Interviews - Top 100

Interviews

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Strong capital position, regional focus underlie VIG’s success

We had a very satisfactory result in 2022, which underlined our growth strategy and our claim to be a stable and reliable partner for our stakeholders. At 12.6 billion euro, VIG’s premium volume improved by 14.1%; the profit before taxes was 10% higher, profit after taxes 24% higher than in the previous year. The numbers concerning our performance in the first half of 2023 too are extremely positive despite the continuing challenges. Our excellent capital position and our business model with a strong regional focus – which allows rapid, customised action where required – remain fundamental factors behind our continuing success in very challenging times.

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Growing steadily while investing in new ideas and new markets

BALFIN Group maintained a steady growth throughout 2022, with our banking, real estate and retail industries leading the way, despite the fluctuations on the international markets. Our economic activity increased by 11% as compared to the previous year. We served over 80,000 clients every day, in more than 230 points of sale or offices in all countries where we operate. The main reason for this positive performance is a series of investments made as part of a long-term strategy. We invested about 85 million euro in 2022, mostly in Austria, Switzerland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and North Macedonia. Another essential factor for our continued success is our dedicated workforce of over 5,000 professionals spread across ten countries. They play a pivotal role in overcoming challenges and proactively pursuing new opportunities.

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Vlora Marina, Albania’s key tourism project between two seas

Investment in Vlora Marina stands at 350 million euro, as 45 million euro were dedicated to the marina’s construction. Accessible via a well-connected highway and just ten minutes from Vlora International Airport, this mixed-use project hosts Albania’s largest marina, featuring 438 mooring spots for yachts and mega-yachts, ready to welcome global visitors to experience Albania’s unmatched beauty and hospitality.

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Team comes first when deciding on potential investment

MFG Invest (BUL:MFG) invests in start-up and scale-up companies whose activity is in the field of fintech services, e-commerce, creation and sale of technologies that have applications in various business areas such as, but not limited to, education, agriculture, security, storage of data and more. MFG Invest does not invest in companies that are at the “idea” stage and do not have a developed product or permanent team. The purpose of the company is to manage its equity portfolio by supporting the development of the companies in it through sharing the long-term experience and expertise of MFGI team members. The company is traded on the beam market of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange since the beginning of 2023.

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We can provide coverage to those who need it most, we aim at speed and clear terms

Instinct’s ambitions go beyond the already developed seven European markets of the other companies in the MFG group. In October, the company launches sales with a partner network of brokers, travel agencies, etc., which are outside the MFG group’s own sales network and customer base, and will also look for a higher segment of customers, and through its online sales channel – customers who primarily use technology through a computer, phone or other device. The company is focused on innovating different and unfamiliar solutions to existing products within the scope of the granted license, which are unique to the Bulgarian insurance market.

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Our resorts differentiate through dedicated adult and family segments

Niro Investment Group embarked on its venture into the hospitality sector five years ago, initiating two groundbreaking projects. Corinthia Grand Hotel Boulevard Bucharest, located in an iconic building in the very heart of the city, will epitomize the first luxury boutique hotel under the Corinthia brand in Romania. With 30 opulent suites, a Grand Ballroom, an internationally renowned F&B Operator, personalized meeting spaces, and exclusive amenities, this establishment seeks to revive the building’s initial grandeur in harmony with Corinthia’s hallmark standards. In parallel, Niro Investment Group is building a premium hotel in northern Bucharest under the Swissôtel brand, a flagship of the largest European hotel operator, Accor.

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Fostering Economic Growth and Sustainability: how to unlock EU Funds potential in CEE

The NGEU is a temporary funding instrument of the European Union designed to mobilise up to 723 billion euro in grants and loans to encourage investments and structural reform measures. If fully implemented, the NGEU could increase the real GDP in the euro area by up to 1.5 percentage points by 2026, significantly lifting growth prospects. As of now, two and a half years into the program, the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) disbursements have reached 107 billion euro, which is more than 30% of the total expected to be requested by EU countries in the period 2021-2026.

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We are present where other banks do not reach

Our focus has always been on SMEs, where we have unique skills in the market and branches located in all areas of Romania, where other banks do not reach. We are well positioned in our relationship with our customers in several segments and we see that the bank is appreciated by its customers and they enjoy working with us. We are well positioned in the micro, SME and mid corporate segments, but also in the specialised sectors – medical and agriculture. Some of these will continue to benefit from public investments and European funds. We still have a significant gap with Western Europe in the medical sector – investments are needed and we have the know-how to help customers. In retail banking we have a few areas where we have reached network effects – BT Pay is the banking and payments app with most users in Romania, and STAR is the largest ecosystem of retailers and credit cards.

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