Business Roundup


A review of business and economic news from the Balkans since 7 May.

(Various sources -- 07/05/04 - 14/05/04)


Albanian police seize luxury cars from an informal car market in Durres on Wednesday (12 May) for lack of documents. Although Albania is one of Europe's poorest countries, the streets are packed with new luxury cars -- many of them stolen from Western Europe. [Gent Shkullaku]

A review of business and economic news from the Balkans since 7 May:

Bulgaria launched a tender for construction of the country's second bridge across the Danube. The government expects to get bids from major international construction firms by 14 June. Eight bids would be short-listed and sent to the European Commission for approval, since the Commission is footing a significant portion of the bill.


The Athens Stock Exchange recorded significant gains on 12 May when the general index rose by 0.97 per cent to 2,473.83 points. Volume of transactions reached 162.3m euros. Of the stocks traded that day, 125 registered gains, 162 registered losses and 101 were unchanged.


The Canadian government has donated $3.3m to Bosnia and Herzegovina for mine removal projects under an agreement signed on 12 May. The money will be used via the UNDP Integrated Mine Action Programme.


Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina's outgoing Vice Governor Dragan Kovacevic said on 9 May that the country is definitely on the road to economic stabilisation and growth. He noted that 90 per cent of the domestic banking sector has already been privatised and its reform seems successful.


The EBRD has endorsed a 6m euro credit line for support of the small- and medium-sized enterprises in Bulgaria that would be distributed by the country's ninth-largest bank, Hebrosbank. The loan is accompanied by 388,000 euros from the EU to support staff training and to ensure successful implementation of the loan.


Bucharest received a BB long-term issuer credit rating from Standard & Poor's on 12 May. This was Romania's first local and regional government rating by the international agency.


British-based brewer SABMiller will acquire a controlling 81.1 per cent of the Romanian brewing company Aurora, which will bring its stake to almost 90 per cent of the company.

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The total foreign debt of Macedonia totalled $1.812 billion at the end of last year, the country's central bank said. Debt increased by 11 per cent, as compared to 2002.


Albanian Deputy Finance Minister Adriana Berberi said talks on international financing for the Pan-European Corridor 8 project would continue in June. Berberi spoke at a joint press conference with the Secretary General of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, Charalampos Tsarouchas, on 6 May.

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