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  1. #16
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    EUR 120 M 'Sofia Ring Mall' to Be Completed July 2013

    April 3, 2012



    Sofia Ring Mall will be opened in 2013, the investors and consultants of the projects announced at a news conference in Sofia.

    Photo by Civitas


    The future Sofia Ring Mall – which is to become Bulgaria's largest retail and entertainment destination together with the closely located store of IKEA Bulgaria – is to be completed by July 2013.

    The EUR 120 M shopping center will provide to its customers views towards the city and Vitosha Mountain and a lot of green areas.

    This has been announced at a news conference in the Bulgarian capital Tuesday featuring represenatives of the two Greek investors Fourlis Group and Danaos Group as well as the project consultants Colliers International.

    They have pointed out that the expansion of Sofia ring road, which is scheduled for the fall of 2012, will provide safe and easy access for the some 1.5 million residents of Sofia.

    Sofia Ring Mall is scheduled to be completed by July 2013 and its opening is planned for the fall 2013.

    It will feature a tenant mix of over 200 stores, including fashion and sport stores, entertainment facilities, a 10-screen cinema multiplex. More than 25 000 sq meters of gross leasable area are slated to anchor tenants and more than 20 000 sq meters to fashion brands. In total Sofia Ring Mall will have 69 000 square meters of gross leasable area, and 172 000 square meters of gross building area on 3 retail floors.

    One of the biggest advantages of Sofia Ring Mall is that it's a unique cluster of "big box" operators working in synergy with a classical "shopping mall" mix, making it and all-in-one offer catering all needs of visitors, the investors say.

    The total investment of the project, including the land and the infrastructure which involves green spaces and assisting roads on the side, is exceeding 120 million EUR.

    Some of the tenants that have already made contracts for retail space at the Sofia Ring Mall include Piccadilly; Yavor Furniture; Mr.Bricolage; Cine'Grand; Technomarket; Public.

    During the presentation of the project Liberis Moschovitis, General Manager of Sofia Ring Mall, highlighted the regional character of the development and the new experience that will be offered to the visitors.

    He noted that "the new retail destination in Sofia has been created to provide the important tenants mix, especially with the combination with IKEA making it a new retail destination in the country."

    "One of the strategic advantages of Sofia Ring Mall is its strategic location, convenient and easy access. Moreover, the successful concept "all under one roof" makes the classic shopping in the city very special experience among the big open spaces, a lot of green area and entertainment places", said Iglika Yordanova, manager "Commercial area" in Colliers International.

    Sofia South Ring Mall EAD, a joint stock company owned by two major investors Fourlis Group & Danaos Group, is a company, active in the investment, lease and management of the commercial center Sofia Ring Mall.
    Source: Bulgaria: EUR 120 M 'Sofia Ring Mall' to Be Completed July 2013 - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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    President Proposes Bulgaria-Based NATO Cyber Defense Center

    April 2, 2012



    President Rosen Plevneliev has expounded the benefits of the idea of countries pooling resources to buy defense equipment.

    Photo by Sofia Photo Agency


    President Rosen Plevneliev has spoken in favor of the creation of a NATO cyber defense backup center in Bulgaria.

    In Plevneliev's words, the move would position Bulgaria among the elite of hi-tech countries.

    In a Monday statement at the opening of an international conference on smart defense, he explained that the idea had already been presented to the NATO Secretary General.

    Plevneliev stressed that there were "plenty of hackers and intelligent young people" in Bulgaria that could be reoriented to work for cyber security and 21st century communications.

    "Otherwise talking about Spartans and Cougars makes no sense", he remarked, adding that Bulgaria was willing to generate projects and to be a regional leader in the sphere.

    Commenting on the concept of smart defense and Bulgaria's capabilities, the head of state pointed out that it was much better for a few states to pool financial resources to buy frigates, aircraft and light weapons and to set up plants for the maintenance of the equipment.

    "We extended an invitation to the leaders in the region and we are already cooperating on an expert level to negotiate the joint purchasing of defense equipment and how Bulgaria and the region should once and for all forget the past of the Balkans and that we should seek new dimensions of regional cooperation," Plevneliev declared.

    "Bulgaria is the first country in the region to bring up the issue of the lack of cooperation and the opportunities for joint purchases of defense equipment," the Bulgarian President emphasized.

    He said that the move would result in lower prices of the equipment and would also necessitate the establishment of local repair and maintenance spots.

    Plevneliev expressed his satisfaction over the newly voiced proposal for setting up a center specialized in smart defense at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE).

    He argued that Bulgaria could become a regional leader in the sphere of smart defense and specified that Austria, Macedonia and Serbia had already expressed interest in participating in such a center.

    Asked to comment on a set of proposed amendments to the legal regime of Bulgaria's special services, he said that some units had overlapping functions which had to be remedied through clear-cut provisions setting out the responsibilities of each body and the control mechanisms.

    Plevneliev refused to state his opinion on the idea of nominating a Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Defense, adding that he would present his stance at the forthcoming discussion at the Consultative National Security Council.

    Bulgaria's President vowed that a final decision would be taken by April 20.
    Source: Bulgaria: President Proposes Bulgaria-Based NATO Cyber Defense Center - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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    Bulgartabac Plans to Increase Exports to Middle East

    April 2, 2012



    The Bulgartabac corporate headquarters in downtown Sofia.

    File photo


    Bulgaria's largest cigarette maker Bulgartabac plans to export a total of 15.5 billion cigarettes to the Middle Eastern market this year and achieve a further 7% export growth to the region in 2013.

    The company has pointed out in a statement that it has achieved a double digit growth in its exports to the Middle East since 2008 – by 45% in 2008 and 2009, by 115% in 2010 and by a further 25% in 2011.

    Bulgartabac recently took part in the World Tobacco Middle East event in Dubai together with some 100 other producers.

    The event attracted visitors from over 30 countries including the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Turkey, Qatar, India, Pakistan and Yemen

    In one of the controversial Bulgarian privatization deals, Bulgartabac was sold by the Bulgarian government to a subsidiary of the Russian bank VTB for EUR 100.1 M in September 2011.

    The company completed 2011 with a net profit of BGN 31.3 M.
    Source: Bulgaria: Bulgartabac Plans to Increase Exports to Middle East - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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    US Drug Enforcement Agency to Open Sofia Office Tuesday

    April 3, 2012



    Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov (front) confirmed the opening of the DEA office in Sofia on December 7 2012 at a meeting with DEA Regional Director Mark Destito (back right).

    Photo by Interior Ministry


    The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will open its office in Bulgaria's capital Sofia on Tuesday.

    Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov and DEA Acting Administrator Michelle Lionheart will be present at the official opening.

    The planned DEA office in the Bulgarian capital was announced by Tsvetanov and US Ambassador in Sofia James Warlick in December 2011.

    The basis for cooperation between DEA and Bulgarian authorities was formed in the 1990s, when DEA began collaborating with the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime (GDBOP) on several investigations involving significant drug trafficking organizations operating in the region, which resulted in notable seizures.

    The USA has been mulling the opening of a DEA office in Sofia for some time as part of the efforts to boost law enforcement cooperation.

    DEA offices already exist in Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic and other European countries, dnevnik.bg reminds.
    Source: Bulgaria: US Drug Enforcement Agency to Open Sofia Office Tuesday - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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    Internet Advertising Booms by 15% in Bulgaria 2011

    April 3, 2012


    Internet advertizing in Bulgaria has grown with some 11-15% for 2011, according to data revealed by the Bulgarian Association of Communication Agencies (BACA).

    The growth of the market segment for last year has been 15% in gross value and 11.4% in net value, said BACA, formerly known as the Association of Advertising Agencies in Bulgaria.

    This development is set against a backdrop of a shrinking of the overall advertising market during 2011 with some 6% in net value, announced BACA at an event Tuesday.

    However, the Association has a positive outlook for growth of the advertising market in Bulgaria with some 3-4% for 2012.

    Internet advertising has continued to increase its market share, reaching 8% and topping radio advertising.

    Advertising will continue to move toward popular channels such as Google and Facebook, commented BACA representatives.

    For 2011, the gross value of the advertising marked in Bulgaria has reached close to BGN 1 B, with net profits tabled reaching BGN 42 M.

    TV has still by far the largest share, with BGN 700 of gross revenue, followed by printed media at BGN 150 M.

    Here magazines have registered a significant drop of 15% in advertising volumes, while newspapers have tabled a 5% growth of the segment.

    Radio advertising has made BGN 72 M gross value, while outdoors advertising BGN 70 M.

    According to businessman Krasimir Gergov, increased public procurement on the part of the state will account for the expected increase in the advertising market during 2012.
    Source: Bulgaria: Internet Advertising Booms by 15% in Bulgaria 2011 - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

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