More than 60 per cent of the demand for office space in four major CEE cities – Warsaw, Lodz, Krakow and Sofia – during the first half of 2017 came from the outsourcing sector. That is one of the key findings of a major new report published on December 14 by Colliers, one of the region’s largest real estate agencies. The report claims that the demand for office space is itself being driven by the ready availability of skilled workers, but also warns that the stock of highly-qualified graduates is not inexhaustive.
Three high-profile initial public offerings (IPOs) have had a hugely positive impact on the primary Romanian stock market this year, the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE). The BSE’s BET has grown by 20 per cent this year, while liquidity through the first nine months of 2017 has improved by 33 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Consumer prices in Romania were up 3.23 per cent in November on the same month in 2016, the country’s National Institute of Statistics (INS) announced on December 12. The figure is the highest for more than four years, with prices up 0.66 per cent on October. The increase has been caused by the sharp growth in price of a number of everyday goods (particularly eggs and dairy products), as well as energy. High interest rates, and the unfavourable leu-euro exchange rate have also placed upward pressure on prices.
Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) has said that any attempt to limit its independence will cause irreversible consequences for the country’s fight against corruption. On December 6, only the intervention of activists and reformist, mainly opposition MPs who worked tirelessly overnight to remove a bill from parliament that would have stripped NABU of its independence and unseated its boss, Artem Sytnyk. Pressure from western partners also appears to have been crucial in convincing the authors of the bill, mainly MPs from parties loyal to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, from withdrawing it.
In a shock move, Romania’s main opposition parties, the Liberal Party (PNL) and the Save Romania Union (USR), together with the Romania 100 movement of former prime minister Dacian Ciolos and a raft of civil society organisations have announced a common front against the ruling PSD-ALDE coalition.
He was king before – and after – his father. He was one of the last people alive to have met Hitler, Mussolini and Churchill but not, as has been reported, the last World War II head of state: Simeon II of Bulgaria survives him. He was certainly the last king of Romania. Any hope the country’s monarchists had of restoring the throne were dashed in 1990 when the neo-communists who took over Romania in the wake of the 1989 revolution prevented the exiled king from even entering the country. His legacy is not great: a feuding family, no clear line of succession. To all intents and purposes the Romanian royal family dies with him.
With the first snows of the winter having already fallen across Emerging Europe, many people’s thoughts would have already turned to winter holidays, and to skiing. While for many the countries of the region are not the first to spring to mind when planning a ski trip, there are in fact a number of very good ski resorts in this part of the world. From Jasna in Slovakia to Tsakhkadzor in Armenia, many offer some superb, rugged skiing amidst fantastic scenery, usually at prices well below those in Western Europe. Not that the low cost is the only attraction. For a new breed of adventurous skier, jaded perhaps by the increasingly busy motorway pistes of France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, the search for fresh powder, for empty slopes and for new experiences is the real draw. That’s where Emerging Europe comes in, and that’s why our editor-in-chief Craig Turp, who has skied in more countries than most people have visited, decided to put together this short guide to skiing in some of the region’s top – and in some cases surprising – locations. Continue reading Skiing in Emerging Europe
Better than expected budget deficits, high growth and low interest costs almost everywhere in CEE have helped the region keep public debt to GDP on a downward path. That is the headline conclusion of a new report published on December 5 by Erste Group, one of the largest financial services providers in Central and Eastern Europe.
Private equity firm Vitruvian Capital has acquired a 30 per cent stake in Romanian cyber security technology company Bitdefender from existing shareholder Axxess Capital. The deal was signed on December 1, and the transaction values Bitdefender at 600 million US dollars.
The Czech Republic is the most attractive destination in Emerging Europe for investment in infrastructure, a new report from CMS claims. The Czech Republic, which ranks 13th out of 40 countries surveyed, is about to embark on a major programme to modernise its train stations, has allocated approximately 384m euros to the scheme. “The infrastructure market has high hopes for Central and Eastern European countries, whose economies are currently experiencing a great expansion,” states the report.
Emerging Europe – Georgia in particular – will play an increasingly important role in the continued development of the New Silk Road Economic Belt, launched by China in 2013. That was the consensus reached at a Belt and Road Forum held in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on November 28-29.
Government investigations and regulatory compliance are increasingly concerning issues for businesses operating in the CEE market. This is according to the latest Central and Eastern Europe: Risk & Resilience report, published on November 23 by international law firm CMS and Legal Week, which canvassed the views of more than 40 in-house counsel on the region’s business potential and how to mitigate risks.