Romania’s finest building, the Atheneum in Bucharest, was the magnificent setting for a lavish awards ceremony on February 19 at which the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) looked back on its best year ever, as well as promising to make the exchange more inclusive in 2018.
“We want more Romanians to have the chance to invest on the BSE,” said Lucian Anghel, the BSE’s president. “The Romanian capital markets have resisted the global corrections of the last few years very well. The exchange’s main index, the BET, has so far this year seen growth of around 7 per cent, which is remarkable. We want Romanians to start seeing the BSE as a real alternative to simply keeping money in the bank.”
Adrian Tanase, the BSE’s newly-appointed CEO, underlined Mr Anghel’s comments. “The exchange should work for everyone,” he said, “and not just those directly involved. A growing exchange means a growing economy, and a modern society.”
With that in mind, it came as no surprise that one of the most popular winners of the evening was Ligia Golosoiu, president of the Romanian Association of High-Performance Education, which runs Olimpiada Micilor Bancheri, an education programme teaching financial responsibility and know-how to high school students.
The biggest winners of the night were Banca Transilvania, who took home four prizes, including most traded share. Digi Communications took the biggest IPO of 2017 award: back in June 2017 the internet, mobile and cable television company raised RON 956.7 million (210 million euros) when selling a 25 per cent stake.
There was a standing ovation for Mariana Gheorghe, who has been the CEO of oil and gas giant Petrom, Romania’s largest company, for more than a decade. She steps down in April. “Romania deserves its emerging market tag,” she said, while accepting the Personality of the Year award. “I leave Petrom with much pride, I only wish that there were five companies of its size on the exchange.”
Photo: Colin Lovering