Serbia Raises Gas Prices for Homes and Small Businesses on Feb.1

Serbia’s energy regulator set higher natural gas prices for households and business consumers for the first time in 15 months as the state-owned gas monopoly seeks to trim losses.

As of Feb. 1, homes will pay 8.6 percent more on average, or 44.4 dinars ($0.53) per cubic meter of gas, while a 9.5 percent increase for small and medium-sized businesses brings their average price to 40.42 dinars per cubic meter, the Belgrade-based Energy Agency said in an e-mailed statement.

Large industrial consumers pay 39.13 dinars per cubic meter following a 10 percent price increase on Jan. 15.

The regulator allowed price increases following evidence that Srbijagas JP, the sole importer and main local gas supplier, was selling gas below the cost of imports.

Srbijagas has relied on sovereign-backed loans to bolster liquidity as the government kept gas prices below market levels amid recession, high unemployment and high inflation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Savic in Belgrade at Msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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