In November 2015, Hewlett-Packard finalised its historic division into two companies, with the launch of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) on the New York Stock Exchange. Following the split, HP Incorporated (HP Inc.) continued selling PCs and printers, while HPE focused on servers, storage, networking, security and corporate services, aiming to drive a technology roadmap designed to accelerate its customers’ digital transformation and transition to the data centre of the future.
One of the biggest issues the region is struggling with right now is that structural reforms have not moved as fast as we have expected or hoped for. As a result, SEE countries are saddled with relatively high unemployment and poorly functioning labour markets and, consequently, the levels of growth across the region are not reaching full potential and are not high enough to address those kinds of fundamental challenges.
Despite serious concerns at the beginning of the crisis, most of Western and Eastern Europe have weathered the impact of the Russia- Ukraine crisis relatively well so far, as the growth momentum in the Eurozone turned out stronger than the downward pressures from the crisis, caused by recessions in Russia and Ukraine and the sanctions/countersanctions.
The electronic payments market in Bulgaria has been marked by a steady growth over the last few years. The basic trends, which Visa is observing in Bulgaria, showcase that Bulgarian citizens are becoming more and more prone to using their bank cards both for big shopping activities and small everyday purchases.
Postbank has a 24 year history on the bulgarian market. In July, Postbank and Alpha Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the acquisition of the Bulgarian branch of Alpha Bank. Following the completion of the acquisition, Postbank will become the fourth largest bank in Bulgaria in terms of loan and deposit portfolio.
Romanian car maker Dacia, a unit of France’s Renault since 1999, surpassed oil and gas group OMV Petrom as SEE’s largest company in terms of total revenues in 2014. The company’s revenues rose 2.2% to over 4.2 billion euro while net profit climbed 10.2% to 83 million euro on the back of increased demand for its no-frills, reliable models.
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.
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.
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.