned subsidiary of the French-based Société Générale bank – one of the largest banking groups in Europe, is the oldest foreign bank in Serbia, establishing its Belgrade office in 1977. This transaction is Societe Generale Srbija's second acquisition, after it acquired KBC Bank's client portfolio in 2013.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Jubanka, formerly known as Alfa banka, is owned by AIK banka Beograd – which acquired a 100% of Jubanka's shares in April, 2017. Societe Generale Srbija stated that they will contact Jubanka's clients and offer them all the necessary help and support, in order to enable them the highest quality of service.</p><p>​</p>
Cross-Border Cooperation Between Competition Authorities in the SEE Region Intensifies Cross-Border Cooperation Between Competition Authorities in the SEE Region Intensifies | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Cross-Border-Cooperation-Between-Competition-Authorities-in-SEE-Region-Intensifies.aspxCross-Border Cooperation Between Competition Authorities in the SEE Region Intensifies Cross-Border Cooperation Between Competition Authorities in the SEE Region Intensifies | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#20/12/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">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.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Speaking in November at the <a href="/knevents/Pages/Karanovic-Nikolic-Hosts-the-12th-Traditional-Conference-on-Competition-Law.aspx"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">"</span><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote" lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>Competition and Competitiveness</em></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">" conference</span></a>, organized by Karanović & Nikolić, the President of the <a href="http://www.kzk.org.rs/en"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Serbian Competition Commission</span></a>, Miloje Obradović, initially announced that one of the authority's main goals for the next two years is intensifying cooperation with its regional counterparts. With that in mind, he proposed the establishment of a Western Balkans Competition Forum, where regulators would meet to discuss the latest developments in the practice and legislation of competition protection. The Commission stated that this initiative was supported by the <a href="http://www.ebrd.com/home"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)</span></a>. The framework would allow competition authorities to build upon existing cooperation in exchanging relevant information on market development, coordinating activities, competition advocacy etc.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In the last few months, increased communication between the regional competition enforcers has been evident and public, including a number of bilateral and multilateral meetings being held across the region. On the <em>International Competition </em>conference, held in Albania in December, Mr. Obradović underlined that: „Regional cooperation through the Forum would additionally increase capacity and influence coordination in practice between the regional competition authorities. The Forum would also expand on competition advocacy activities of all of the regional competition authorities".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">There is a number of pan-European organizations dedicated to fostering cooperation between competition authorities already in place, including most notably the International Competition Network and the European Competition Network. However, it is evident that competition authorities in the region, whether they are already EU member states or candidates for accession, are increasingly becoming aware of the similar challenges facing regional economies and the effects that cross-border commerce has on competition in each of their jurisdictions, and are looking for a coordinated approach to tackling the main issues of the day. From a corporate perspective, a consistent and unified regional strategy for compliance becomes even more important for companies which are active in multiple jurisdictions, as the costs of non-compliance could grow exponentially wider. </p><p>​</p>
Karanović & Nikolić at the Competition Law in the Energy Sectors Conference Karanović & Nikolić at the Competition Law in the Energy Sectors Conference | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Karanovic-Nikolic-at-the-Competition-Law-in-the-Energy-Sectors-Conference.aspxKaranović & Nikolić at the Competition Law in the Energy Sectors Conference Karanović & Nikolić at the Competition Law in the Energy Sectors Conference | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#20/12/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">Miloš Vučković, Senior Partner at Karanović & Nikolić, held a presentation on the 4<sup>th</sup> of December at the Competition Law in the Energy Sectors conference in Vienna. The event was organized by the Energy Community and it featured representatives from various European countries, as well as legal experts and professionals from the energy sector. The main topics at the conference were the current and future trends in the energy industry and their relation with the field of competition law.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="/people/milos-vuckovic"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Mr Vučković</span></a>'s presentation was in the fourth part of the conference "Market coupling, market splitting, power exchanges and the role of competition law". Titled "SEEPEX - Serbian Experience", the presentation gave an overview of the developments and trends in the Balkan energy sector. In particular focus was the establishment of SEEPEX – the only regional power exchange in South East Europe. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Based on the WB6 Electricity Monitoring Report, issued by the <a href="https://www.energy-community.org/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Energy Community</span></a> in the autumn of 2017, Serbia is at the moment ahead of its neighbouring countries, having the first power exchange in the Western Balkans region (i.e. WB6 region) as of the beginning of 2016. At the moment trading on SEEPEX is voluntary and no regulatory measures promoting liquidity have been taken. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The standard products traded at SEEPEX are single orders and block orders at the day-ahead spot market.  As of March 2017, SEEPEX introduced a flexible block order as a new product with the aim of increasing liquidity. Further measures to increase liquidity should be implemented, such as the purchase of network losses, the selling of electricity from renewable sources, further deregulation of retail prices and abandoning the licensing regime. At the moment, the introduction of an intra-day market does not seem realistic. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">There was no progress made towards the coupling of the Serbian day-ahead market with the markets of Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania (known as 4MMC), for which SEEPEX expressed interest in a letter of intent sent to 4 MMC, together with the Serbian regulatory authority and the transmission system operator. Activities concerning the coupling with 4MMC, as well as with Montenegro, Albania and Italy are part of the implementation of a road map for the regional day-ahead market integration in Western Balkans.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Other panels at the conference included: "The Gazprom Case – A Controversy", dealing with the European Competition Commission's case against Gazprom, a large Russian gas company; and, "Competition Law as a Sword and Shield in Arbitration", discussing the extent in which competition law is helpful or in the energy sector from an arbitration perspective.</p><p>​</p>
Montenegrin Utility Company Fined for Dominance Abuse Montenegrin Utility Company Fined for Dominance Abuse | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/Montenegrin-Utility-Company-Fined-for-Dominance-Abuse.aspxMontenegrin Utility Company Fined for Dominance Abuse Montenegrin Utility Company Fined for Dominance Abuse | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#11/12/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">Recently, the Misdemeanour Court in Budva imposed a fine of approximately EUR 61,500 on the company <a href="http://vodovodbudva.me/vodovodbudva/">„Vodovod i kanalizacija" d.o.o. Budva</a> (the "<strong>Company</strong>"), as well as a fine of EUR 1,000 to the responsible person in the company for the abuse of a dominant position. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The misdemeanour proceedings were initiated by the <a href="http://www.azzk.me/novi/joomlanovi/en/">Montenegrin Competition Agency</a> (the "<strong>Agency</strong>"). Prior to the initiation of misdemeanour proceedings, the Agency determined that the Company infringed competition by abusing its dominant position on the relevant market for the provision of water supply services and the treatment and disposal of wastewater in the relevant geographic market of the Municipality of Budva.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Company issued two decisions, on the 18<sup>th</sup> of April 2014 and the 24<sup>th</sup> of June 2015, through which it introduced a special fee for the service of maintaining and reading water meters (the "<strong>Decisions</strong>"). The Agency established that the Company's abuse of dominant position consists of imposing excessively high prices for these services. In that sense, the Agency also established that the payment obligation introduced by the Decisions does not correspond, by its nature and purpose, to the services provided.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to the Montenegrin Competition Law, undertakings abusing their dominant position can be fined in amounts ranging from 1% to 10% of the annual turnover of the undertaking in the financial year preceding the year in which the infringement is made. However, such fines can be imposed only by Misdemeanour Courts in the misdemeanour proceedings, which causes significant difficulties and delays in effective enforcement. Having this in mind, the latest fine imposed by the Budva Misdemeanour Court represents a refreshing step towards the development of a vibrant antitrust culture in Montenegro.</p>
OTP Bank Buys Vojvođanska Banka OTP Bank Buys Vojvođanska Banka | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/12/OTP-Bank-Buys-Vojvodjanska-Banka.aspxOTP Bank Buys Vojvođanska Banka OTP Bank Buys Vojvođanska Banka | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#04/12/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">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 1<sup>st</sup> of December in Belgrade. Karanović & Nikolić, <span style="margin:0px;padding:0px;border:0px currentcolor;text-align:justify;color:#444444;text-transform:none;line-height:inherit;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:1rem;font-style:normal;font-weight:400;word-spacing:0px;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:normal;orphans:2;widows:2;font-stretch:inherit;background-color:#ffffff;text-decoration-style:initial;text-decoration-color:initial;">in cooperation with the global law firm<span> </span></span><a href="https://www.weil.com/" style="margin:0px;padding:0px;outline:0px;border:0px currentcolor;text-align:justify;color:#3b3b3b;text-transform:none;line-height:24px;text-indent:0px;letter-spacing:normal;font-family:"times new roman", georgia, serif;font-size:16px;font-style:normal;font-weight:400;text-decoration:none;word-spacing:0px;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:normal;orphans:2;widows:2;font-stretch:inherit;background-color:#ffffff;">Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP</a>, advised the buyer – <a href="https://www.otpbank.hu/portal/en/Retail">OTP Bank</a>, one of the leading banks in Central and Eastern Europe, throughout all of the stages of the acquisition process.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The Karanović & Nikolić team included <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=de941175-f8d4-4a41-8207-c9aec3e1e3b2&TermSetId=9c3dd502-4f62-4d66-9ef2-684258a8f9ed&TermId=2bde9f18-b87d-4a22-82b7-d580b4199f91">Darko Jovanović</a>, <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=de941175-f8d4-4a41-8207-c9aec3e1e3b2&TermSetId=9c3dd502-4f62-4d66-9ef2-684258a8f9ed&TermId=ec9b723f-4e8a-4ebd-9714-959ae2192629">Ivan Nonković</a> and <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=de941175-f8d4-4a41-8207-c9aec3e1e3b2&TermSetId=9c3dd502-4f62-4d66-9ef2-684258a8f9ed&TermId=8da07e2b-a3b6-4883-b8dd-ec6f4babcb37">Mina Srećković</a>. The services performed were the due diligence of <a href="https://www.voban.co.rs/en">Vojvođanska Banka</a> and its affiliates, advising on the transaction documents from the local law perspective, obtaining of regulatory approvals, as well as working on the closing documents and the facilitation of the closing. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This is OTP Bank's third successful acquisition in this year, after acquisitions in neighboring Croatia and Romania. After the realization of the financial part of the transaction, the company's presence in Serbia is further solidified, in line with their strategic goal of increasing their market share in the countries in which OTP operates. Hungary's OTP Bank now has a 5.7% market share in Serbia and is the seventh biggest bank in the country.</p><p>​</p>
New Tax Rulebooks Will Start to Apply in Serbia from 2018 New Tax Rulebooks Will Start to Apply in Serbia from 2018 | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/11/New-Tax-Rulebooks-Will-Start-to-Apply-in-Serbia-from-2018.aspxNew Tax Rulebooks Will Start to Apply in Serbia from 2018 New Tax Rulebooks Will Start to Apply in Serbia from 2018 | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#30/11/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">The Serbian Ministry of Finance issued rulebooks on VAT records, as well as a rulebook governing the procedure for filing personal income tax returns. The Rulebook on the form, contents and the method of keeping VAT records, as well as on the form and contents of review and the calculation of value added tax (<strong>VAT Rulebook</strong>) was enacted in October.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The VAT Rulebook should start to apply from the 1<sup>st</sup> of January, but according to the latest information available on the <a href="http://www.mfin.gov.rs/?change_lang=en"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">website of the Ministry of Finance</span></a>, the application will be postponed until the 1<sup>st</sup> of July, 2018. This change will be reflected in the amendments to the VAT Law that are expected to occur by the end of 2017.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The VAT Rulebook prescribes that VAT payers have to prepare their VAT calculation sheets and enclose them with their VAT returns. In order to apply the new rules on VAT records, VAT payers will have to adjust their accounting software. Therefore, the postponed application is going to allow VAT taxpayers to be duly prepared for the new VAT Rulebook.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In addition, the new Rulebook on the Forms of Tax Returns for the Assessment of Personal Income Tax (<strong>PIT Rulebook</strong>) was enacted. The PIT Rulebook introduces changes to the procedure of filing tax returns for individuals generating capital gains, as well as for entrepreneurs who are paying taxes to lump-sum income. The PIT Rulebook will start applying on the 1<sup>st</sup> of January, 2018.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Individuals who generate capital gains will be able to file their tax returns electronically starting from the 1<sup>st</sup> of January, 2018. Alternatively, individuals may file their tax returns in hardcopy.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The tax returns for the assessment of personal income tax and social contributions for lump-sum incomes will be filed solely in electronic form starting from the 1<sup>st</sup> of January, 2018. The new rulebooks are another step in the process of the development of an electronic communication with the tax authorities.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote"><em></em></span> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote"><em>The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></span></p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p>​</p>
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Adopt a New Personal Income Tax Law The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Adopt a New Personal Income Tax Law | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/11/Bosnia-and-Herzegovina-to-Adopt-a-New-Personal-Income-Tax-Law.aspxThe Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Adopt a New Personal Income Tax Law The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Adopt a New Personal Income Tax Law | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#24/11/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">The <a href="http://www.fbihvlada.gov.ba/english/"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina</span></a> (FBiH) adopted the draft for the new Personal Income Tax Law ("<strong>PIT Law</strong>"), and its application is planned to begin from the 1<sup>st</sup> of January, 2018. The novelties include the introduction of a progressive tax rate, broadening of the tax base and, in particular, the introduction of the taxation of dividends, the introduction of electronic tax returns and prescription of a higher personal exemption amount.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">This draft of the new PIT Law introduces a two-bracket progressive tax rate, instead of the current flat rate of 10%. A lower tax rate of 10% would apply to taxable income not exceeding KM 800 (approx. EUR 400) per month or KM 9,600 (approx. EUR 4,800) per year (the lower bracket). A higher tax rate of 20% applies to a part of the taxable income that exceeds KM 800 per month or KM 9,600 per year (the higher bracket). Implementation of the new PIT Law means a higher effective tax rate for higher incomes. However, with the broadening of the tax base by including more earnings into taxable income, such as dividends, it may be interpreted that the effective tax rate has risen both for higher and lower incomes, since a broader tax base means higher effective tax rates in general.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Under the amendments, the dividends received by an individual shareholder will be taxable. Furthermore, the tax base for employment income was broadened, and it now introduces new rules on the taxation of shares received from employers (stock option plans). Severance grants would be taxable, unless paid in case of retirement.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">On the other hand, some earnings that are taxable under the current PIT Law, will be exempted - such as monetary aid made to scientists, payments made by NGO's, reimbursements financed from EU funds, and remunerations paid by <a href="http://www.un.org/en/index.html"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">UN</span></a> and <a href="http://www.ohr.int/?lang=en"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">OHR</span></a> to Federation residents pursuant to employment.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Taxation of personal income from property will be regulated in more detail, in particular the taxation of capital gains. The amendments explicitly prescribe that income from the sale of immovable property, as well as the sale of shares and investment units held in investment funds, will be taxable in the FBiH.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Employers with more than five employees will have to exclusively submit electronic tax returns. This should reduce the time necessary for the filing of tax returns, and it is expected that the details on the process of filing tax returns will be further elaborated in a new Rulebook on the application of the new PIT Law.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is prescribed that individuals that have not settled their taxes will not be able to execute cash transfers, provide loans or transfer their property. This provision may have a positive impact on tax collection, but it remains to be seen how it will be implemented. It is also not clear what would be considered as unsettled tax due – the tax under dispute, or the tax determined in the final and binding act of the Tax Administration.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The new Rulebook on the implementation of PIT Law, expected to further elaborate new, more detailed, provisions of new PIT Law, is to be adopted 180 days after the day that the new PIT Law comes into force</p><p style="text-align:left;"> </p><p style="text-align:left;"> <br><em class="ms-rteStyle-Quote">The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></p><p>​</p>
The New National Employment Service’s Practice of Prolonging of Work Permits The New National Employment Service’s Practice of Prolonging of Work Permits | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/11/The-New-National-Employment-Services-Practice-of-Prolonging-of-Work-Permits.aspxThe New National Employment Service’s Practice of Prolonging of Work Permits The New National Employment Service’s Practice of Prolonging of Work Permits | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#23/11/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">The National Employment Service changed its years-long practice regarding the extension of work permits for persons on secondment.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">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.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In practice, until recently, this meant that a secondment-based work permit was issued initially for a maximum period of 12 months (or exceptionally 24 months, if there was a bilateral social convention in place that envisaged this term). Once issued, a work permit for a seconded person could have been prolonged multiple times upon the expiry of the initial period, if adequate documents were properly and timely submitted.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br>However, this practice has been changed recently and the authority's standpoint now is that the <a href="http://www.nsz.gov.rs/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">National Employment Service</span></a> will not continue to extend work permits, on the basis of secondment, upon the expiry of the maximum duration period of such permits.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">In particular, this means that foreigners, who are in Serbia based on secondment for longer than 12 or 24 months (depending on the country of their residence), will, upon the expiry of their current work permit, need to regulate their work status in a different manner in order to continue working in Serbia – for example, to conclude an employment agreement with a Serbian employer or to otherwise acquire the basis for obtaining a new work permit.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">With respect to this issue, Karanović & Nikolić attended the meeting recently held with the Ministry of Labour, at the initiative of the <a href="https://www.amcham.rs/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">American Chamber of Commerce</span></a> and the <a href="http://www.fic.org.rs/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Foreign Investor Council</span></a>, where the representatives of the Ministry of Labour and the National Employment Service have confirmed the noted change in practice, with respect to the prolongation of secondment work permits, and underlined that this practice will be strictly applied in the future. Therefore, local employers should timely consider options for the future engagement of these persons after the expiry of their current permits.</p><p style="text-align:left;"> </p><p style="text-align:left;"> </p><p style="text-align:left;"><span class="ms-rteStyle-Quote"><em>The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.</em></span></p><p>​</p>
Serbian Business Registration Agency Implements the Provisions of the Company Law on Compulsory Liquidation Serbian Business Registration Agency Implements the Provisions of the Company Law on Compulsory Liquidation | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/11/Serbian-Business-Registration-Agency-Implements-Provisions-on-Company-Law-on-Compulsory-Liquidation.aspxSerbian Business Registration Agency Implements the Provisions of the Company Law on Compulsory Liquidation Serbian Business Registration Agency Implements the Provisions of the Company Law on Compulsory Liquidation | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#06/11/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">The Serbian companies registry – <a href="http://www.apr.gov.rs/eng/Home.aspx"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Business Registration Agency</span></a> - announced on the 20<sup>th</sup> of October, 2017, that, as of that date, it will start implementing the provisions of the Serbian Company Law regulating the compulsory liquidation of companies. These provisions have actually been in force for more than 5 years now, but they have not been implemented by the registry thus far. The registry announced that the situation will change from now on, and in the past couple of days, more than 500 companies have been put into a compulsory liquidation procedure.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Compulsory liquidation is a procedure initiated and conducted by the registry, without the involvement of the shareholders, if the reasons set out by the Company Law are met. For example, the registry can initiate compulsory liquidation over a company which doesn't have an authorised representative for a period of more than three months or a company which failed to file financial statements for the previous business year before the end of the current year. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">There are a number of unclear aspects to this procedure (which were the grounds for the delay of the implementation in the first place), such as the process of settling the creditors or the shareholders' right to reverse the liquidation. We expect that these unclear issues will be resolved soon through registry practice.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Additionally, the announced changes to the Company Law, which are to be enacted by the end of the year, are also expected to introduce certain clarifications to the process. </p><p>​</p>
New Serbian Law on Protection of Competition in the Pipeline New Serbian Law on Protection of Competition in the Pipeline | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/10/New-Serbian-Law-on-Protection-of-Competition-in-the-Pipeline.aspxNew Serbian Law on Protection of Competition in the Pipeline New Serbian Law on Protection of Competition in the Pipeline | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#31/10/2017<p style="text-align:justify;">The Serbian Competition Commission and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism, and Telecommunications, as the official proposer, initiated the procedure to draft a new Law on Protection of Competition. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><a href="http://mtt.gov.rs/en/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications</span></a> formed the Working Group for the preparation of the new law, consisting of the relevant ministries, the Competition Commission and the representatives of the business community. <a href="http://www.kzk.org.rs/en"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">The Competition Commission</span></a> especially welcomed the participation of the legal and business community in preparation of the new law.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">After the draft is finalised, the competent ministry will call upon all interested parties to submit their feedback and proposals for improvements in order to better harmonise the new Law with EU legislature as well as specific features of the Serbian market. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The President of the Competition Commission, Mr. Miloje Obradović, stated that the new Law is meant to improve the business atmosphere in Serbia, since it will help better protect market competition - which is the basis of a market economy, as well as final customers. The upcoming legislature will enable a more effective use of existing resources, better offer and higher quality products to consumers, as well as help the Commission in its role of supporting the country's economic growth.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Karanović & Nikolić is proud to contribute to the new Law on Protection of Competition through the participation of our Partner <a href="/people/bojan-vuckovic"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Bojan Vučković</span></a>, as the representative of the <a href="http://www.fic.org.rs/"><span lang="EN-GB" style="text-decoration:underline;">Foreign Investors Council</span></a> in the Working Group for preparation of the new law.</p><p>​</p>
Karanović & Nikolić Advises on the Financing of the Largest Windfarm in the Western Balkans Karanović & Nikolić Advises on the Financing of the Largest Windfarm in the Western Balkans | News | Karanović & Nikolić https://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/knnews/Pages/2017/10/Karanović-Nikolić-Advises-on-the-Financing-of-the-Largest-Windfarm-in-the-Western-Balkans.aspxKaranović & Nikolić Advises on the Financing of the Largest Windfarm in the Western Balkans Karanović & Nikolić Advises on the Financing of the Largest Windfarm in the Western Balkans | News | Karanović & Nikolić string;#24/10/2017<p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>Karanović & Nikolić advised the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the EUR 215 million financing of </strong>Čibuk <strong>1, developed by Vetroelektrane Balkana. </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The facility agreement was signed in Belgrade, on the 16</strong><strong><sup>th</sup></strong><strong> of October, 2017. </strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The Karanović & Nikolić legal team – led by Maja Jovančević Šetka and Petar Mitrović, acting as the local counsel for <a href="http://www.ebrd.com/home">EBRD</a> and <a href="http://www.ifc.org/">IFC</a>, advised on </strong>all local law aspects of the financing, including the preparation of due diligence and support in the negotiations of the facility agreement and other financing and project documents. Norton Rose Fulbright from London acted as the international counsel to the lenders.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The 215 million euro financing is divided equally between the EBRD and the IFC. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The EBRD is providing a EUR 107.7 million syndicated loan, 55 million euros of which are syndicated to B lenders. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing 107.7 million euros through its Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program and partially through syndicated B loans. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The developer, Vetroelektrane Balkana, is owned by Tesla Wind – a joint venture between </strong>Masdar, a renewable-energy company based in Abu Dhabi, and Čibuk Wind Holding, a subsidiary of the US-based wind-energy developer Continental Wind Partners.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>With an installed capacity of 158 MW, Čibuk 1 will be the largest windfarm in the Western Balkans. </strong>The wind farm will consist of 57 GE wind turbines and will cover an area of approximately 40 square kilometres. Čibuk <strong>1 is expected to provide electricity to 113 thousand households</strong> and reduce carbon emissions by more than 370,000 tonnes. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to estimates, the plant will be connected to the grid in the first half of 2019. The construction of Čibuk <strong>1 is expected to create 400 jobs in the area, as well as improve the local infrastructure by providing for 50 kilometres of roads. The project should give a critical contribution to Serbia meeting its commitment to have 27% of its gross energy consumption coming from renewable energy sources by 2020.</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">​</p>