Customs officials have launched an investigation against INA. Neither the company nor the Croatian government wished to comment the reports printed in the daily Jutarnji List. The paper also claiming INA owes HRK 2.0bn (ca. US$ 400m) to the local treasury plus it faces a demand for 14% interests. The press notes that the timing of the scrutiny coincides with the fuel price debate between INA and the government after the recently price hikes.
The amount could seem pretty hefty but it is absolutely not new for the market. Indeed, INA showed a liability of nearly HRK 2.0bn on taxes and contributions line in its 2Q09 balance sheet. About the deteriorating relationship between the company and the government, however, we are less than enthusiastic. We expect neutral to slightly negative trading impact on the news.