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The business in Romania blog writes about the Romanian business landscape, doing business in Romania, investing in Romania business and debating on business issues in Romania. Check this Blog's Policy here.



Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Romania ranked 55th out of 60 countries in terms of competitiveness. The study has been developed by IMD Geneva.

You can find the final scoreboard HERE.

The study takes into consideration four criterias when ranking the 60 countries: economic performance, economic eficiency, government eficiency and infrastructure.

The study has been developed under the title "Lower taxes are not the panacea for national competitivess".

The worst thing is Romania is going down...in 2003 we ranked 51st, in 2004 54th and now we are 55th.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/31/2005 04:12:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Here are some of the latest data regarding the PC market in Romania.

The market grew with about 40% in the first quarter of 2005 in terms of number of units sold and with about 20% in terms of value.

85% of the total number PCs are desktop systems and they count for about 65% of the entire market value. Laptops count for 13% in terms of number of units and for about 25% in terms of market value.

The growth for laptop systems is estimated at around 55% in terms of number of units sold or 43% in terms of market value growth. Growth for desktop systems is estimated at 40% in terms of number of units and 14% in terms of value.

The most important players on the market are Romsoft (14%), K-Tech (13%), Flamingo (12%) and Altex with 11%. The procents above are in relationship with the total number of PCs sold.

The total market value for the first 3 months is estimated to 615 milion USD.

44% of the buyers on the market (in terms of value) are represented by SOHO (small office, home office) players, while small and medium size companies count for 38%.

Windows continues to be implemented on over 90% of the PCs sold.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/31/2005 03:53:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Germany's second largest bank, HVB, on Monday confirmed it is negotiating with the Italian Group UniCredito for a possible merger, according to Reuters.

If the merger is approved by government regulators, the new bank will be one of the largest in Europe.

Rumors about the merger on Friday sent HVB share prices spiraling to its highest level this year.

HVB recently announced it had agreed on a merger with Romania's Banca Tiriac following talks with majority shareholder Ion Tiriac, a move that is expected to create one of Romania's largest private banks with a 7.5% market share in terms of total assets.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 5/31/2005 09:17:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Two British advisers, one for European integration problems and one for the fight against corruption, yesterday started their jobs at the Cotroceni Palace.

President Basescu will soon bring two more advisors to help him in integration matters, one from France and another from Germany, presidential spokeswoman Adriana Saftoiu said.

David Stuart Broucher, former British ambassador to the Czech Republic, will offer the Presidential Administration counseling for Romania's EU integration.

The advisor for the fight against corruption is Rupert Vining.

The two will be paid by the British government for their work. Accommodation will also be provided by the UK authorities.
The Romanian authorities will provide the logistics for the advisors' work, Saftoiu said.

Broucher and Vining will be advisors for the presidency for a year, with the possibility of their contracts being extended by a further twelve months.

The government has other foreign advisors. There are currently 57 pre-accession experts on EU integration, the fight against corruption, customs services and justice advising Cabinet members.

Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu promised to use their experience and their advice as much as possible, to make sure Romania complies with the EU accession criteria.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 5/31/2005 09:15:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Monday, May 30, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Greece's largest wireless operator, Cosmote Mobile Telecommunications SA, said Friday said it has agreed to buy a 70 percent stake in Romanian mobile operator CosmoRom for euro120 million (US$150 million).

Cosmorom is the mobile arm of RomTelecom, Romania's dominant fixed-line telecom operator, which is 54-percent owned by Greece's Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, or OTE, the parent of Cosmote.

Cosmorom will undergo a share capital increase after which Cosmote will buy the 70 percent stake. CosmoRom will keep the remaining 30 percent stake.

Cosmote said that on completion of the purchase, CosmoRom's debt will either be capitalized or written off, except for the euro16 million (US$20 million) that CosmoRom owes to OTE's unit OTE International.

Third-party liabilities up to euro2 million (US$2.5 million) will not be written off, Cosmote said.
Cosmote said that the purchase agreement also includes some minority rights in CosmoRom for RomTelecom.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 5/30/2005 09:51:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Israeli citizens will no longer need a visa to visit Romania following an agreement reached between the two countries, the Romanian government has announced.

The arrangement will go into effect in some three months and will apply to recreational visits lasting under three months, Army Radio reported.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem has not yet confirmed the announcement.

Two years ago the Romanian government made the unexpected decision to require Israeli visitors to apply for a visa before entering their country, attainable at the Romania's embassy in Israel. The decision caused many Israelis to cancel travel plans to Romania.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 5/30/2005 09:50:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Prosecutors have detained Dinu Patriciu, chairman of Romania's second-largest oil company and a top member of the ruling Liberal Party, on suspicion of tax evasion and money-laundering.

Patriciu, who heads the Rompetrol, was detained Friday at the end of 16 hours of questioning by prosecutors.

Prosecutors say they intend to seek a formal arrest warrant on charges of money-laundering, tax evasion and deception.

Patriciu has denied wrongdoing, and claims the investigation was ordered for political reasons by the former government of leftists, with whom he had close ties. He called on prosecutors to question former President Ion Iliescu.

Patriciu's detention "is not legally grounded, and it is bluntly unjustified," said Eugen Babau, communications director of Rompetrol, adding the company would seek to disprove the charges.
The U.S. embassy warned Romania in a statement that if the investigation is proved to be illegitimate, it would damage Romania's business climate.

Prosecutors claim the tax evasion cost the state 300 billion lei (US$10.7 million; euro8.36 million), but Patriciu's lawyers said they have not been shown any facts backing that claim.
"We have not been told what exactly he's accused of doing," said Cristian Iordanescu, one of Patriciu's lawyers.

In a statement, Rompetrol threatened to sue the Romanian government for damages.

Liberal Party vice president Teodor Melescanu called the detention "an abuse," in an interview with Realitatea TV. He said it was "a political attack by those who want to undermine the anti-corruption campaign," launched by the government.

Romania is under pressure from the European Union, which it wants to join in 2007, to crack down on rampant corruption.

Patriciu is a longtime member of the ruling Liberal Party and is close to Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

UPDATE: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it placed its 'B-' long-term corporate credit rating on Romania-based oil refining and marketing company The Rompetrol Group N.V. on CreditWatch with negative implications. The CreditWatch status reflects increased concern that this dispute could have an adverse effect on Rompetrol's financial profile, in particular on its liquidity position, which may be inconsistent with current rating in the event of a negative outcome of the situation for Rompetrol.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 5/30/2005 09:47:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Friday, May 27, 2005
Business in Romania blog
According to a Neogen poll, most Romanians get hired by using their personal network. 53% of the Romanians found their current working place through recomandations from their friends and personal network. Next in line are the recruitment websites, with a popularity of 31%.

Recruitment agencies have been successful for 9% of the Romanians while 7% of them saidthey are self-employed.

Looking at the age profiles of the voters, the personal network method is used by 59% of the people between 35 and 45 y.o. Recruitment websites are used mostly by people between 20 and 25 years old, while 30% of the people between 45 and 55 years old are self employed.

Most of the IT people (about 43% of them) found their current job through an online recruitment website.

The poll has been conducted by Neogen, between 28th of april - 16th of may and involved about 1.200 people.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/27/2005 10:53:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its long-term issuer credit ratings on the Romanian capital City of Bucharest to 'BB+' from 'BB'. The outlook is stable.

"The rating action is based on the city's improving debt management, increased implementation of much-needed infrastructure investments, and its growing economy, which is supported by the commitment of the new central government to step up economic and institutional reforms in Romania. This should lead to further growth in city's budget revenues," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Felix Ejgel.

The ratings on Bucharest continue to be supported by its strategic position as the Republic of Romania's (foreign currency BB+/Positive/B; local currency BBB-/Positive/A-3) capital city, its consistently sound operating balances, and a relatively supportive intergovernmental system. The ratings are constrained, however, by low financial flexibility, partly due to high infrastructure needs, expected fast foreign-currency denominated debt growth, and a need for better transparency.

Standard & Poor's expects that the steady development of the city's economy and infrastructure will continue to support the growth of city budget revenues. Accompanied by the expected inflow of EU funds and supportive nature of the Romanian system, this will help Bucharest to ease its debt burden and stabilize budgetary performance from 2007.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/26/2005 10:47:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
It seems the number of mobile phones users is likely to reach 18 milion by 2009. Currently, the market is estimated to 10 milion users (end of 2004).

The market penetration of mobile telephony services is estimated to 47%, while the average for Central and Eastern Europe is close to 60%.

Some of Romania's neighbours have very high penetration rates: Slovenia - 99%, Lituania - 95%, Estonia - 92%, while in Cehia the number of mobile telephony contracts is higher than the total population of the country. This is interesting...

All this and more you can find in this article about the IDC study from where this data comes from.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/26/2005 10:03:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Just after I got a new digital camera, I hear they are getting cheaper....

It seems excise taxes for will get down to 0% starting from 1st of June 2005. The taxes have been 0% before, but in April 2005 the government raised them to 30% and now it will reduce them again.

I wonder if the prices will lower just as fast...

Also, the excise tax reduction applies to DVD player, video and TV equipment.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/25/2005 04:18:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
The level of the budget deficit after negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been set at 0.7% to 0.75% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), stated Ionut Popescu, minister of Public Finance.

According to Popescu, the precise figure will be agreed by mid-June when an IMF delegation will come to Bucharest.

At the moment, the budget rectification is based on projected GDP growth of 5.8%, and an average exchange rate of 37,500 ROL to the euro.

State Secretary Dragos Neacsu announced that the Ministry of Public Finance would try to obtain the approval of the IMF for the registration of privatization expenses and revenues in a special fund dedicated to modernization programs.

In this way, the expenses would not be included in the budget deficit.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 5/25/2005 09:41:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Romanian authorities want to complete the list of selected proposals for the privatization of the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) before the end of September.

Final offers will be made public soon after. The procedures must be completed in September so that the privatization announcement of the two state-run banks, including the Romanian Savings Bank (CEC), could be made before the end of October.

The president of the Authority for the Recovery of State Assets Gabriel Zbarcea will present a memo to the government on May 26, on the proposal of the privatization committee on the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR) and the Romanian Savings Bank (CEC) sales.

The documentation was drawn up based on data supplied by the consulting company Daiwa Securities SMBC Europe, negotiations with other BCR shareholders such as EBRD and the International Financial Corporation and on the project drawn up by the privatization committee of the bank.

The government will decide, on the basis of the documentation, whether the strategy is to be continued or reconsidered.

So far, several important names of the financial market expressed their interest in buying the BCR stock: HVB, Deutsche Bank and Unicredit.

As for CEC, according to Popescu, several companies have already showed an interest. Among them are French-Belgian group Dexia, Erste Bank - Austria, OTP Bank - Hungary, HVB - Germany, Raiffeisen Bank, Groupe Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, EFG Eurobank and Rabo Bank - Netherlands.

The government announced on Monday it will consider listing CEC and BCR stocks at the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) after their privatization by the end of the first quarter of 2006.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 5/25/2005 09:23:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Entrepreneurs in Romania will have access to more finance following an EUR 12.4 million loan to ProCredit Bank Romania S.A., the first microfinance bank in Romania. The syndicated loan is extended by the EBRD and TaiwanICDF (International Cooperation and Development Fund, Taiwan), and from commercial lenders Cordiant-International Finance Participation Trust (2004) and Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG. Through its branches ProCredit Bank will use the loan to on-lend to local entrepreneurs across the country wishing to expand their businesses.

ProCredit Bank Romania, formerly known as MIRO Bank, was established in 2002 and changed its name two years later to better convey its integration into the worldwide ProCredit Bank network. It is owned by the EBRD, Commerzbank AG, Deutsche Investitions-und-Entwicklungsgesellschaft, the International Finance Corporation, Internationale Projekt Consult GmbH and ProCredit Holding AG. ProCredit Bank Romania received technical assistance funds from the US Government via the US/EBRD SME Financing Facility for institution building and training loan officers.

ProCredit Bank Romania provides micro loans for up to EUR 10,000 (or the equivalent in Romanian lei or US dollars) with a maturity of up to 24 months. Small loans of up to EUR 250,000 (or the equivalent in lei or USD) are made with a maturity of up to 60 months. All loans are provided on a commercial basis. Since the beginning of 2005 alone, ProCredit Bank has disbursed more than 5,000 business loans for over EUR 25 million, and the average outstanding loan amount is below EUR 5,000.

For more details, check out the MiroBank website.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/24/2005 11:16:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Business in Romania blog
As I know the previous Brandient posts, "The Brandient Myth" and "The Brandient Myth - part 2" generated some intense discussions from my friends, colleagues and specially from you, the readers of this blog, I would like to make some small clarification on this matter.

I didn't want to leave the impression that Brandient copied, got too inspired or anything of that matter by the similar brands - France Telecom in Astral case and Invensys in Novensys case. This is not the point of the posts and I don't have enough information in order to state this.

My purpose was that, after Brandient designed those brands in terms of visuals (name, logo, corporate colors and so on), they should have done some due dilligence and check if those brands already exist in the industry or if something similar has already been done. This has also been stated in one of Alex's comments to the initial post (comments to those posts are temporarly unavailable, sorry).

I am sure that every day, guys from Branding industry get a lot of ideas, but some of them are applicable and some of them are not. Just like I cannot go on the market right now and call my software company Microsoft, even though it might develop SOFTware for MICRO-terminals and this would lead to the naming of the company. It might be a good or a bad idea, this is less important...the thing is it is not applicable. It would generate too much confusion and it is not worth it.

Please take this post as an explanation of the previous posts on the matter. Also, this post can be regarded as an answer to ANDREI's comments on this.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/22/2005 11:48:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Mr. Mugur Isarescu, Governor of National Bank of Romania, announced a couple of days ago that probably the inflation for this year will be around 7.5%. This figure is slightly higher than the predicted 7 percent.

The inflation rate in 2004 was 9.3 percent and this should be reduced as we approach the EU. Also, the government aims to trip the budget deficit to about 0.7 of GDP, from 1.5 percent planned initialy.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/21/2005 11:46:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Friday, May 20, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Justin just showed me a link that allows you to personalize your Google Homepage. It seems this feature has been introduced by Google yesterday.

The feature, which has not yet been named, lets people with Gmail and other Google accounts create a home page with different modules that they can drag and drop across their page, giving them one place to go for e-mail, headlines, weather reports, maps, movie schedules and, of course, Web search.

In typical fashion, Google is releasing the feature as a beta. It's available now on the Google Labs site. It is available here.

Also, you can read this CNET article about it.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/20/2005 06:21:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Flamingo opened its yesterday first store in Sofia, this being the second the company opens outside Romania. The first store was opened in Serbia, in Belgrad on 11 May 2005.

Flanco invested over 100.000 EUR in this store and intends to open 10 stores outside the country this year.

The recently opened store focuses on Home Entertainment products, with IT products, Home cinema, and other Audio & Video products.

You can read more about the first store they opened in Belgrad in their press release.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/20/2005 12:57:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Cargill ups its stake in the Romanian edible oils market, as the competition authorities clear the way for the US firm to buy Olpo Podari, the largest Romanian sunflower oil maker.

Cargill already controls around 10 per cent of Romania's silo capacity after the acquisition of Comcereal earlier this year, that gave it a comprehensive network of grain storage facilities in the Romanian grain belt.

The acquisition of Olpo Podari allows it to move into the local market for oilseed crushing and refining, as well as the bottled oils business.

Here is the official press release.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/20/2005 10:07:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Today I found out about 2 new websites in the Romanian landscape.

First that came to my notice is www.prwave.ro. It is the website of Loredana, a girl from the PR business. The website is meant at providing news, articles and insights into the PR world in Romania. The articles are written by specialists from the most important companies in Romania.

Second came foto.neogen.ro. The Neogen group extends its services with a photo storage and photo sharing web service. It looks and works very similar to Yahoo Photos. The web space available is 10 Mb. To those of you interested, you should also check out flickr.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/17/2005 08:05:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Via @rgumente I discovered this article in Saptamana Financiara. It is a great honor for us, the Business in Romania Blog team, to be featured in a newspaper. Thanks guys ! also, congratulations for the nice initiative on making blogs more visible in the media landscape. Sometimes, blogs can give you great information you won't find in the newspapers.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/17/2005 05:38:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
For the first time in Romania, a Master's program in Information Technology Management

The Central European University Business School MSc in IT Management Program is an American business degree that is much more specialized than a general MBA. The program focuses on the relevant management issues in the IT discipline across various industries, providing a unique blend of both technology and business management skills development.

Thanks to Daniel Secareanu for the info. You can find out more about this program on http://www.gsb.ceu.hu.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/17/2005 01:28:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
Microsoft today announced that Slovenia has won the Eastern European regional finals in the company's third annual Imagine Cup technology competition, which is designed to enable students to develop innovations and compete on a global stage. The championship involves more than 10,000 students from more than 90 countries around the world culminating in the championship in Yokohama, Japan in July.

This year more than 61,000 students from 412 European schools, colleges and universities are participating. The top-five participating European countries are France, Germany, Poland, Romania and the UK. Last year, one-third of the teams that made the final rounds and more than half of the global winning teams were from Europe. The Imagine Cup 2004 was won by the team from France.

This year, Romania ranked among the 10 best teams. The Romanian team developed LocalPoint, a three-tier solution with a service-oriented architecture that facilitates communication between smart device users and location-specific services in the user's vicinity to suggest itineraries based on the user's profile.

The 2005 competition was won by Slovenia, with Greece and Serbia and Montenegro ranking on second and third place.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/17/2005 01:23:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Monday, May 16, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Everybody spoke a great deal about GECAD selling the RAV antivirus to Microsoft two years ago. Time has passed but nothing really happened with it.

Now, the mistery finally came out...the GECAD team seams has worked on a security application, called Windows OneCare, that is soon going to be available for the Beta-release.

You can find more about it on Microsoft's website.

Looking forward for seeing what it is capable of.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/16/2005 01:10:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Business in Romania blog
After the first post about Brandient, I decided to look a little deeper into the matter. So I checked Brandient's website and I looked at some more projects done by them.

One of them is the rebranding of a company once called Bar Code Systems. This company was dealing with bar code solutions and also software solutions. Brandient did an entire rebranding solution for them and they came up with the new name - NOVENSYS -, a new logo, new values and so on. Their website is at www.novensys.com.

After finding this out, I go on Google.com and search for NOVENSYS. And guess what Google says to me...is says "Did you mean INVENSYS?" You know, google has this feature for times when you spell something wrong....but this was the name of a brand, not some spelling error.

Anyways, I checked out what INVENSYS is....Invensys (www.invensys.com) is a software company from UK !!! But this is not all...the corporate colors of Novensys are white and blue (their logo features white text on blue background). Guess what the corporate colors of Invensys are....yes, actually the same white and blue. And also the font which writes NOVENSYS is strikingly resembling the INVENSYS proprietary font.

Can this be just a coincidence? What are the chances, taking into consideration that the name NOVENSYS is not something very related to the software industry...how can you come up with a new name, new corporate images and new logo, all of them resemblign so much the elements of another brand in the same industry, just in another country?

Look for yourself at www.novensys.com and www.invensys.com and give me your opinion on this, please !

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/14/2005 11:35:00 am
Business in Romania blog
Friday, May 13, 2005
Business in Romania blog
In 2002, a new company emerged on the advertising & branding market in Romania. It is called Brandient and they promoted themselves as being a Branding company. Not an advertising agency, not a design shop but a Branding company.

They did some remarkable things along the time and everybody looks up to them. I can say they are regarded as gurus in their industry, the top company you can go to when having a branding issue.

But is all this image behind Brandient really true? Are they the most inspired, most creative, most strategic on the market? Do they make mistakes? Well, everybody does, at some point....

I was very surprised a couple of days ago when one of my colleagues, Alex, saw the ASTRAL logo and had a great idea. After a quick search, the mistery revealed...the Astral logo strikingly resembles the France Telecom logo. And Astral just went through a rebranding process a while ago.

So, what happened? Is it just a mistake? Just a designer that came with a great idea about the logo and forgot he saw it somewhere else? Did Astral requested Brandient to do something so similar to the French company?

Don't get me wrong....I don't want to spoil the Brandient image....just that I don't believe in myths.

Here are the two logos. Judge for yourself. Also, here is Alex's opinion.




It seems to me that they just rotated the France Telecom logo, did some minor modifications and that was it. The lines look very much alike, they used the 2 color idea and the shape is obviously similar.

And this is not the end. There are other brands that are believed to be quite similar to well known brands from abroad. We will do some more investigations and come back with the details.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/13/2005 03:23:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
A recently published article, signed by Sam Vaknin, analyses the Eastern Europe environment for investment. The article looks both at the past and also to the future.

You can find some remarks about Romania, specially in comparison to the other countries in the region. Here are some excerpts:

"Southeastern Europe (the politically correct name for the Balkans), excluding Greece and Turkey, attracted rather less - c. $12 billion in realized FDI in 2000-2. Croatia topped the list with $3.8 billion, followed by Romania ($3.3 billion), Bulgaria ($2.3 billion), Macedonia ($1.1 billion), Yugoslavia ($0.7 billion) and Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina ($0.5 billion each)."

"In some countries - like Romania - 40 percent of all sales are generated by foreign-owned subsidiaries."

"Romania has extraordinarily low costs to offer investors."

Also, another article (Romanian version only) states that the Foreign investment for the first 2 months of 2005 are up to 200 milion EUR.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/13/2005 12:33:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Logan will go on sale in France on June 9, in Spain on June 16 and in Germany on June 17. Between October 2005 and January 2006 it will be launched in five other Western European countries: Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and Austria. The range available will be identical in all countries and the sale price will vary mainly in accordance with taxes and transportation costs in each country.

It seems the price for Logan in France will be about 7.500 EUR.


Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/10/2005 12:23:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Monday, May 09, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Tenaris S.A. announced today that it has completed the acquisition of a 97% shareholding in Donasid S.A, a Romanian steel producer, for EUR 37 million. Tenaris is also assuming EUR 16.8 million in long-term debt held by Donasid with AVAS, the Romanian state privatization agency and expects to spend an additional EUR 25 million in investments to adapt the steel shop to produce round steel bars and other improvements.

Donasid's assets include a steel shop located at Calarasi on the river Danube in the south of Romania. The steel shop, which has an annual capacity of 470.000 tons, includes an electric arc furnace and continuous casting facilities, and uses steel scrap as its principal raw material. Romania is currently a net exporter of steel scrap.

Through this acquisition, Tenaris expects to reduce costs and secure a reliable source of steel for Silcotub, its Romanian seamless pipe mill.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/09/2005 06:54:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog
LA Times features a pretty bad article about Romania.

The article deals with the Noble Ventures case and is a clear attack to the former Government led by Adrian Nastase:

"The group accuses the government of Adrian Nastase, the former prime minister, of sabotaging its acquisition of a state-owned steel mill and illegally renationalizing the mill in 2001 [...] The government of Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu, which took power in December, appears to be far more friendly to Western investors and is making efforts to eliminate the corruption that characterized much of the deal making under the Nastase administration."

Also, the article discusses the EDF and the Gavazzi Steel cases.

The article can be found HERE.

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/09/2005 06:49:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Friday, May 06, 2005
Business in Romania blog
Romania's largest law firm, Musat & Asociatii, has split following the departure of its deputy managing partner, Florentin Tuca, along with a team of 30 lawyers.

The leading Bucharest firm split last month when Tuca and a team of eight partners and 22 associates launched a new practice Tuca & Asociatti, citing "differences in strategy".

Musat, which, alongside Linklaters and Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Peterson, is regarded as a local leader, will be left with five partners and around half of its associates.

One Tuca partner told Legal Week the defecting group of lawyers had "taken a sizeable chunk of its client base from Musat", adding: "Bucharest is an emerging market and we are expecting a lot of business and investment and are confident about our prospects."

Tuca, which focuses on M&A, privatisations, corporate, banking and energy, has a string of high-profile clients including fixed-line operator RomTelecom, metals giant Mittal Steel and French construction group Vinci.

Salans Bucharest head Obie Moore commented: "This is the biggest break-up in Romanian law firm history — but it provides another credible Romanian law firm and increases competition, with fewer conflicts in a growing market."

Posted by Mihai Botea : 5/06/2005 05:39:00 pm
Business in Romania blog
Business in Romania blog


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