eKapija`s investment team has recently done an analysis and formed the rank list of investments and investment ideas that drew the greatest attention of eKapija`s users in 2011. The results are very interesting, some are expected, but there is a plenty of surprises, so that we`ve decided to share this information with you.
Projects are classified into 12 categories and this time we are presenting the most interesting investments in the category of TELECOMMUNICATIONS and IT.
Last year brought an abundance of interesting stories in this field. Therefore, the list we here present is particularly interesting because it includes some "big players", such as Telekom Srbija that is again fully domestically-owned since January 26th, and two projects that directly affect our everyday living - a new ticketing system in the Belgrade city transport (BusPlus) and mobile number portability.
The year 2011 was also marked by the stories about three technology parks in Serbia, two of which will be opened very soon, whereas the construction of the third one has not started yet. There are also Serbian knowers, from students to experienced experts, whose common characteristic is that they present our country all around the world in the best possible way. The top 15 list also includes some big announcements (Motorola in Serbia), significant achievements (solar charger made in Serbia the best in Europe), and great ambitions (is Tesla going to get the first "real" monument in Serbia).
The first-ranked on this list is the sale of Telekom Srbija – will it be bought by Mexicans, Frenchmen, Germans or Austrians – we have been wondering since early 2011. However, the only company that submitted an offer for a 51-percent stake in the Serbian telecom firm was Telekom Austria, but the government did not want to accept the price of EUR 1.1 billion.
Then the story took a new twist when it was announced that the government was not going to sell its stake and that Telekom would buy back 20 percent of shares in itself from Greece`s OTE.
In the end, we reached an agreement with the Greeks, and OTE got EUR 380 million for its stake in Telekom, which is again 100% domestically owned since January 26.
We now wait to see when the distribution of free shares will start, and who will purchase the shares once this giant finally goes public. It is quite enough to keep Telekom on the top of our least in the following period as well.
The second place belongs to BusPlus, the new ticketing system in the Belgrade city transport.
This project was a subject of numerous discussions - who will be issuing BusPlus cards, how to use them, how much they will cost, etc. In the end, the question that concerns all of us is - will the new ticketing system make the city transport faster or slower? We will learn answers to all these questions very soon, since BusPlus cards will be in use in the Belgrade city transport system as of February 1st.
The third is Muehlbauer`s Technology Park in Stara Pazova, an investment whose value will reach as much as EUR 10 million. This technology center, which will be producing technological solutions for electronic identification documents, will employ 100 engineers in the first phase of operations, and it will do that as early as in April 2012 if everything goes as planned.
There is no reason for us not to believe it will be so because, ever since the construction of that technology park commenced in 2011, everything has been going on schedule.
The fourth-ranked is Al Jazeera television. This company, allegedly, planned to buy TV Avala, which did not happen. However, it was also announced that the company would start broadcasting its program in the Balkans, which really happened. Since mid-November, the program of this television is available in the languages spoken by people living in former Yugoslav republics.
The fifth-ranked Technology Park in Zvezdara is slowly but certainly getting a look designed by its authors. Construction of the "Zvezdara Silicon Valley" commenced last spring, and this 16,000-square-meter science and technology complex is expected to be finished until March 2012.
Choosing the most favorable mobile operator without giving up the old mobile phone number is not an impossible mission any more. Since 1 July 2011, mobile number portability is finally available to the citizens of Serbia. Judging by the interest caused by this change (more than thousand applications submitted during the first 15 days), many people were not satisfied with their previous choice. Therefore, here is an opportunity for you to give a chance to another operator. This story is the sixth on our list.
There is another technology park on the list of the most popular stories in 2011. However, unlike the previous two, the situation with this one is a bit different because we still wait for an epilogue of the story about Technology Park in Indjija.
The commencement of implementation of this project, which ranks seventh on our list, was first announced four years ago, but the crisis has several times changed the plans of large companies interested in coming to Srem. The project investor, India’s Embassy Group (which was provided with all necessary infrastructure by the local self-government), has announced several times that the project implementation is about to start, but nothing has happened to date.
Main Postal Center
Not much time has left until the completion of the construction of the Main Postal Center in Belgrade, and citizens of the capital city are looking forward to seeing when the facility in Ugrinovacka Street, in the vicinity of the highway to Novi Sad, will become operational. This investment is on the list of the most popular stories for the second consecutive year, and this time it ranks eighth.
The Main Postal Center is worth about 15.8 million euros. Once finished, it will serve as an international, regional and local postal and logistics center.
The ninth place belongs to the Belgrade Information Technology School that became part of the ComTrade Group. Such investment by a successful company like ComTrade points to a high level of awareness of the significance of education for business success and long-term sustainable development of the national economy among people in our country. The graduates of this school acquire the status of complete IT experts, while the best among them will be offered a job at ComTrade or some other global companies such as HP, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Fujitsu.
In the meantime, ComTrade also opened the Information Technology High School, giving a chance to some kids to turn their affection and talent for computer work into a profession.
The tenth place on our list belongs to a group of students of the Belgrade University who constructed the first solar mobile phone charger and won the European Commission’s Sustainable Energy Europe Awards Competition.
This solar charger, also called Strawberry Tree, is given as a gift to the citizens of Belgrade and placed in front of the building of Zvezdara borough.
Among the top 15 stories in 2011 are also the following: a joint business undertaking by Telefonija and Telenor – laying of an optical cable, worth few million euros, between Dobanovci and Dimitrovgrad, which ranks eleventh, and a regional top-shop call center of the company Studio Moderna in Subotica, ranking twelfth on our list.
Take a look at the complete rank list of investments in the category of TELECOMMUNICATIONS and IT and compare it with your own opinions, expectations and assessments.
One more thing - have you already read which projects drew your greatest attention in the category of SPORTS, SHOPPING CENTERS, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATION, INDUSTRY and TRANSPORT?