Reports

КQUARTERLY #13
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КQUARTERLY #13

December 2019
Bulgaria's business, economy and politics explained in 128 pages of quality reporting

Stories in this report

Cracks under GERB’s feet

While local election results seemed to prove that the ruling party has survived a series of scandals and debacles, signs are that control is slipping through Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s fingers

A new old gatekeeper of status quo

Ivan Geshev, a self-described "boy from the city’s suburbs", will become Bulgaria’s next prosecutor general in January. His selection will have dramatic implications for the rule of law

Brussels abandons push for reforms in Bulgaria’s justice system

The European Commission decided that 13 years of tutoring without progress are enough

Jock Palfreeman’s long fight for justice

The story of a young Australian who had to go through the failings of the Bulgarian justice system

Racist at heart or racist on demand?

While international media reacted with surprise to the ugly hate gestures from a group of Bulgarian ultras during an October football game against England, it missed the key local context

Corruption Watch: When it walks like corruption, when it quacks like corruption...

Beneficiaries of unlawful forest swaps get minor punishment

Seventeen moments of autumn

The recent spate of "spying scandals" involving Russian diplomats and the leader of Bulgaria’s National Russophile Movement Nickolay Malinov are more reminiscent of a bad Soviet-era joke rather than a real espionage drama

Keep your Americans close and your Russians closer

Prime Minister Borissov met President Trump in an attempt to align the energy and security interests of the two countries, but trod carefully so as not to infringe upon Russian interests in Bulgaria.

History is not always a good guide

How historical disagreements between Bulgaria and North Macedonia overshadowed common geopolitical goals

A budget to appeal to everyone

There is enough room for maneuvering in case of an economic downturn but reforms are nowhere in sight

Budget misspending

Reform of public spending in a changing global environment

Bulgarian PM’s pride

Boyko Borissov often boasts of the infrastructure improvements made during his tenure but the process is uneven and mired in inconsistencies and bad planning

Sick leave in Bulgaria: Everybody lies

The budgetary cost of paying out sick leave is rising fast but the ruling GERB party tried to solve the problem boorishly and with no solid arguments

Bulgaria's sluggish advance in the EU

The economy has grown, industry is turning towards higher technology, but reforms have stagnated, hindering the country’s potential

How much has Dr. Ruja pocketed?

Until the fall of 2016 the OneCoin scheme earned 3.3 billion euro with a profit of 2 billion euro

IPS’s Arab breakthrough

Bulgarian family firm International Power Supply has finished a key project for Saudi Aramco and is now winning new contracts

Telco and TV-operators mergers are coming to Bulgarian market

United Group is buying Bulgaria’s largest telecom – and eyeing a majority share in bTV

Farewell to wires

With labor costs rising, wire harness manufacturers are moving to cheaper destinations

Commission for Prohibition of Competition

Bulgaria’s competition authority is stretching merger control rules to prevent investors from acquiring key local companies.

Small, midsize and of ever increasing importance

For the first time, the yearly Gepard ranking of most dynamic small and midsize enterprises in Bulgaria by Capital comprises more than 2200 companies. They have increased their revenues by more than 30% in 2018.

The largest in Gepard ranking

The companies with the most employees and largest revenues and profits

Small, but still very profitable

The profitability of small and midsize businesses continued to grow, but the first signs of a slowdown have already appeared

Bulgaria’s Bright Side: When smart ideas turn into business

World makers & Business full of beans & Bulgarian pasta in Darlington

Bulgaria’s biggest companies post slower sales growth than regional peers in 2018

Oil refinery Lukoil Neftochim Burgas second biggest loser in Southeast Europe

Ruse: Free spirit constrained

Bulgaria’s biggest city on the Danube has great untapped potential for growth but is struggling because of poor connections with Romania, the rest of the country, and the river itself

Ruse: Northern Bulgaria's Caged Tiger

Adverse demographic trends and infrastructure constraints limit the city's significant economic potential

Crumbs on the investment market for business properties

Inflated prices, low liquidity and the slowdown of the world economy have brought about a sharp decline of sales in Bulgaria

Economic outlook for Bulgaria remains (relatively) rosy

The chances of an impending recession are slim, the country’s forecast looks good compared to rising pessimism in Europe

Fibank trying to pass ECB’s bar

Accrued loan impairment added up to over 65 million levs following the ECB's comprehensive assessment

Sofia bourse closing another losing year

Doverie United Holding was the lonely bright star in the last quarter of 2019

Sofia is putting too many eggs in Gazprom’s basket

The construction of TurkStream’s extension via Bulgaria will make the country too reliant on Russia again

Bulgarian cuisine from Cosmos

Rakia Raketa Bar, Fabrika Daga, Sputnik and Cosmos are helping Sofia’s induction into modern culinary cuisine

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