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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.