Economy in Brief

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 11, 2019 18:08

Economy in Brief

32 percent of workers didn’t pay social insurance for 2018

Data from the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) claimed that for 2018 1.3 million persons were employed in Albania. For this years, INSTAT said that only 778,111 persons did pay social security for pensions, whereas 32 percent or 360 thousand of employed persons didn’t pay. Thus, these persons are either self-employed without a salary, work in the black market, or do unpaid work from family business and agriculture. The majority of persons employed in the black market are in agriculture, as INSTAT data shows.


New bill to prevent money laundering

A number of institutions together with the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) have issued a bill aimed at strengthening measures to control money laundering prevention. FSA recently adopted amendments to the Money Laundering Oversight Manual, where, among other things, it is specified once again that reporting subjects are all those operating in markets under the supervision of FSA. Thus, the stock market and any other entity (agent, brokers, brokerage company, etc.) that carries out activities for issuing, advising, mediating, financing and any other service related to securities trading as well as companies that deal with life insurance or reinsurance, their agents or brokers, as well as pension funds, are included in this list.


Albanian economy is primitive with agriculture the major contributor

Even though Albania doesn’t meet 50 percent of its inner consuming needs with agricultural production, this sector still has the major contribution in the country’s GDP, comprising 19 percent of it. This indicator is three times higher compared to regional countries, and six times higher than the European average, according to data from the World Bank. As the region’s economy structure is dominated by the services sector, Albania is the last on the list with services contributing to only 51 percent of the economy, whereas the rest of the regional countries reach as high as 71 percent (Montenegro). Although our country is a net importer of agricultural products, has a high land  fragmentation, and a spontaneous disorganized development, the share of agriculture in the economy structure remains dominant.


Landline telephony slowly revives

Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (EPCA) has said that the landline telephony subscribers have increased by 1.11 percent during 2018, amounting to 248 thousand persons in the end of 2018. The EPCA explains that the main reason is that this packages are integrated with broadband internet access, and some companies also include TV in their packages to make it more attractive to citizens. 48 percent of all subscribers have a triple telephone, internet and TV integrated package, 40 percent have internet and telephone, and the remaining 12 percent, have TV and internet, as the EPCA data shows.



Albanians pay 10 million euros for State TV

Albanians are paying the government 10 million worth of taxes during 2018 for accessing public TV services, which are absorbed by the Albanian Radio-Television (RTSh). RTSh has spent 18.4 million euros last year according to their balance sheets. They state TV said that they had delays in receiving payments from the government, a decline in revenues which has created a lack of liquidity for the loan installment of digitalization, the liquidation of some investments made in 2018, contracted television rights, and the payment of employee salaries in some units. RTSH clarifies that the highest percentage of direct costs associated with digitalisation process, with over 40 percent of direct costs, excluding the costs for staff salaries and social security, in the framework of the implementation of the digital broadcasting project contract. It has 945 employees out of 992 positions in total based on its 2018 structure.


Problematic loans are increasing

Non-repayable bank loans have increased for the second consecutive month. According to Bank of Albania’s statistics, non-performing loans rose to 11.41 percent in February, from 11.34 percent in January. Traditionally, the level of non-performing loans decreases at the end of the year because banks clear off the balance sheets the loans that haven’t been returned from three years, while the trend could not be maintained until the beginning of 2019. The Bank of Albania has affirmed in its annual 2018 report that credit risk continues to represent the main risk of banking and financial activity as a whole, but this risk has been smoothing in 2018 as a result of measures taken by banks to erased and restructured non-performing loans and as a result of strengthening risk monitoring for business lending in recent years. The coverage of non-performing loans with reserve funds and capital and surplus of collateral has continued to be at appropriate levels.


Two more banks to open in Kosovo

Governor of the Central Kosovo Bank Fehmi Mehmeti said that they are scrutinizing the requests of two banks for opening their branches in Kosovo. One of the applicants was Credins Bank from Albania, which is the third largest in the country. However, Mehmeti has stated that given the financial stability in the country and the harmonization of legislation with the European Union directives should be respected prior to giving any new banking licenses, even though he has admitted that a high competition from banks has been visible in the country.


Albania is the least forested regional country

Based on the latest data from the World Bank and the United Nations Agriculture Organization, the forests in Albania make up only 28 percent of the country’s area. Compared to the regional countries, Albania has the lowest percentage of forests relative to the country’s area. In Serbia, the forest area accounts for about 31 percent of the total land, followed by Macedonia with 40 percent, and Bosnia with 43 percent. The country with the largest forest area in relation to the surface is Montenegro, where an estimated 61 percent of the country’s surface is forests.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 11, 2019 18:08