Russian Interests and Capital in Slovenia
What is the share of the Russian presence in Slovenia? #infographics
Although after the imposition of sanctions in the summer of 2014, the Russians began to invest less in Slovenia, they still remain important economic partners for the country.
How many Russians are living in Slovenia? What is their age and where do they buy real estate? In which sectors of Slovenia do they invest? On the other hand, what Slovenian products are exported to the Russian Federation, and what Slovenian communities do attract maximum number of tourists?
In 2014, the direct Russian investments in Slovenia decreased by 50%. They made less than 0.5% of all foreign investments in the country. In the pre-crisis years, the figure was at the level of about 1%.
Investments in the economy can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The most significant investment is the “Slovenska industrija jekla” (SIJ), which since 2007 is under the Dilon Company predominant ownership. The Dilon Company belongs to the Zubitsky family of Russian businessmen. Since 2015, SIJ has become the privileged owner of Perutnine Ptuj.
The citizens of the Russian Federation own the Terme Maribor. Since autumn 2014, Faktoring Finans, a subsidiary of the Russian gas monopolist Gazprom, manages the company through Plantanus. The Dnevnik source has recently reported that the Terme Maribor is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Last year, the Russian Bank “Sberbank” announced its withdrawal from the Slovenian market, and this year—from the neighbouring Croatian market.
The Russian citizens cannot acquire real estate in Slovenia as physical entities, so they establish companies owing real estate properties. According to the Gvin database, there are about 1,000 enterprises with Russian capital registered today in Slovenia. Meanwhile, it should be noted that all of these companies, of course, were established not only for the acquisition of real estate.
The majority of Russians in Slovenia, as a rule, purchase resort facilities, some of them are even moving to live there. If in 2011, about 600 Russians officially lived in Slovenia, in the past year, this figure increased up to 1,500. According to the statistics service, we are talking about approximately 900 women and 600 men mostly aged between 30 and 50 years.
The Russians are also interested in the tourist infrastructure. For example, last year, the Heta Asset Resolution sold such hotels as Grand Hotel Rogaška, Hotel Strossmayer and Hotel Styria in Rogaška Slatina to the Russian tobacco billionaire and co-owner of the Megapolis Company—Sergey Katsiev.
The Russians, here we are talking about physical entities, Shilkov Igor, Zakharov Igor, and Makarov Igor jointly own the Cubo Hotel in Ljubljana, and since last year — the Kanin Hotel as well, which is the Bovec region’s largest hotel. A few days ago, the Portorož Company Grad Burg, which is owned by a Russian citizen Alexander Komolov, acquired the Slivnica at Maribor manor from the government.
The commodity exchange between the two countries is influenced greatly by the sanctions that the EU imposed due to the forced annexation of the Crimea Peninsula two years ago, and the mirror sanctions introduced by the Russian Federation to ban imports of certain agricultural products mainly from the Europe.
As a result, last year the Slovenian exports to Russia decreased by one-fifth (nearly 800 million euros), while the imports decreased by almost half (230 million euros).
The pharmaceutical products make more than one third of the export structure. For example, Krka has its own factory in the Russian Federation. It is followed by the nuclear industry products (15%), electrical equipment (13%), machinery and chemical products (7%).
Rogaška Slatina, Ljubljana, Bled, Kranjska Gora, and Piran are the most favourite destinations of Russian tourists. All these resorts were influenced by the economic outcomes of the reducing number of Russian tourists.
Statistics says that Ljubljana demonstrates the lowest losses from reduction in the number of Russian tourists. It hosts only 10% fewer visitors than in 2013 (before the Ukrainian crisis and the imposition of sanctions).
Rogaška Slatina, Piran and Bled lost about one third of tourists.