Romania – the southern Goliath

Not enough workers in retail sector in Hungary. (Mathias Apitz (München), CC BY-ND)

Not enough workers in Hungarian retail sector.

Thursday’s switch tender in Poland.

Romania – with the wealthiest banks in SEE region.

Mittal to invest in new steel mill in Czech Republic.

Bulgaria to receive EUR6.4m aid.

Romania and South-East Europe

Among the top 10 biggest companies (by total revenue for the YE December 2014) of South-East Europe there are 5 Romanian units. Almost all of them are of petroleum industry (only the top 1 is of automobiles: the Automobile-Dacia). The second great is Bulgaria with two majors. Romania has also the wealthiest banks. Romania had 21 entries in the ranking with assets worth EUR77.1bn at the end of 2014. Bulgaria had 18 banks in the chart with total assets of EUR41.8bn.Serbia and Slovenia followed with 15 lenders each. Ten Croatian, six Bosnian and six Albanian banks made it into the ranking. Moldova and Macedonia had five and three representatives, respectively, and Montenegro had just one.

The data come from the ranking of the biggest companies in Southeast Europe “TOP 100SEE”, released on October 6th. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia are included in the survey. You can search through the rankings of top 100 companies, top 100 banks, top 100 insurers, top 100 most dynamic, top 100 per capita and more.

The first top 10 of the SEE companies are:

  1. Automobile-Dacia SA (Romania) – automobiles industry
  2. OMV Petrom SA (Romania) – petroleum industry
  3. Lukoil Neftochim Burgas AD (Bulgaria) – petroleum industry
  4. Petrol d.d. ((Slovenia) – petroleum industry
  5. INA d.d. (Croatia) – petroleum industry
  6. OMV Pterom Marketing SRL (Romania) – petroleum industry
  7. Rompetrol Rafinare SA (Romania) – petroleum industry
  8. Aurubis Bulgaria AD (Bulgaria) – metals industry
  9. Naftna Industija Serbije AD (Serbia) – petroleum industry
  10. Rompetrol Downstream SRL (Romania) – petroleum industry

The top 10 banks in the region are:

  1. Zagrebacka Banka d.d. (Croatia)
  2. Branca Comerciala Romana S.A. (Romania)
  3. BRD – Groupe Societe Generale SA (Romania)
  4. Privedna Banka Zagreb d.s. (Croatia)
  5. Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. (Slovenia)
  6. Banca Transilvania SA (Romania)
  7. Erste&Steiermarkische Bank d.d. (Croatia)
  8. UniCredit Bulbank AD (Bulgaria)
  9. Raiffeisen bank SA (Romania)
  10. UniCredit Tiriac Bank SA (Romania)

>>The ranking


The first post-communist president of Hungary dies at age 93. Árpád Göncz, a lawyer, was a liberal politician and a two-term president (he held the position between 1990 and 2000). He was Hungarian dissident, participating in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and one of the founding members of Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ). He received the “Vision for Europe Award”in 2000. He died on Tuesday, October 6th.


Not enough workers in retail sector…
Hungarian workers of French-based Auchan got 10 per cent rise. Áron Márk from the National Economy Ministry comments it’s an evidence of workers shortages in retail sector in the country. In a TV-interview the deputy secretary of state explained the rise in payroll indicates that supermarket chains started to compete for the staff (an Assistant Retail Store Manager wage is approx HUF300.000). The shortages are most visible in the western and central parts of the country. Earlier this year, in March, Hungarian government banned trading on Sundays. There were many concerns, the new law would cause the unemployment rate growth.

>>Hungarian median and average salaries


and the sales are better

And by the way – retail sales still grow. In August 2015 the sales were up by 4.7 per cent y/y (the growth in July 2015 was 6.8 per cent). Food sales rose by 3.7 per cent, non-food sales were up by 4.6 per cent and fuel sales were up 7.4 per cent. This is based on preliminary data.



Finance Minister Mateusz Szczurek announced switch tender that would take place on Thursday. In exchange for papers due this month and in January 2016, Poland would offer new long-term bonds due April 2021 and July 2026.


Czech Republic

Mittal will invest in a new steel mill. The information was announced by Aditya Mittal, the ArcelorMittal Chief Financial Officer on Tuesday. ArcelorMittal has the huge plant in the north-eastern region of the country. The company is going to use modern technologies in the new steel mill. The investment will be officially announced in 2016. We are wondering how much it would cost.



European Parliament has just approved the aid of EUR6.4m for Bulgaria to help the country dealing with the consequences of natural disasters that affected Bulgaria in January and February of 2015. Floods covered huge parts of the country. The money comes from the EU Solidarity Fund. The funds will be paid by the end of the year. The decision was supported by 660 votes of the 694 possible votes (the number of MEPs present in the plenary chamber). Bulgaria had received the aid from EU earlier – in 2014, to cope with the consequences of floods in Asparuhovo, Dobrich, Vratsa and Vidin.



The State Statistics Service of Ukraine has reported consumer prices started to grow in Ukraine. In September 2015 the inflation rate was 2.3 per cent. But in annual terms the inflation is slowing down. In August 2015 it was 51.9 per cent compared with 52.8 per cent in August and  55.3 per cent in July. In the first nine months of 2015 consumer prices in the country grew by 41.4 per cent. The budget scenario of 2015 predicts a GDP fall by 5.5 per cent and inflation rate by 26.7 per cent. The IMF has worsened the forecasts for GDP decline in the current year to 11 per cent and inflation to 45.8 per cent. The NBU forecast is quite similar.


What’s up in indexes?

BUX index (of the Budapest Stock Exchange) was up 0.53 index points on Tuesday (with 21152,44 index points compared with Monday’s 21040,05 index points). From year-end it’s up 27.16 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest) fell down slightly to 6985,67 index points (from 7056,33 index points on Monday). The drop was 1.00 per cent. And from year-end it dropped by 1.37 per cent.

PX (of Prague) ended down 0.21 per cent. It decreased from 972,92 index points on Monday to 970,83 index points on Tuesday. From year-end it is up 2.55 per cent.

After rapid increase on Monday, WIG20 (of Warsaw) grew on Tuesday by 0.70 per cent (an increase from 2088.27 on Monday to 2102,87 index points on Tuesday. From year-end it was a drop of 9.20 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) ended down 0.31 per cent. It decreased to 870,61 index points on Tuesday (from 873,28 index points on Monday). And from year-end it was up 15.30 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) went down by 0.68 per cent (from 573,24 index points on Monday to 569,32 index points on Tuesday). And from year-end it’s 39,53 per cent of growth.

OMXV (of Vilnius) grew on Tuesday. It was up 0.77 per cent. The index increased from 481,69 points to 485,40 points. And from year-end it’s up 7.29 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) dropped by 1.35 per cent. The result on Monday was 277,47 index points. On Tuesday it was 281,26 index points. From year-end it’s up 24.81 per cent.

UX (of Ukraine) fell down dramatically. On Tuesday it lost 3.62 per cent. There were 881,83 index points on Monday compared with 849,91 on Tuesday. From year-end it dropped by 17.75 per cent.

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