26th Economic Forum starts in Krynica, Poland

Deputy PM Mateusz Morawiecki on the 26th Economic Forum starts in Krynica. (picture: PAP)

Bulgarian PM urges UE and Russia to cooperate on gas hub project

Chinese companies invest in luxury hotels in Czech Republic

The Balkan countries: shadow economy thrives

Poland

26th Economic Forum starts in Krynica on Tuesday, September 6th. The motto of the event is „United od Divided? Europe in the Face of the Challenges of Tomorrow”. As the organiser – the Institute for Eastern Studies – informs, over 3000 people from 50 countries will attend the Forum. Among them: a number of ministers and CEO’s of to Polish companies.

Deputy PM Mateusz Morawiecki, the author of  The plan for responsible development for Poland, took part in the plenary session The stable economy in unstable times”.

As PAP agency reports: „During six plenary sessions and more than 150 discussion panels, the participants will sum up the NATO summit held recently in Warsaw, debate the future of the EU after Brexit, analyse cooperation between the Visegrad Group members, comment on the situation in Ukraine and debate the future of Polish-Russian relations, among other topics.”

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Bulgaria

During the conference promoting options to set up a gas distribution center in Bulgaria, organised by the state-owned grid operator Bulgartransgaz, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov called on Brussels and Moscow „to sit at the table with Sofia officials and discuss the prospects of carry out a gas hub project” on his country’s territory.

„The European Commission are obliged to give us back the gesture, not just to give us optimisim (…). We want a EU commission representative in all negotiations so that we know there won’t be an infringement procedure notice in two or three months (…). If Europe needs Russian gas to come to the Balkan Gas Hub, this should be stated and I will then send a minister to negotiate the conditions” – Novinite.com quotes Mr. Borisov.

It is worth remembering, at the beginning of September Bulgartransgaz revealed four options to create the Balkan Gas Hub. That was „their first introduction to investors. The different possible business models of the project would result in a cost between EUR1.2bn and EUR2bn”.

It is said Brussels wellcomed the gas hub idea in principle, but has not included it in the list of priority projects. At the same time Russia raised skepticism about the deal, questioning the diversity of gas sources. So now Borisov insists a tripartite Bulgaria-EU-Russia meeting should be held.

Balkan Gas Hub is not a totally fresh and new idea, as it was first put forward short after the demise of South Stream.

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Czech Republic

Another investment of Chinese business in the hotel sector. „The Chinese company CEFC is free to purchase Prague’s high-end Mandarin Oriental hotel after the deal was approved by the Office for the Protection of Competition” – Radio Praha reports. The Chinese company wants to buy the Malá Strana property through its company Karmelitská Hotel and says it aims to capitalise on the rapid rise in the number of tourists between the two countries”.

So far the company CEFC has already bought Slavia Prague football club, the Lobkowicz brewery and a large chunk of air carrier Travel Service.

It is worth remembering Chinese investors are very active in the CEE region. For exapmle: in January 2016th a group of investors informed it plans spending approx. EUR270m to build a cargo airport near Sofia (Bulgaria) and a luxury hotel, a marina port and a casino in the Thracian Cliffs gold resort on the Black Sea.

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The Balkan Countries

„New survey blames high rate of people working in hidden economy in Balkan region on mistrust in state institutions – and unfair tax systems that penalise those on low incomes” – shows the survey conducted by the Sofia-Based Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) for the Southeast Europe Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI).

According to the report concluding the survey, the rates of hidden employment vary among the different Balkan countries, from one-fifth in Croatia to four-fifths of all employed people in Kosovo. The Balkan Insigt reports – after the survey – in Bulgaria, around 17.5 per cent of people work in the informal sector. In Macedonia, 37.3 per cent of employees have their social security contributions paid by employers on contracted wages that are lower than the actual wage they receive.

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What’s up in indexes

BUX (of Budapest) increased from 28189.60 index points Friday, September 2nd to 28408.18 index points Monday, September 5th. So it’s up 0.78 per cent d/d and up 18.76 per cent from year-end.

BET (of Bucharest Stock Exchange) increased from 7004.84 index points Friday, September 2nd to 7024.25 index points Monday, September 5th. So it’s up 0.28 per cent d/d and up 0.32 per cent from year-end.

PX (of Prague Stock Exchange) was up 0.59 per cent d/d – increasing from 875.71 index points Friday, September 2nd to 880.84 index points Monday, Spetember 5th. From year-end it dropped by 7.89 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) increased from 1767.55 index points Friday, September 2nd to 1788.02 index points Monday, September 5th. So it’s up 1.16 per cent d/d. From year-end it dropped by 3.83 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) increased from 999.58 index points Friday, September 2nd to 1001.85 index points Monday, Setember 5th. So it’s up 0.23 per cent d/d. From year-end it’s up 11.44 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) increased from 635.36 index points Friday, September 2nd to 677.16 index points Monday, September 5th. So it’s up 6.58 per cent d/d and up 13.93 index points from year-end.

OMXV (of Vilnius) was up 0.04 per cent d/d and up 10.07 per cent from year-end. It increased from 534.73 index points Friday, September 2nd to 534.92 index points Monday, September 5th.

SAX (of Bratislava) grew by 0.96 per cent d/d and by 9.82 per cent from year-end. It increased from 318.01 index points Friday, September 2nd to 321.05 index points Monday, September 5th.

The bourse of Sofia was closed Monday, September 5th. SOFIX (of Sofia) closed at 471.87 index points Friday, September 2nd. It’s up 2.38 per cent from year-end.

UX (of Kyiv) was up 0.47 per cent d/d and up 6.15 per cent from year-end. It increased from 724.58 index points Friday, September 2nd to 728.02 index points Monday, September 5th.

CROBEX (of Zagreb) dropped by 0.36 per cent – falling from 1823.65 index points Friday, September 2nd to 1817.05 index points Monday, September 5th. From year-end it’s up 7.54 per cent.

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