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A Romanian investment fund originally set up by the government to compensate people who had their assets confiscated under communism will seek to list in London, in an ambitious move that could boost investor access to Romanian equities.

Fondul Proprietatea (“the property fund”) could complete a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange by the end of the year, its institutional administrator Franklin Templeton said this month. Continue reading »

Five per cent GDP growth is these days more associated with the fittest Asian and African emerging economies than the sluggish EU fringe, but Romania has sprung a surprise with its Q4 2013 figures, its best for five years.

A flash estimate from Bucharest’s National Institute of Statistics on February 14 suggests that the economy grew by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the final quarter of last year. This takes its full-year rate to 3.5 per cent, among the fastest in Europe and appreciably above a recent IMF forecast of 2.8 per cent. Meanwhile inflation, once a serious concern, fell to an all-time low of 1.1 per cent in January. Continue reading »

In recent weeks, much has been made of Romanians’ desire to leave their country and work abroad, partly due to the weakness of Romania’s own economy. On Wednesday, the country’s central bank made an ambitious move that may help that economy, the second poorest in the EU, by cutting rates to a record low and easing reserve requirements. Continue reading »

Maybe it’s time to start preparing for a return wave of CEE migrants from western Europe, as Thursday’s flash GDP third quarter numbers show that most of the region’s economies are experiencing a sharp recovery – in contrast to stagnation in the eurozone. Continue reading »

It was the biggest initial public offering in Romania’s history, and the latest of several big IPOs in eastern Europe. But will Friday’s part-privatisation of natural-gas utility Romgaz reinvigorate Romania’s stalled liberalisation programme? Continue reading »

Hollywood, Bollywood, Nigeria’s Nollywood; France’s arthouse cinema scene, British romcoms, Italian and Russian film from the likes of Fellini and Tarkovsky; the Korean Wave. The cinema culture of south eastern Europe may be rather less celebrated outside the region than those of its more famous peers, but there is growing recognition both of a resurgent home-grown movie scene and the competitive advantages of SEE as a location for shoots. Continue reading »

A lot of recent numbers indicate that central Europe’s economies have turned the corner and are starting to rebound after a slump late last year and in the first months of 2013.

More data buttressing that case came in over the last few days. In Poland, new car registrations in September were up by 16.5 per cent at 24,963 cars – that’s 13 per cent higher than in August. Continue reading »

Romania’s interest rates have hit a record low, but will it be enough to revive its flagging economy?

As central banks in some developed markets seem to be gearing up for tighter monetary policy, Romania’s announced a third consecutive interest rate cut on Monday, citing falling inflation, and with an eye on sluggish growth. Continue reading »

By Lucian Anghel, chairman of the Bucharest Stock Exchange

The Bucharest Stock Exchange, or BVB, has never played a big role in Romania’s economy; nor has it been the focus of much international attention.

But, after a period of turbulence, during which the country has suffered political storms and frenetic general elections, that could all be about to change. Continue reading »

Worried about growth? Get cutting!

That was the message from Romania’s central bank as it surprised analysts and the market by cutting interest rates by 50 basis points to 4.5 per cent on Monday. Continue reading »

By Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Bank International

Positive developments in Romania are turning the country into something of an investor darling.

With economic growth in the first quarter of 2.2 per cent year-on-year, Romania was one of the best performing economies in the EU. Full-year, economic expansion of at least 2 per cent looks perfectly feasible, making Romania a star performer among its regional peers.

What’s behind the good news? Continue reading »

It’s a precautionary arrangement, but could it spell another step towards economic recovery for beleaguered Romania? This week, the International Monetary Fund reached a deal with the Romanian government on a €4bn standby loan, tied to the condition that Bucharest push ahead with planned reforms to the health system, and with its stalled privatisation programme. Continue reading »

Capitalism is supposed to be all about second acts – getting up after failing, and using the experience to do better the next time around. That’s the path taken by Ludwik Sobolewski, fired as head of the Warsaw Stock Exchange after a conflict of interest scandal who is now taking over the stock exchange in Bucharest.

Sobolewski brings experience and a bit of star power to Bucharest, which is growing well but is still a much smaller exchange than the one he leaves behind in WarsawContinue reading »

Romania’s main interest rate was cut to record low on Monday on the expectation that inflation will slow, in what could be the first of several reductions. The National Bank of Romania (BNR) cut its benchmark rate to 5 per cent, after CPI came in at 5.3 per cent year-on-year in May, the same rate as April. The Bank expects inflation to fall into its target range of 1.5 to 3.5 per cent for the full year. Rates have been kept on hold since March 2012. Continue reading »

Bulgaria’s Danubeside city of Vidin has a somewhat forlorn air. The great grey river slinks slowly by a long waterfront of panel blocks gazing across the water to the forests of Romania. Among the cracked pavements, despoiled Communist monuments and boarded-up shops, there are, however, a few glimmers of a noble past: an old quarter with some charm, and the stout fortress of Baba Vida, which stands on ancient foundations. The fortress and the elegant gateway to the old city – the Stambul Kapiya, or Istanbul gate – remind the visitor that this was once an important centre in a European network of empire and trade. Continue reading »