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Thread: Bulgaria - Economy Thread

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    Bulgarian Banks to Prevail over Foreign Ones - Report

    January 20, 2012


    Bulgarian banks will shift the market from foreign capital banks, and will push the latter out, according to estimates of UniCredit Bulbank.

    Banks with Bulgarian capital would have greater and greater influence, while treasuries with foreign participation, which in 2009 secured 84% market share in assets, then conceded to 77% in 2011, will shrink to 75% this year, UniCredit Bulbank, which is owned by Italy's UniCredit forecasts, the Bulgarian "Sega" (Now) daily reports, pointing out this shift is not a surprise and follows a 3-year trend.

    In November 2011, for the first time a Bulgarian bank ranked among the largest ones. First Investment was ranked fifth and topped the previously fifth Greek Post Bank. The top five are - UniCredit Bulbank, DSK Bank, United Bulgarian Bank, UBB, Raiffeisen Bank, and First Investment Bank, FIB.

    Post Bank remains sixth, but Corporate Commercial Bank, CCB, where businessman, Tzvetan Vassilev, partners with an Oman Fund (30% of the shares) is very close behind and advancing quickly.

    Shifts also occurred on lower levels - International Asset Bank, seen as having Bulgarian owners, has surpassed the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank.

    Central Cooperative Bank, linked to the shady Varna group TIM, is entirely Bulgarian-owned and ranks 10th, while the Central Bank, BNB is 14th. Investbank, Municipal Bank, and Texim Bank are also Bulgarian-owned. It is expected that in 2012, these banks will take over 25% of the granted loans and of other receivables.

    Furthermore, the share of foreign banks declined, and in 2012 for the first time the top five in Bulgaria will fall below 50% of assets in the system.

    "This happens mainly because of Greek banks," Cristophor Pavlov, Chief Economist at UniCredit Bulbank, told Investor.bg.

    "This process is neither new nor surprising. Last spring, for example, assets of banks with Greek capital in the country decreased by 1.2 billion, or 6%, in three months," he says.

    According to BNB there is no reason for alarm over capital exodus from Bulgaria.

    "When on the local level there is insufficient effective demand, it does not make sense for banks to hold large credit lines, so it is normal to return part of the attracted borrowings to their headquarters," recently said the Central Bank Chief, Ivan Iskrov.
    Source: Bulgarian Banks to Prevail over Foreign Ones - Report: Bulgarian Banks to Prevail over Foreign Ones - Report - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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    Japan's Yazaki to Open New Bulgarian Factory to Service Ford

    January 23, 2012



    Japan's Yazaki already employs some 2 600 people in Southeastern Bulgaria.

    Photo by yazaki-bulgaria.com


    Japanese company Yazaki, a global automative equipment supplier, is going to build a new factory with 1 500 jobs in the Bulgarian city of Sliven, the city mayor has announced.

    Yazaki's new plant in the city of Sliven in Southeastern Bulgaria is to be completed by June 2012, Sliven Mayor Kolyu Milev told Radio Focus Monday.

    In his words, by the end of 2012 Yazaki's new plant in Bulgaria will hire 500 people, with the number of employees swelling to 1 500 in 2013.

    "About 4 000 electrical wiring systems for Ford vehicles will be produced annually by Yazaki in Sliven," Milev said.

    He added that the new Yazaki plant will be located in the former building of Miroglio Group in Sliven.

    Yazaki Bulgaria EOOD, which is 100% owned by the Japanese Yazaki Corporation, has already invested about BGN 60 M in Bulgaria, and has opened over 2 600 jobs, focusing its operations in the southeastern city of Yambol. It is a major employer in Southeastern Bulgaria.

    Sliven Mayor Milev commented Monday that the new Yazaki plant in the city will employ locals who will no longer have to commute to Yazaki's facilities in Yambol.
    Source: Bulgaria: Japan's Yazaki to Open New Bulgarian Factory to Service Ford - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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    Russia's Lukoil Pours USD 1.5 B in Hydrocracking Facility in Bulgaria



    The Lukoil Neftochim Refinery in Bulgaria's Burgas, a subsidiary of the Russian energy giant, has kicked off a USD 1.5 B investment in a large hydrocracking catalyst installation that will process petroleum waste.

    The USD 1.5 B investment in Bulgaria is 10% of Russia company Lukoil's global projected investments for the next 10 years.

    Lukoil Neftochim Burgas and Italian company Technip signed Wednesday a contract worth EUR 950 M for the construction of the hydrocracking facility.

    The contract was signed in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas in the presence of Lukoil's First Vice President Vladimir Nekrasov, Lukoil Bulgaria CEO Valentin Zlatev, Bulgaria's Deputy PM and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism Traicho Traikov, and Burgas Mayor Dimitar Nikolov.

    The Lukoil Bulgaria hydrocracking plant will be the tenth in the world, and the largest one in Eastern Europe, with already existing similar facilities located in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Poland, Japan, and Kuwait.

    The Lukoil Neftochim refinery is to launch the hydrocracking facility in 37 months; the construction phase is to open 3 000 jobs in the Burgas region in construction, transport, logistics, and machine-building, Lukoil officials said.

    Once completed, the new installation is going to reduce substantially the refinery's output of greenhouse gases, and will replace existing waste processing installations using older technology.

    “The main job of our government is to attract good investors, especially in the hi-tech sphere. Today is a very nice day on which the long-term work of many people has come to a successful end,” Bulgaria's Finance Minister Simeon Djankov declared at the signing of the Lukoil Bulgaria-Technip contract, as cited by BTA.

    Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism Traicho Traikov evaluated the Lukoil hydrocracking facility project as “the largest investment in Bulgaria's new economic history”.

    “The realization of this project will have the full support of the Bulgarian government,” he said.

    Lukoil's First Vice President Vladimir Nekrasov has thanked the Bulgarian authorities for the favorable business climate that the company enjoys in Bulgaria.

    "Our business in Bulgaria has always been a priority for us, and our investments in the past 10 years have proven that,” Nekrasov added.

    Bulgarian government ministers Djankov and Traikov demonstrated support for Lukoil a day after the formal end of the Lukoil vs. Bulgarian Customs saga, which started in July 2011.

    Lukoil's tax warehouse operator permits for the Neftochim refinery and the Rosenets oil terminal were revoked by the Customs Agency on July 22 after it failed to observe the June 26, 2011 statutory deadline for the installation of electronic devices reporting incoming and outgoing volumes to the National Revenue Agency (NRA).

    On January 16, 2012, the Customs Agency said in a statement that the Lukoil Neftochim refinery had been awarded protocols certifying the compliance of its measuring equipment with the statutory requirements.

    Many have suspected that the 2011 conflict between the Bulgarian government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Lukoil Bulgaria was faked to boost support for Borisov; the Lukoil Neftochim Burgas refinery itself is the largest corporate taxpayer in Bulgaria and makes up 10% of the Bulgarian GDP.
    Source: Bulgaria: Russia's Lukoil Pours USD 1.5 B in Hydrocracking Facility in Bulgaria - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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    Great Wall Motor to Inaugurate Bulgaria Plant on February 21

    January 30, 2012



    A Steed model pick-up, which is part of the test produce of the Litex and Great Wall Co plant in Bulgaria's Lovech displayed before journalists inside the factory.

    Photo by Litex Motors


    Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor will inaugurate its first plant in Bulgaria and Europe on February 21, it has been announced.

    The brand new car factory is a a joint project with Bulgarian company Litex Motors that aims at selling 2 000 vehicles in 2012.

    On November 14 2011, Litex Motors and Great Wall Motors unveiled their first vehicle assembled in the plant near the northern Bulgarian city of Lovech, 16 years after Bulgaria's last failed attempt at car manufacturing.

    Litex and Great Wall plant to expand their annual output to 50 000 cars, with the total employment figure at the Lovech plant planned to reach 2 000 people.

    After the formal opening of the factory, Litex and Great Wall are to start their production for export markets.

    Great Wall Motor has already launched its official advertising campaign in Bulgaria for the three models to be built in the EU-member country: the Hover H5 SUV, the Steed 5 pick-up and the Voleex C10 city car.

    According to Renault-Nissan's Bulgaria CEO Bernard Neuviale, Great Wall cars will not directly threaten the sales of Renault's Romania-made Dacia. "Great Wall will first have to prove many things, in the first place that it can produce here a car of good quality and then we'll see. Their prices are also not so good," Neuviale said, as cited by inautonews.com.

    The Voleex C10 is priced from BGN 16,000 (EUR 8,200), with the Steed 5 pick-up and the Hover H5 SUV at BGN 24,500 and BGN 28,700 respectively.
    Source: Bulgaria: Great Wall Motor to Inaugurate Bulgaria Plant on February 21 - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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    Bulgaria Air to Purchase 9 Embraer Jets by End of 2014

    February 3, 2012



    File photo of an Embraer 190 E-Jets aircraft


    Bulgaria's Bulgaria Air airline carrier will acquire 9 state-of-the-art Brazilian Embraer jets by the end of 2014, it was announced on Friday.

    The new planes will allow Bulgaria Air to increase its weakly frequency of flights to some European destinations and re-launch its flights to Prague, the company's CEO Yanko Georgiev has said, according to the Standart daily.

    The first E-190 aircraft is expected to arrive in Bulgaria in March, while three more will arrive by the end of 2011.

    The planes are for 108 passengers, including 8 seats in business class and will fly to most of the airline's travel destinations.

    In June 2011, Bulgaria's Bulgaria Air airline was officially included in Embraer's portfolio of E-Jets costumers.

    Currently, the airliner operates 22 aircrafts to a total of 28 travel destinations.
    Source: Bulgaria: Bulgaria Air to Purchase 9 Embraer Jets by End of 2014 - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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