Montenegro, Capital markets and portfolio investment, Business Environment
The banking sector in Montenegro is fully privatized with 11 privately owned banks operating in the country. The banking sector operates under market terms. Foreign investors can get credit on the local market, and they have access to a variety of credit instruments since the majority of the banks in Montenegro belong to international banking chains.
The largest foreign banks are OTP (Hungary) operating as CKB in Montenegro, Erste Bank (Austria) and NLB (Slovenia). The remaining, smaller foreign banks do not belong to large international groups. A new set of banking laws were adopted in December 2019, and some of the existing laws have been amended to improve regulation of the banking sector, provide a higher level of depositor safety, and increase trust in the banking sector itself. The Law on the Protection of Deposits was adopted in the same year to bring local legislation on protecting deposits up to European standards. In accordance with the law, a fund for protecting deposits has been established and deposits are guaranteed up to the amount of EUR 50,000 (approximately USD 55,000).
Until 2010, Montenegro had two stock exchanges. After a successful merger (in 2010), only one stock exchange operates on the capital market under the name of Montenegro Stock Exchange (MSE). The turnover of the MSE included 1,618 transactions, which totaled EUR 46.5 million in 2021, a 50 percent increase over 2020. In December 2013, the Istanbul Stock Exchange purchased 24.38 percent of the MSE (www.montenegroberza.com ). Three types of securities are traded: shares of companies, shares of investment funds, and bonds (old currency savings bonds, pension fund bonds, and bonds from restitution.) The MSE is organized on the principle of member firms, which trade in their own names and for their own account (dealers) in the name and for the account of their clients (brokers). Members of the MSE can be a legal entity registered as a broker under the Law on Securities provided, they meet conditions laid down by the Statute of the Stock Exchange. In addition, members may include banks and insurance companies, once approved by the Commission for Securities to perform stock exchange trade. MSE currently has 6 stockbrokers.
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