Bulgaria lacks foreign investment review mechanism
Bulgaria is the only European Union member that lacks and does not foresee a mechanism for reviewing foreign investments. The Foreign Investment Screening Regulation (FDI Screening Regulation) has been in force since 2019 and recommends that member states introduce a procedure to screen the acquisition or merger of European companies by non-EU companies and in case of a risk to common security to stop such transactions.
In 2020, after the start of the pandemic, the EC released new guidelines to member states, insisting on the introduction of similar rules in sectors such as IT and manufacturing, especially of boards and chips. So far, 18 countries have already introduced such a mechanism, 8 are planning to introduce it, and only 1 has not announced any intention - Bulgaria.
Shortage of employees and expensive materials increase prices
The business climate in Bulgaria improved marginally in January, reaching its highest level in recent months. This is shown by the results of the NSI's regular survey among companies from various sectors. Traditionally, the biggest problem for companies remains the uncertain economic environment, and recently, an increasingly significant obstacle to activity is the shortage of employees. This, along with expensive materials, forces managers to raise final prices.
Despite forecasts of a continued slowdown in economic activity and an upcoming short recession in the Eurozone, companies are more optimistic than they were a year ago.
High aluminum prices bring Alcomet record profits
Aluminum manufacturer Alcomet reported a record profit in its history for 2022 - 57.4 million levs after two years of losses. The main reason for the jump is the higher price of aluminum, which has also led to a significant increase in revenue.
News of its profits caused a significant price increase in the shares of Alcomet on the stock exchange - by over 6% on Monday. This gave the company a capitalization of 155 million levs.