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Montenegro Hosts 685 Foreign Branches, Predominantly from Serbia and Turkey

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In 2022, Montenegro hosted a total of 685 branches of foreign companies, collectively generating over two billion euros in revenue, according to data from Monstat.

The majority of these foreign branches are owned by Serbian citizens, totaling 162. In 2022, they recorded a turnover of approximately 557.8 million euros.

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Following Serbia, Turkish citizens own the next highest number of branches, with 58. Companies under their ownership achieved a turnover of 69.8 million euros in 2022.

From Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were 29 branches with a turnover of around 65 million euros, 28 from Slovenia (242.2 million euros), and 20 from Croatia, contributing to a total turnover of approximately 128.26 million euros in 2022.

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Monstat clarified that the statistics on foreign branches describe the activities of business entities that are residents in the reporting country – Montenegro, and are under the control of foreign business entities (legal and/or natural persons).

“Business entities were observed in which the share of foreign capital (from one or more countries) in the total capital is 50 percent or more,” they noted.

Forbes Montenegro has requested a list of companies in foreign ownership from Monstat (Statistical Office of Montenegro), but they were not provided with the data by the Statistical Office, citing that the information is confidential.

“In accordance with Article 56 of the Law on Official Statistics and the Official Statistical System, individual data about individuals or legal entities are confidential and constitute an official secret, so we are unable to provide you with the requested information,” they stated.

According to data from the Central Register of Business Entities (CRPS), some examples of companies registered as parts of foreign entities owned by Serbian citizens in Montenegro include Topola Meat Industry, Messer Technogas, Travel Agency Putnik, Hemofarm, Siemens Energy, Elnos, Zdravlje Leskovac, Energoprojekt Hydroengineering, among others. These are active companies.

Registered as parts of foreign companies from Croatia are Constructor, Marana, Akuo Energy; from Slovenia, Drava Vodnogospodarsko Podjetje; from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Aldžazira, Welting; and from Turkey, Mass – Gintas İş Ortaklığı, Kon Elektromekanik Sanayi, Turk Hava Yollari.

According to registry data, a significant number of companies in foreign ownership in Montenegro are registered as joint-stock companies (AD) or limited liability companies (DOO).

Through registry searches, Forbes Montenegro found that there are over 800 limited liability companies in Montenegro whose owners or stakeholders are citizens of Serbia, as well as around 30 joint-stock companies.

Among the limited liability companies (DOO) with Serbian owners, the most well-known are M:tel, Nova M, Swisslion Takovo, Temaso. Regarding joint-stock companies (AD) owned by Serbian citizens, notable examples include UNIQA, Generali Insurance, Poliex. It is publicly known that Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić holds significant stakes (over 30 percent) in Budvanska Rivijera and the company Sveti Stefan Hoteli, but this is not reflected in the registers as ownership is registered under Kostić’s Cypriot company.

Citizens of Croatia have stakes in 24 limited liability companies (DOO), such as Mining Mont, Job Brokers Zarakop, and in nine joint-stock companies (AD), including Ulcinjska Rivijera, Budvanska Rivijera, Cemex, Sveti Stefan Hoteli, Crnogorski Telekom, Crnagoraput, among others.

Slovenians have ownership in nearly 20 limited liability companies (DOO) such as NLB, Petrol, and around 15 joint-stock companies (AD) including Zetatrans, Sava Insurance, MIG, Port of Adria, etc. Citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina have stakes in 40 limited liability companies and several joint-stock companies (AD), such as Čelebić Invest, Autoremont Osmanagić, Alpmont.

Turkish citizens have shares in one limited liability company (DOO) and around ten joint-stock companies (AD) including Port of Adria, Ziraat Banka, Montenegro Stock Exchange, according to registry data.

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