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.
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 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.
The transport infrastructure of SEE consists of national transport systems and a number of integrated international networks that upon their completion should ensure quick and unhampered movement of people and goods across Europe. This makes the integrated European transport system a key prerequisite for the seamless operation of the internal market and for the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the European countries.
Sector players operating in SEE are trying to survive amid policy uncertainty and retrospective changes in legislation, falling subsidies and reluctant financing. Yet, a quick browse through news headlines from the first half of 2013 shows that interest in renewable energy is picking up in SEE.
The global economic slowdown of 2012 was far sharper than expected and its impact on the economies of Southeast Europe turned the spotlight on the region’s structural weaknesses whilst also exacerbating the effects of the eurozone debt crisis. For these economies, 2013 is a year of readjustment and renewing commitments to creating robust and sustainable economic growth, an approach which is forecast to result in more promising rates of real output in 2014.
The performance of SEE’s TOP 100 insurers in 2012 is something of a feat. Judging by the overall figures, insurance companies may have finally glimpsed the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel given expectations for a return to GDP growth (albeit very modest) in the region.
In 2011 the IT sector in Southeast Europe suffered from the instability of the national economies but managed to achieve growth in most of the countries in the region.
The sector continued to rely on government spending on IT, investment from telecommunications companies and outsourcing contracts.
Oil and gas firms increased their number on the list of the 20 SEE companies with the heftiest losses in 2011 to nine from seven in 2010. Analysts attribute the increase to the rise in global oil prices that continued to depress the bottom line of the oil companies in the region, which are involved mostly in refining. Four firms on the list are units of Russian oil major Lukoil.
Under the European Union’s (EU) 20/20/20 climate and energy targets Romania, Bulgaria and Greece have to boost the share of renewables in their energy mixes to 24%, 16% and 18%, respectively. The countries have chosen different mechanisms to achieve these goals and each one is struggling with its own challenges.
The economies of Southeast Europe set out on a hard and long road to recovery last year, trying to beat the challenge of sluggish demand for their exports in the eurozone, their main trading partner.
Unsurprisingly, the EU member states in the region fared worse than their non-EU neighbours due to their stronger integration with the western European markets. In contrast, non-EU member states capitalised on their looser links with the EU to post bigger growth in their gross domestic product (GDP).
It’s 2004 and Ireland has swung a legislative wrecking ball, initiating a demolition process that would leave smokers in many European countries out in the cold (literally as well). The Irish government has enforced the first-ever law that prohibits smokers from lighting up in all enclosed public and work places, bars and restaurants included. Partial bans and assorted restrictions had been around before that in many countries but none had until then brought watering holes and eateries within the scope of anti-smoking legislation.
The International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) has said that 80.1 million motor vehicles were manufactured worldwide in 2011, a 3.1% year-on-year increase in global automotive production. The number of passenger cars produced rose to 59.9 million from 58.3 million in 2010.
The combined output of motor vehicles in the three Southeast European countries manufacturing them in 2011 – Romania, Slovenia and Serbia – fell by 9.5% from 2010 to 525,141 units.
Forecasts for the next three years indicate recovery for both global and European automobile production.
Mobiltel, the Bulgarian unit of Telekom Austria, is the largest mobile phone operator in Bulgaria. At the end of June it had almost 5.3 million customers, and its mobile market share stood at 49.3%. The telecom has entered the fixed market in recent years. In 2010 the company acquired two major Internet operators in Bulgaria. Thus the company strengthened its position on fixed market as well. Mobiltel was the first Bulgarian operator to offer EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA and HSPA+ services to its clients. In August it received regulatory permission to test the country`s first 4G wireless network.
Bella Bulgaria is the country’s food industry leader. The company’s turnover exceeded 130 million euro last year. It operates eight processing plants with a daily capacity of over 300 tonnes, high-technology monitoring of production processes and quality management systems (ISO 9001:2000, IFS). The company has a fleet of more than 90 refrigerated trucks with a load capacity of 1 to 20 tonnes. It exercises direct control over the Bulgarian market through over 12,000 points of sale and all retail chains. The company has a commercial structure in Romania and a distribution network in Greece. It exports its production to four continents. The company’s sound business strategy, its application of global know-how in different areas and its financial stability contribute to its high credit rating at home and abroad and guarantee the success of all its new activities.
As one of the world’s fastest growing hotel companies, The Rezidor Hotel Group (Regent, Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson, Missoni and Country Inn) ranks among the five largest hotel management companies with more than 400 hotels and 87,000 rooms in 62 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Park Inn by Radisson Sofia has 113 units, a restaurant with a garden, a bar, meeting and leisure facilities.