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Unknown investor increases stake in Lasta transport company

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In recent months, an unidentified investor has steadily been acquiring shares of Lasta, a prominent transport company. The custodial account of Erste Bank has revealed ownership of an additional 20,000 shares, bringing the mysterious investor’s stake from 15.8 to 16.7 percent. The recent financial reports for 2023 have shed light on the identity of this hidden investor, confirming previous speculation by Forbes Serbia. Moreover, the reports indicate that Lasta’s competitor, Strela from Obrenovac, has also entered Lasta’s ownership structure.

Details from Strela Obrenovac’s operations highlight robust growth in business revenues and profits. The financial reports disclose significant long-term financial placements, with expenses totaling 412.6 million dinars in 2023. Notably, Strela Obrenovac allocated 357.7 million dinars for the transfer of shares in Lasta and 54.8 million dinars for participation in Lasta Beograd’s capital, accumulating a total of 99,692 shares by the year’s end.

A notable shift in Lasta’s ownership occurred in February, with the City of Belgrade selling its 264,116 shares, equivalent to 11.47 percent of the shares. Subsequently, the City of Smederevo followed suit in March, selling 15,455 shares, resulting in a collective ownership of 364,717 shares, accounting for 15.85 percent of the total shares.

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Trading data for Lasta shares on the Belgrade Stock Exchange indicate consistent but moderate activity, with daily transactions ranging from 60 to 1,600 shares. Various state institutions maintain ownership in Lasta, including the Shareholders’ Fund, the Republic of Serbia, the PIO Fund, the National Employment Service, RFZO, and the municipalities of Stara Pazova and Indjija.

Despite Lasta’s ongoing struggle, its business scope remains extensive compared to its Obrenovac competitor. Last year, Lasta reported 7.4 billion dinars in business and 7.5 billion dinars in total revenue, although ending the year with a loss of 566.7 million dinars. In contrast, Strela from Obrenovac achieved an operating income of 2.3 billion dinars, with total revenues reaching 2.44 billion dinars and a net profit of 250.4 million dinars.

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