Albania Country Report - June, 2016

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Albania Country Report - June, 2016

This report covers the key macroeconomic and financial releases as well as the political events from Albania for the period of June 13, 2016 – July 11, 2016.
IMF warns Albania re-emergence of government arrears poses key challenge
Albania and Kosovo inaugurate 400kW power transmission line
Shell starts exploration of Shpiragu-3 well in Albania
Albania likely not to be directly affected by Brexit
BALKAN BLOG: Albania faces EU accession deadlock over stalled judicial reforms
Albania's opposition Democratic Party accuses PM Rama of illegally funding Obama campaign
EBRD provides €218mn loan to support restructuring of Albanian power producer KESH
UK court turns down Albanian request for Leyton Orient owner's extradition
Albanian central bank keeps key rate at 1.25%


Key points:
• Albania's inflation speeds up to 1.2% y/y in June
• Albania’s trade deficit widens further through May
• Albania's jobless rate falls to 16.6% in Q1 - labour force survey
• Albania's registered jobless rate down 1.3pp y/y to 12% in Q1
• Albania turns to budget surplus in January-May
• Albania’s loan portfolio drops further in May
• Albania's commercial bank deposits edge down at end-May
• Albania's foreign visitors up 15.3% y/y in Q1



Table of Contents

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 4
MACROECONOMIC OVERVIEW 5
Albanian central bank keeps key rate at 1.25% 5
IMF warns Albania re-emergence of government arrears poses key challenge 6
REAL SECTOR 6
1. Inflation 6
Albania's inflation speeds up to 1.2% y/y in June 6
2. Unemployment 7
Albania's jobless rate falls to 16.6% in Q1 - labour force survey 7
Albania's registered jobless rate down 1.3pp y/y to 12% in Q1 8
3. Tourism 9
Albania's foreign visitors up 15.3% y/y in Q1 9
4. Industry 9
Turnover index of Albanian economy rises y/y in Q1, but turns negative q/q 9
5. Construction 10
Number of building permits in Albania rises sharply y/y in Q1 10
6. Retail sales 10
Albania's retail sales growth slows to 4.7% y/y in Q1 2016 10
FISCAL SECTOR 11
Albania raises over €107mn in one-year, six-month T-bills, target missed 11
Albania raises €33.9mn in three-year T-bonds 12
Albania's M3 money supply edges up 0.2% y/y at end-May 12
Albania raises €21.7mn from two-year T-bonds 12
Albania turns to budget surplus in January-May 13
Albania’s tax and customs duties revenues up 12.6% y/y in January-May 13
Albania raises €37.1mn in one-year T-bills, yields up 14
FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION 14
EBRD seeks consultant for Albania Agribusiness Support Facility 14
Albania's avg interest rate on lek deposits falls further in May 15
Albania's avg interest rate keeps declining tendency y/y in May 15
Albania's commercial bank deposits edge down at end-May 15
Loan portfolio of Albania's commercial banks drop further in May 16
EBRD provides up to €15mn risk sharing facility to ProCredit Bank Albania 17
EXTERNAL SECTOR 17
Albania’s trade deficit widens further through May 17
STRUCTURAL REFORMS AND CORPORATE NEWS 18
Bankers Petroleum oil production in Albania falls in Q2 18
Albania halts import of live animals and meat from countries affected by bovine animals disease 19
EBRD provides €218mn loan to support restructuring of Albanian power producer KESH 19
Online application for building permits in Albania to become mandatory as of September 20
Albania and Kosovo inaugurate 400kW power transmission line 20
Completion of Tirana-Durres railway line expected in 2019 21
Shell starts exploration of Shpiragu-3 well in Albania 21
EIF provides €22mn to Albanian Fondi BESA to support employment, social innovation 22
Albania’s government to boost exports by easing VAT refunding procedures 22
EBRD mulls lending Albania €34.5mn for railways upgrade 22
Albanian transport ministry to decide on Milot-Morine road concession tender by end-June 23
Restarting of Albanian oil refinery Ballsh expected soon 23
Foreign tourists spend more money in Albania in Q1 24
Albanian competition watchdog agrees sale of Tirana airport 24
POLITICS 25
UK court turns down Albanian request for Leyton Orient owner's extradition 25
Dozens arrested in trans-Balkan anti-drug operation 26
Albania's opposition Democratic Party accuses PM Rama of illegally funding Obama campaign 26
EU perilously close to three strikes after Brexit vote 27
Security measures at Tirana airport increased following Istanbul attack 29
Albania to strengthen criteria for foreigners seeking permanent residence permit 29
Albania likely not to be directly affected by Brexit 29
Albanian opposition boycotts committee’s session on key judicial reforms 30
BALKAN BLOG: Albania faces EU accession deadlock over stalled judicial reforms 31
Albanian Court of Appeal overturns police chief suspension 34
Tirana court replaces detention of outgoing Kavaja mayor with house arrest 35
German foreign minister urges Albania to pass judicial reforms 35
Albanian police arrests outgoing mayor of Kavaja for violation of decriminalization law 36

Number of pages: 37
Release Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016