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Insufficient domestic private capital in the largest companies in the country

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According to official statistics, in 2022, 528 large companies in Serbia submitted annual reports. In the annual Bulletin of Financial Reports for 2022, the Agency for Business Registers (APR) writes that their total assets amounted to about EUR 88 billion.

Their total incomes increased by 31.6 percent year-on-year, to EUR 69 billion. All in all, the positive net result of the operations of large companies in Serbia last year amounted to EUR 3.9 billion, with an exceptional growth of 66.1 percent on an annual basis.

Is this an indication of better times and an exit from the prolonged effects of the pandemic crisis? In order to get the most accurate answer, we need to look at the whole picture, that is, the list of large companies and their results.

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First of all, it should be kept in mind that the top of the list of large companies in the country has looked similar for years, with possibly some replacement of positions, but that the generators of the largest incomes, and even profits, essentially “revolve” around a few recognizable names. In this regard, when Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) announced its – historically speaking – catastrophic losses in 2021, it consequently dragged down the total as well. In the meantime, the situation improved, and at the same time, Naftna industrija Srbija (NIS) recorded record results, which was reflected in the overall result.

When the list of 99 most successful companies is examined in more detail, it is noticeable that companies from the mining and energy sector dominate the very top. In addition to NIS, there are also JP Srbijagas, Yugorosgaz, Serbia Zijin Mining, Serbia Zijin Copper, EPS, GEN – I, MOL Serbia, Knez Petrol.

In addition to these companies, among the most successful there are also representatives of the trade, telecommunications, transport and construction industries.

Another important indicator of our ranking is that the vast majority of companies shown are dominated by foreign or state capital. This is to some extent expected, bearing in mind that the accumulation of capital in Serbia has been very low for decades, which directly affects the fact that there are not many large companies with domestic private capital in the first 99.

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