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December 2017
Bulgaria's business, economy and politics explained in 128 pages of quality reporting

Stories in this report

A state under siege

Bulgaria remains a state captured by strong economic interests exerting systemic influence over key bodies in the administration and the judiciary

What is rocking GERB’s boat?

Bulgaria’s main ruling party may seem monolithic, but a series of scandals revealcracks in its foundations

Bulgaria’s Political "Apprentice"

Patriotic pop-folk singer, TV host and majoritarian electoral system supporter Slavi Trifonov is moving closer to making the first political reality format in Bulgaria

Are emigration trends turning in Bulgaria?

The number of people moving out of the country after it joined the EU did not rise

No immediate threats loom on the horizont

But social discontent from increasing social inequality could erode the support for ruling coalition in the mid to long term

What Bulgaria wants from its presidency of the Council of the EU

Sofia hopes to make a breakthrough on the country’s membership in the Schengen area and Eurozone. It also hopes to change its image as an underachiever.

Ten Bulgarians to know in Brussels

Who are the people to call when trying to decipher the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU

Bulgaria’s EU Game Plan

Legislation priorities for the first half of 2018

Three risks to a smooth presidency

Bulgaria’s presidency of the Council of the EU is likely to run well but corruption, ultra-nationalists and language used by PM Boyko Borissov could spoil it all.

Russia’s Influence – What’s It All About?

Moskow plays an oportunistic role on the Balkans, it is not agenda-setter

The big spending spree

Government expenditures are set to reach record heights in next year’s budget but distribution of the money is expected to be as inefficient a process as ever.

А higher tax burden and a steep rise in public expenditure

The government is not using the good economic climate to balance the budget

Tourism and construction drive Bulgaria’s economic growth

Investment, consumption, and exports contributed to a 3.9% rise in GDP in the third quarter of 2017

Summer 2017: Foreign Tourist Numbers in Bulgaria Rise 7%

Germans form the largest group of visitors to resorts, while visitors from Russia decrease

The business deals of 2017

Foreign investors are gradually returning

Monbat’s new business

Car battery manufacturer’s large-scale expansion abroad sets it apart from other large Bulgarian companies

Latecoere lands in Plovdiv

French company will invest 15 million euro in new aircraft components plant

The Momchilovtsi – Shanghai Connection

China’s Bright Dairy yogurt is a rare example of branding a product as Bulgarian that turned out to be a marketing success.

A nine-billion levs business

The biggest retail chain in Bulgaria contributed 18% of the total turnover of the top 100 traders.

Eight retail chains in Bulgaria post annual sales of over 100 mln levs each

The 30 biggest retailers in the sector of the fast moving goods boost sales by 11% in 2016, way ahead of overall market growth of 1.6%

Drogeries and pharmacies compete in sales of cosmetic products

The cosmetics market is growing, with leader DM Bulgaria offering over 14,000 articles

IKEA responsible for one-fifth of furniture sales within Bulgaria

Growth of construction and real estate sectors backs rise in furniture sales

Bulgarian companies dominate the DIY sector

The domestic do-it-yourself market recorded 13% growth in 2016

South Africans Capture Bulgarian Malls

Six retail centers, including the four largest in Sofia, will about to be acquired by investment funds in the Republic of South Africa for a total of 1.6 billion levs

Bulgarian winemakers eye higher prices from grape harvest 2017

The sector exports mostly to Poland, exports to Russia have dwindled to a trickle and now Bulgarian wineries are looking for markets outside Europe.

The most dynamic Bulgarian SMEs

The majority of the small and medium sized businesses are engaged in commerce

The Oligarchs’ Development Bank

The government is pressing ahead with turning Bulgarian Development Bank into a new milker for businesses politically well-connected

Untypical player set to enter Bulgaria’s banking sector

Hamburg-based boutique private lender Varengold Bank intends to open a branch in Sofia after Bulgaria’s Eurofinance acquired a share in it

Ten Bulgarian companies see shares rise 50% or more in 2017

Stocks of the top gainer Doverie United Holding soar 128.5%

The Belene perpetuum mobile

The never ending Bulgarian nuclear power plant project is ready for a new restart.

Decarbonisation: The way forward for Bulgaria's energy system

Keeping current policies in place will increase the stranded costs and make transition even more expensive in the long run

The words you need to know this month

Spas from Kocherinovo. 80% Debili. Koumgate

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