Banking, Interviews

BCR cleans up balance sheet, eyes better results in 2015

Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR), a member of Erste Group since 2006, is Romania’s largest financial group. Besides universal banking operations, including retail, corporate and investment banking, treasury and capital markets, the group also provides leasing and asset management services, among others. BCR’s network includes more than 560 retail units, over 2,100 ATMs and 13,500 POS terminals. Read more

Interviews

Max: 4G LTE to help speed up convergence of telco services speed up convergence of telco services

Sofia-based operator Max, launched as a WiMax carrier in 2007, commissioned the first Bulgarian commercial 4G LTE mobile network in 2014. The company, acquired in 2013 by London-based private equity investor Daniel Kupsin, plans to raise the coverage of its 4G LTE service in terms of population to 55% in five years. Read more

Interviews

ECA: Island-hopping in Croatia now just a flight booking away

Dalmatia-based seaplane operator European Coastal Airlines (ECA), founded in 2000, started operations out of Split in the summer of 2014. Read more

Interviews

GEN-I: Slow regulation weighs on SEE gas markets

Gen-I Group’s core activities include international electricity trading, as well as the sale of electricity and gas to end-customers. The Krsko-based group has subsidiaries in Austria, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Greece and Turkey. Read more

Banking, Interviews

EBRD: Successful tackling of NPL levels will help boost lending in SEE

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) raised its investments in Southeast Europe, a region that has remained particularly vulnerable to the effects of problems in the eurozone, to around 1.65 billion euro in 2013 from 1.5 billion euro in 2012. In 2013, EBRD investments remained strong in Turkey, totalling around 920 million euro. In the Western Balkans and Croatia, the EBRD invested a record 1.2 billion euro in more than 80 projects in 2013. Read more

Interviews, Petroleum/Natural Gas

OMV Petrom: Volatile tax environment, low demand affect business

With activities in exploration and production, gas and power, and refining and marketing, the OMV Petrom Group has proven oil and gas reserves of approximately 775 million barrels of oil equivalent in Romania and Kazakhstan, a maximum annual refining capacity of 4.2 million tonnes, a network of around 800 filling stations in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and Serbia, a 860 megawatt (MW) gas fired power plant and a 45 MW wind park. OMV Petrom was acquired by Austria’s OMV in 2004 in the largest privatisation deal Romania had seen up to that point. OMV owns 51% of the company. Read more

Interviews

MasterCard: Contactless payments key trend in SEE

Mastercard operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Read more

Insurance, Interviews

Triglav betting on life insurance segment at home, non-life abroad

Slovenian insurance company Zavarovalnica Triglav, set up in 1990, is the controlling company of Triglav Group. Triglav Group posted a consolidated net profit of 69.9 million euro in 2013, down 5.0% from a year earlier. Read more

Banking, Interviews

Fibank: More jolts in Bulgaria’s banking system unlikely in near future

First Investment Bank (Fibank) aspires to continue to be one of the best banks in Bulgaria, recognised as a rapidly growing, innovative, customer-oriented bank, offering outstanding products and services to its customers, ensuring excellent careers for its employees, and contributing to the community. Read more

Innovations, Interviews

IBM: Steam, electricity and now Big Data revolution

The region of Southeast Europe with its rich history, culture and a lot of excitement, also gives the world some brilliant minds. Aleksandra (Saška) Mojsilović is a Serbian born scientist who manages the Data Science group in IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in New York. In April 2014 Saška joined the elite club of IBM Fellows, the highest honor a scientist or engineer can achieve in IBM. Read more

Banking, Interviews

BSTDB to target multi-country projects, greater public sector engagement

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Its headquarters are in Thessaloniki, in Greece. BSTDB supports economic development and regional cooperation by providing loans, credit lines, equity and guarantees for projects and trade financing in the public and private sectors in its member countries. The bank’s authorised capital is 3.45 billion euro. BSTDB is rated long-term “A-” by Standard and Poor’s and “A2” by Moody’s. Read more

Interviews

Cisco: Internet of Everything offers SEE companies ample innovation opportunities

California-based Cisco designs, manufactures and sells Internet Protocol-based networking and other technologies related to the ICT industry and provides services associated with these products and solutions. Read more

Interviews, Leadership

COTRUGLI: Managers seek quality, practical modules in MBA programmes

COTRUGLI Business School is the leading business school in SEE, focused on providing premium business education services to executives and entrepreneurs in this region. The core of COTRUGLI programmes are various MBA programmes, including MBA, Executive MBA, Chief Executive MBA and DBA, each targeting different level of executives. Read more

Insurance, Interviews

Adriatic Slovenica eyes 15% market share in Slovenia after merger with KD Zivljenje

Adriatic Slovenica is one of the leading Slovenian insurers and the only company in Slovenia to offer a full range of life, non-life, health and pension insurance services. Read more

Interviews

SEE countries should seek to inspire confidence among executives

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. Read more

Interviews, Technology

Competitive advantage in the era of smart

IBM Southeast Europe covers 11 countries. IBM has been investing in SEE countries since 1936. Through its network of business partners, IBM’s advanced technologies and know-how support the most important economic processes and industries in SEE, such as banking, privatisation, government, manufactoring, telecommunication and distribution, to name just a few. Read more

Interviews

IFC sees better investment climate, competitiveness unlocking SEE region’s growth, job creation potential

IFC is planning to invest around 1 billion U.S. dollars in Southeast Europe,excluding Turkey, this fiscal year. Read more

Food/Drinks/ Tobacco, Interviews

Domaine Boyar invests in new microvinification winery, to add boutique wines to portfolio

The winery is eyeing opportunities to buy wineries in Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Greece. Read more

Interviews, Sustainability

Gen-I targets SEE markets with lowest-priced electricity, gas supply offer

Gen-I Group’s core activities include international electricity trading, which is conducted through a number of energy exchanges and organised electricity trading platforms and using various forms of bilateral trading, as well as the sale of electricity and gas to endcustomers. Read more

Interviews, Leadership

Local executives replace expats at lead of intl companies in SEE

We see greater demand for managers in consumer goods, technology and industrial sectors whilst for example the pharmaceutical industry has become less active in hiring top managers in the last year or so Read more