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.
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 slow recovery in the European Union, Southeast Europe’s (SEE) main trading partner, the sluggish prospects facing nearly all economies in the region and shrunken domestic demand all left their mark on corporate bottomlines in 2013. At the same time, long overdue structural reforms, fiscal and regulatory volatility and poor infrastructure continued to be a drag on local businesses. Against this backdrop, the performance of the companies in the SEE TOP 100 ranking was expectedly lackluster – their combined revenues in 2013 were flattish, with nearly half of the entrants seeing a decline in their revenues.
When insurance companies in Southeast Europe toasted the arrival of 2011, the general mood was one of caution for the immediate future and belief in the industry’s longer-term prospects.
SEE insurers had just left behind a rather difficult 2010 – a year through which the effects of the financial crisis and the ensuing recession were still keenly felt.
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).
The global financial downturn and the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis have afflicted almost all industries and the pharmaceuticals sector is no exception. Pharmaceutical companies manufacturing brand drugs face a tough market while companies making generic medicines, or cheaper copies of branded drugs with their patent expired or under an agreement with the branded drug maker, may benefit from the situation.
The coupling of the crisis with the boom in patent expirations continues to give a strong boost to generic drug makers.
Romanian and Croatian heavyweights dominate the top of the list of the largest companies by market capitalisation in Southeast Europe at the end of last year. Еnergy, oil, banking and telecommuncation groups lead the Top 100 SEE ranking of the companies traded on the regional stock exchanges.