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Expanding horizons: Serbia’s venture into corporate bonds and capital market evolution

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A call for buyers of corporate bonds in Serbia is scheduled for June this year, with the selection of legal and financial advisors planned by the end of May. These advisors will assist interested companies in navigating the process of borrowing through this method, free of charge, reports the portal.

Saša Stevanović, State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, encouraged companies planning to participate in this program to reach out to the ministry before the deadline for consultations and preparations to enter the capital market.

In 2024, the Republic of Serbia allocated two million euros to recapitalize the Belgrade Stock Exchange. Plans include the launch of the Corporate Bonds Issuance Program and the implementation of new software for the CRHoV and the Belgrade Stock Exchange. Discussing the capital market’s development, Stevanović highlighted the completion of ownership consolidation in 2023 with the acquisition of shares in the Belgrade Stock Exchange (51.7 percent). Additionally, a loan agreement was signed with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to support the capital market development project, including the corporate bond program. Efforts were also made to develop a new system for the Central Register of Securities (CRHoV) and the Belgrade Stock Exchange.

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Plans for 2024 and 2025 aim to enhance the capital market through new financial products such as corporate bonds, initial public offerings, MREL bond issuances, and activities of the Shareholder Fund. Two banks have committed to issuing MREL bonds by year-end, and the Equity Fund will go public with its shares, including some less attractive stocks and shares of tobacco companies to boost turnover on the Belgrade Stock Exchange.

Looking ahead to 2025 and 2026, the launch of the Real Estate Investment Fund, ETFs, digital asset development, and national bond issuances are on the agenda. The government will issue national bonds to finance specific local projects, allowing citizens to participate in financing while contributing to community improvement.

A “One-stop-shop” is planned for 2026 to streamline capital market processes. Meanwhile, a new trading system will be implemented on the Belgrade Stock Exchange in 2024, with a real-time trading mobile application slated for the first quarter of 2025.

The Ministry of Finance is also preparing a new location for the capital market’s main institutions, including the Belgrade Stock Exchange, the Securities Commission, and CRHoV, which will be housed in the Business Center “Prokop” near the new Belgrade railway station by 2025.

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