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Agrokor units in Serbia protected by domestic legislation

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Serbia’s central bank, NBS, said that local companies within Croatia’s ailing retail and food concern Agrokor are protected by domestic legislation which bars the concern from using stakes in these companies as collateral for loans.

NBS noted in a statement late on Thursday that recent court decisions do not envisage the application of Croatia’s special law on companies of systemic importance known as Lex Agrokor to Agrokor companies operating in Serbia.

“The NBS highlights that courts, ex officio, take into account the binding provisions of the Law on Foreign Exchange Operations when assessing the legality of individual contractual provisions on warranty and other means of collateral issued by residents, in this case Serbian companies, in credit operations between two non-residents”, the central bank noted.

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Last month, a Belgrade court rejected a motion to treat Serbian companies which are members of the Croatian concern in line with the provisions of Croatia’s special law on systemically important companies.

The Serbian court turned down a request lodged by Agrokor’s receiver, Ante Ramljak, which could have seen Agrokor’s units in Serbia fall under the Lex Agrokor.

Agrokor’s units in Serbia include ice cream maker Frikom, butter producer Dijamant and retailer Mercator-S.

Mercator-S has some 11,000 employees in Serbia and works with 650 suppliers in the country.

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