Automotive and Transport Companies Dominate the CEE Region

Car bodies on the production line inside automobile factory

In 2016, 500 of the largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe generated a turnover of 580 billion euros, says the Coface CEE Top 500 report. Polish companies increased their turnover by 3.3 per cent, while the turnover in Hungarian and Czech firms decreased by 11.5 and 2.2 per cent respectively. With two companies located in Poland— Orlen and Jeronimo Martins, and one each in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia (Škoda,  MOL and Volkswagen, respectively), the top five lacks a Romanian business. However, this might change in the coming years. Continue reading Automotive and Transport Companies Dominate the CEE Region

Putin Urges Belarus to End Oil Transit Through Lithuania

Athens Greece - May 27 2016: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers

Instead of using the Lithuanian ports, Belarus should use Russia’s Baltic ports in the Gulf of Finland, Saint Petersburg and Ust Luga, to transport its oil products made from Russian crude oil, said Russian president, Vladimir Putin during his recent visit to Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. Continue reading Putin Urges Belarus to End Oil Transit Through Lithuania

Naftogaz: A Good Start Has Slowed But Optimism Remains High

Closeup of pressure meter on natural gas pipeline with people on the background

Ukraine hasn’t bought Russian gas since November 2015. In January 2017, Gazprom charged Naftogaz $5.3 billion for gas it had not purchased, under a take-or-pay clause covering the second through to the fourth quarter of 2016. The applicability of the take-or-pay principle is currently being reviewed by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce within the context of the arbitration proceedings between Naftogaz and Gazprom that were initiated in 2014. Naftogaz doesn’t intend to pay the invoice until the final decision has been reached in the arbitration.

Yuriy Vitrenko, Group Chief Commercial Officer at Naftogaz, spoke to Andrew Wrobel, about the reforms of the Ukrainian gas market that have already been introduced and the challenges that the sector is facing now as a result of a slowdown in further reforms. Continue reading Naftogaz: A Good Start Has Slowed But Optimism Remains High

Europe’s Breadbasket Offers Opportunities for Investment and Diversification

Ukraine is known as Europe’s breadbasket and has close to a third of all the arable land area in the whole EU: some 34 million hectares. 70 per cent of that land is highly fertile black soil with a depth of up to six metres deep.

Elena Voloshina, country representative of the International Finance Corporation in Ukraine, spoke to Andrew Wrobel about the challenges and opportunities in the agricultural and energy sectors, where the IFC is strongly engaged in in Ukraine. Continue reading Europe’s Breadbasket Offers Opportunities for Investment and Diversification

Croatian Gas Market Facing Challenges after some Liberalisation

Unlike the Western European market, which has diversified supply routes and developed an infrastructure, South Eastern Europe lacks interconnection with a bi-directional flow and access to the LNG market. National markets are relatively small and transmission networks are not harmonised, from a technical and legal point of view. The entire region also depends on one source of gas — Russia. Realising the set goals under such conditions is a complex and time consuming process. Continue reading Croatian Gas Market Facing Challenges after some Liberalisation

Europe at Odds over OPAL and Nord Stream 2

Despite the uneasy relations between Europe and Moscow, Gazprom’s gas supplies to European consumers set a new record in 2016. Still, Russian gas imports to the EU is a heavily politicised issue that is often attacked from the viewpoint of the security of supply or the environment. While the Nord Stream 1 project was completed with EU backing, and mainly because of the gas crisis which left several EU countries in the cold during 2009, the pipeline’s expansion has left European powers divided. Continue reading Europe at Odds over OPAL and Nord Stream 2

After 25 Years of Restructuring, the Romanian Power Sector Is at a Crossroad

In November 2016, the Romanian Ministry of Economy posted a preliminary draft of the energy sector 2016-2030 for public consultation, with a year 2050 perspective. It tackles all energy resources such as crude oil, natural gas, coal, biomass and energetic waste, and includes special sections for electricity.  This is, therefore, the occasion for a review of the Romanian power sector and its evolution over the past 25 years. Continue reading After 25 Years of Restructuring, the Romanian Power Sector Is at a Crossroad

Czech Republic’s largest companies had the highest turnover growth in CEE in 2014

The 65 largest Czech enterprises recorded an impressive increase of turnover by 7.8 per cent — the highest growth of all countries, says the 7th Top 500 companies in Central and Eastern Europe — Coface CEE Top 500 survey. At the same time, the 73 largest Hungarian companies were able to increase their revenues by 5.6 per cent — three times as much as the total growth rate of the CEE Top 500 (2.1 per cent). There are 176 Polish companies in the CEE Top 500 representing 40 per cent of the whole turnover of the companies in the survey. Continue reading Czech Republic’s largest companies had the highest turnover growth in CEE in 2014