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.
LAUNCHub is a 9.0 million euro seed fund, based in Bulgaria, investing in the most promising startups in Southeast Europe (SEE). Since 2012, LAUNCHub has invested over 3.5 million euro in 47 portfolio companies. Over 140 founders have joined the big family and in less than two years have managed to attract a further 3.5 million euro-plus of follow-on funding. As of September 2014, LAUNCHub’s portfolio includes companies from nine countries in SEE – Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Ukraine, Austria and Switzerland.
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.
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.
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.