Interview with Danijela llic & Vesna Stefanovic from the National Association of Valuers of Serbia (NAVS)

The iiBV had the chance to interview Danijela llic, FRICS and President of the National Association of Valuers of Serbia (NAVS) and Vesna Stefanovic.   Here’s the discussion regarding valuation issues in those markets.

Slika Danijela

Slika Danijela

1. What are the primary purposes of business valuations in your market? Which countries are in that market area?

Danijela – Most of the time business valuers conduct valuations for  sale/purchase of enterprises, especially socially owned enterprises and former socially owned enterprises, for financial and tax reporting purposes. There are also valuations for partner or shareholders’ agreement, disputes involving lost profits or economic damages, disputes involving minority shareholders, etc.

Vesna – We primarily cover Serbia and Montenegro, but frequently other Balkan countries.

2. What regulatory organizations are involved in business valuations?

Vesna – BV was previously regulated for privatization of state and socially owned companies, but now not highly regulated.  The tax authorities are involved in related party transactions.

3. What sources of financial data are used in business valuations in your market?

Danijela – Historical financial statements, income statement and balance sheets, business projections.

Vesna -Bloomberg, InFinancial, and Euronext are also used.

4. Which stock exchanges would you look to for information?

Vesna and Danijela– The Serbian stock exchange Bellex is illiquid so valuers usually use information from global data bases, such as Deutsche Börse, London Stock Exchange.

5. How active are private equity and venture capital groups in your market? Are they local firms, or global? Are investors strategic or financial?

Vesna and Danijela – Most foreign direct investments are financial investors (foreign banks), there are also few strategic investors in certain industries. There are a few equity funds. The Government is undertaking reforms to attract greater foreign direct investment (FDI).

6. Is there anything unique to your markets regarding scope of services, methodology, or reports?

Danijela and Vesna – For privatization of socially owned companies, the Serbian government had adopted the methodology for valuation of the capital in 2001, and the Ministry for the transformation of the ownership had accordingly issued licenses for business valuers at that time. That methodology anticipated three processes to value business:

  • Adjusted book value
  • Discounted cash flow
  • Liquidation value


Many valuers are still using such valuation methods, though many CFA’S are using EBITDA techniques. The problem is as always in market data transparency, and illiquid markets.

Vesna Stefanoic

Vesna Stefanoic

7. Are NAVS members active in other valuation or finance organizations, such as CFA, ASA, RICS, other?

Vesna and Danijela – A few NAVS BV members are also members of ASA.  Forty NAVS members from Serbia are real estate property valuers, and members of RICS and TEGOVA.

8. Where have NAVS members previously gone for business valuation education? Courses or on-line offerings?

Danijela – Some of our members have attended iiBV courses held in Belgrade in 2014.

Vesna – A few of our members have attended ASA courses.

9. How did you learn about the iiBV?

Danijela – There are not many global organizations that are exclusively managing business valuation issues such as education, CPD, networking. It was easy to find you 🙂

10. What are your objectives in joining the iiBV?

Vesna – To offer the excellent BV courses, help appraisers reach the highest professional levels, and show the local market that NAVS is the leader in valuation education.

Danijela – NAVS is very successful in servicing its members that are property valuers. We are planning to meet the expectations from our members that are business valuers and to offer them similar opportunities – education and exams in Serbia, and to have an opportunity to attend seminars with current global issues in business valuation via on-line web based CPD  programs.  Business valuers are also looking forward to the designation that is internationally recognized. We are hoping that together with iiBV and other iiBV members we can achieve all of the above.

11. Tell us about Serbia: favourite foods, drinks, places of interest our followers might not know of?

Danijela – Serbia’s national cuisine is sort of oriental (we were occupied by Turks for 500 hundred years ), so CEVAPCICI and PLJESKAVICA is food that is most often ordered in the restaurants. We drink RAKIA, which is plum brandy, Serbia has the best sort of plums in the world. We also have excellent domestic wines and beers. We can say that Belgrade is a “must visit” city, it is high-energy city with an endless supply of bars and clubs, its nightlife is one of the unexpected high points on any European itinerary.

12. What’s your favourite travel story?

Danijela – as Gustave Flaubert said “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” For the last 10 years I have traveled a lot but not to see places, rather to see the people. Sometimes on those business trips I don’t even get out of the meeting rooms. My favourite travel story, cause and destination is a summer vacation in Greece islands, absolutely.

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