Sunday, January 28, 2007 

HIstory of Bansko in Bulgaria (video from YouTube)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 

Bansko Is the Most Expensive Territory in Bulgaria

According to the western European medias the resort of Bansko is considered as the new Shanghai of Eastern Europe.

There are hotel constructions everywhere and the price for a square meter of land has risen ten times for the last couple of years.

Bansko probably has been the most expensive territory in the whole country. The Bansko resort is compared with Ischgl, one of the top ski resorts in Europe.

At the moment Bansko is one modern and stylish ski resort. There are new ski lifts that reach up near to Todorka peak ( 2800m ) and 65 kilometres of marked ski runs.

More than 40 million EUR have been invested in building the resort's infrastructure. The prices rise by 20% annually and are likely to continue going up. The demand to own a property is higher than to supply one.

There are 150 million EUR investments for the constructions of 200 new hotels. At the moment a square meter of property in Bansko costs 2150 EUR.

Bansko will be host of the European Women's Championship in Alpine Skiing and the European Biathlon Championship.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007 

EU intro to boost Eastern Europe markets

Fresh foreign investment is set to boost the economies of Bulgaria and Romania, following their January 1 EU introduction.

Matthias Siller, emerging markets investment manager at Baring Asset Management, said the stability offered by the EU membership will attract both private and global investment.

He said: “With the governments adhering to EU legislation, investors now have stable predictions about investment framework in areas like property and the title of assets. While this is an on-going process, we expect to see growth in consumer-facing sectors such as banking and residential property.

“Currently there is strong worldwide liquidity, and these markets are exactly where this type of investor will be looking for opportunities.”

With investments easier to obtain, Siller anticipates strong foreign outlay into large companies. Formerly state-run sectors such as Bulgarian utilities are to become privatised under EU legislation, which also presented private equity prospects.

“Energy distribution will be a big future theme. Pan-European or global investors will also seek yield in utilities and real estate.”

Siller also predicts the development of local stock exchanges as liquidity increases and more IPOs are offered. The exchanges would take time to reach a point of critical mass, he added.

The countries are in a very early stage of development, and Siller expects ongoing strong foreign investment and capital growth, he said.

Stan Pearson, head of European Equities at Standard Life, said he is exploring penetration into central and Eastern Europe banking, oil, building and telecom sectors.

The expansion of the EU further into central and eastern Europe and subsequent liberalisation of markets presented investment opportunities and challenges, he noted.

Bernard Moody, global emerging markets fund of fund manager at Progressive Asset Management, said Bulgaria and Romania remained on the fringes of emerging markets, despite the EU introduction.

Markets in the countries were difficult to access, although funds involved in commercial and residential real estate were of interest, he said.

Russian holdings were his top Eastern Europe asset allocation, while Asian emerging markets held more opportunity.

Meanwhile, Turkey and Croatia are expected to be the next countries to join the EU although negotiations for Turkey’s entry stalled in December following conflict with Greece.

Source: Investment Week

Friday, January 05, 2007 

UK-listed developer confident in Bulgaria

While the entry of Bulgaria into the European Union is expected to prompt an exodus of workers from the country in search of better wages, an Aim-listed property company is betting that the number of British holidaymakers heading for the slopes of the Balkan country will continue to rise.

Bulgarian Land Development today said it had bought a 56,093 sq metre site near the winter resort of Borovets, a popular destination with British skiers. It said the purchase price was £3.4m, along with a further £14 per sq metre of the total built-up area and 30pc of any gross sale proceeds over £27m.

Dimitar Savov, an executive director of BLD, said: "All the hotels [in Borovets] are full with British people. There is a strong relationship with British tourist companies."

Property prices in Bulgaria have risen as much as 30pc in the best areas over the past year, while the average increase was around 15pc, Mr Savov said.

The prospect of Bulgaria's entry into the EU, which officially happened yesterday, helped the economy expand 6.7pc in the third quarter and the country is expected to attract a record 4bn of investment this year.

BLD plans to built a resort complex of villas and apartments, covering around 50,000 sq metres, on the site where a factory currently stands.

Mr Savov added that the company was keen to target the growing Scandinavian market. "Ninety per cent of our clients up to now have been British and Irish, with 10pc Bulgarians, Romanians and Russians," he said.

Bulgaria became the latest country to join the European Union, along with Romania. The former communist country applied for EU membership in 1995 and began accession talks in 2000.

Mr Savov said: "We are going to sell apartments to our clients and they can also sign rental agreements. Fifty per cent of the clients are investors - they buy to collect rent and benefit from property prices."

BLD said the site it had bought offered access to ski runs, spa facilities and golf courses. It said the projected sales value of the project was more than £35m. Construction is due to begin at the start of 2008, with the first-phase apartments available for the 2009-10 winter season.

The company said its portfolio had a completed development value of £163m and added that it was in talks over buying further sites.

Shares in BLD were up ½p at 90p in afternoon trading.

Source: Telegraph

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