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320. Demand for Black Sea apartments plummets

Frog News: 2008-12-09

Supply of vacation properties in Golden Sands is 7.3 times lower than in Sunny Beach. 380 vacation apartments in GS are for sale according to www.imot.bg. This is 200 less than in May this year. One-bedroom apartments in Sunny Beach range from EUR 1167 to 3991 per sq. m. The lowest price - BGN 49 000 is that of a 42 sq. m property. A luxury one-bedroom apartment with a seaside view (64 sq. m) costs EUR 255 440. On average, the prices of one-bedroom apartments in this resort increased by 8% in the last 6 months. Two-bedroom apartments in Sunny Beach range from EUR 669 t? 3977 per sq. m. The lowest price is of a furnished apartment (65 sq. m) EUR 43 500 ????. The most expensive in this segment is EUR 290 320. Three-bedroom apartments in Golden Sands rose by 18% in 6 months. Offers range from EUR 1000 t? 2500 per sq. m. The cheapest is a suite in a hotel with security - EUR 92 000. The most expensive property EUR 310 000 is located in the Sirena complex. Two-bedroom apartments in the resort north of Varna increased by on?-tenth on average in the last 6 months. Offers range from EUR 707 t? 2500 per sq. m. Brokers report that clients from England and Ireland, who bought many properties up until 1-2 years ago, are now selling, whereas clients from Russia are not investing in Bulgarian properties on a mass scale.

319. December 8 -National Students Day

News BG: 2008-12-08

It's the students' holiday in Bulgaria today.

December 8th first started being celebrated in 1903, on occasion of the 15th anniversary of Sofia University and became the holiday of all students in Bulgaria.

It has been abolished in 1944 and replaced with November 17, when the International Students' day is celebrated.

It was restored in 1962.

Bulgarian Orthodox Church commemorates St. Kliment Ohridski, one of the patrons of the Bulgarian Higher Education, BNR reminds.

Bulgaria's minister of Education and Science Daniel Valchev will take part in the awards ceremony "Student of the Year".

A strange coincidence is that today, two of the greatest revolutionaries in rock music, considered role-models of all students in the world, John Lennon and Jim Morrison, is the day of the death of the first and the birth of the second.

Happy 8th to all students in Bulgaria!

318. Winter security police deploys around resorts

Sofia Echo: 2008-12-08

In light of the new winter season, which was inaugurated last week in Bansko and the anticipated massive influx of tourists, foreign and domestic, 108 police officers will be deployed to winter resorts to maintain order, as stated by police commissioner Tomi Iliev, head of the protection police directorate at the Interior Ministry.

To ensure public order and to fight crime, hooliganism, rowdy behavior, drunkenness and prevent general social disorder, the police will be patrolling Bansko between December 1 2008 and March 31 2009, and a further 60 policemen will be dispatched to Pernik, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. Those forces will collaborate with the local police and the transport police.

In other winter tourist destinations such as Vitosha in Sofia, Pamporovo and Kyustendil, police numbers will also be increased. The security operation will be funded by the local municipalities.

This tactic is not new - during the summer, additional police units are dispatched to summer resorts in the interior of the country, as well as destinations around the Black Sea coast which do not have the resources to raise such forces themselves. The strong presence of the police in such resorts is meant to act as a deterrent and provide people with a sense of security and reassurance, and it does not necessarily entail that violence or disorder is expected to occur.

317. Britain's ZBS plans 200M euro investment in Bulgaria

Wise Property: 2008-12-07

British-Bulgarian investment company ZBS, which is working on its first open-air mall in Bulgaria in the city of Bourgas, is considering investments of a total 200 million euro in Bulgaria, according to managing director David Coward, quoted by website investor.bg.

Such projects will be build in the regional urban centres where there is still not a lot of competition. Bourgas, Haskovo and Pazardjik are some of the town where the company is aiming to invest heavily.

Regarding the 30 million euro mall in Bourgas, Coward said that part of the funds has already been secured. The company will also rely on bank financing for 60 to 65 per cent of the total sum. Currently, ZBS is in talks with a Bulgarian company that would eventually acquire management of the mall, which will have an estimated catchment area 300 000 clients. The construction company that would build the mall, however, is yet to be selected.

Coward insisted that the current economic crisis was a blessing in disguise for developers, making construction companies more willing to accept flexible and convenient contracts, as quoted by investor.bg.

In terms of a possible construction in Bulgaria's main urban centres like Sofia and Varna, Coward said that there are far too many planned projects in those cities, while land prices were far too high and not always strategically convenient. Bourgas, on the other hand, was geographically restrained from the sea which surrounds the town, and there were not too many opportunities of expanding the territory of the local market.

Coward was positive on the future forecast for the economic growth and development of Bulgaria, quoting research by consultancy firm King Sturge, according to which, Bulgaria is in the top 10 European Union countries with a projected large growth for the small and medium sized businesses. Bulgarians as a whole were expected to be spending 18 billion euro more in 2018 that they currently are.

316. Its Saint Nikolas Day

Focus: 2008-12-06

Sofia. On December 6, Bulgaria celebrates Day of Saint Nicholas (the Miracle Worker) the protector of sailors, travelers and bankers.

St. Nikolas is known for all his sea miracles for saving ships and sailors from wrecks.

Bulgarians honor St. Nikolas as one of the six brother saints, who divided the world the sky, the earth, and the oceans. St. Nikolas was given the water.

St. Nikolas has been always honored as the master of the rivers, seas and sea winds, as he has the power to shake the sea, to stop the winds. Walking over the seas, St. Nikolas is looking for ships in danger, which he saves, Iglika Mishkova, ethnologist and head of the Ethnographic Museum with the Bulgarian Academy of Science, f said or FOCUS News Agency.

On December 6, all Bulgarians celebrate St. Nikolas Day. By tradition, on this day every family has to offer a sacrifice a carp fish.

315. The streets in Sunny Beach will be private

Frog News: 2008-12-04

According to Malina Stratieva, director of the shareholders association managing the resort, it is time to sell the streets. This will be achieved via open bidding or a tender. However, not everyone agrees.

The mayor of Nessebar municipality, of which the resort is a part, insists that the amount of BGN 46 million (the value of the streets and infrastructure in the resort) be invested in a new City Hall building. A lot of revenues from Sunny Beach flow into Nessebars budget, which merits special care for this so very important part of the tourism sector infrastructure. The sector expects hard times a world financial crisis and concomitant recession demanding full mobilization of all means and resources to sustain SB as a world-famous resort, loved by Bulgarians and foreigners alike. Nessebar itself is incredible and unique, the Ancient City is a world heritage site, but without SB is would not attract that much interest and respectively proceeds from tourism. But the mayor keeps pushing and even asks reporters, Can there be such a thing as private streets? Actually there can and there are such all over the world, even in Bulgaria. For example, private investors built streets in front of their hotels in Pamporovo ski resort. They were compelled by the lack of infrastructure and the governments negligence.

314. Development bank says ready to give first credit lines

Sofia Echo: 2008-12-03

Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB) was ready to give credit lines for a total 100 million leva to Bulgarian lenders to prop small and medium-sized businesses in the country by the end of the year, bank officials said on December 2 2008, as quoted by Dnevnik daily.

The last state-owned lender, whose name was changed earlier in the year, is envisioned to play a bigger role as the Cabinet looks to minimise the impact of the global financial crisis on the Bulgarian economy.

To that end, the Government has already approved boosting the lender's equity by 100 million leva, which BDB can now extend as credit lines to other banks in the country. The funds are the first tranche of a 500 million leva re-financing package for BDB, previously known as the Encouragement Bank, voted by the Cabinet in November.

BDB will give credit lines of up to 10 million leva each, with 17 Bulgarian banks bidding for them. To get one, the banks must not use the funds to re-finance loans received from parent banks and must vow not to issue their profit as dividend, instead using it to boost equity.

The loans that the banks will then give out to end-users will be of up to one million euro and have a maturity of up to 10 years with up to three years grace period, charging an interest rate of four points above the six-month Euribor interbank interest rate, Dnevnik quoted BDB executive director Angel Gekov as saying.

The goal is to give small and medium-sized businesses access to cheap loans but only if they are used for investment purposes, boosting exports or as co-financing for projects contracted to receive EU structural funds.

313. Udo rocks in Kavarna on New Years

Frog News: 2008-12-02

The singer who has said he is disgusted by shows like Big Brother and dirty politicians in many interviews shared that Bush inspired him to write one of the songs on his latest album.

The emblematic Udo Dirkschneider, lead singer and founder of the legendary U.D.O. and Accept, promised to crush fans in Bulgarias rock capital Kavarna on New Years. The band will perform its greatest hits and songs off their latest (14th) album Mastercutor. Through his music Udo makes a statement against drugs and sexual violence, which he calls, things that are part of the mutation of the world, which we sadly live in.

312. German DEGI puts Mall of Sofia deal on the back burner

Wise Property: 2008-12-01

German property investment firm DEGI has postponed the purchase of Mall of Sofia, SeeNews Corporate Wire reported, quoting company information. The hazy financial environment has prompted the company to put off the deal until first-quarter 2008.

The news that DEGI was preparing to acquire Sofias flagship big-box shopping centre was broken by the anti-trust commission in early October. The regulator was to have a say on the deal.

"Due to the current market situation we are postponing the acquisition and we are planning to start again next year, in the first quarter," a company representative told SeeNews on condition of anonymity.

Mall of Sofia was built by Israeli companies Ocif and Aviv, which in 2006 sold it on for 90 million euro to Irish real estate and investment advisory group Quinlan Private and commercial investor GE Real Estate Central & Eastern Europe, part of General Electric.

The shopping mall is perched on the corner of the capitals Alexander Stamboliiski Boulevard and Opulchenska Street. It has a footprint of 73 000 sq m. All 130 outlets have been let out to big global brands at monthly rents of 30 to 60 euro a sq m. The complex boasts Bulgarias first 3D cinema and has 12 other cinema halls and five office floors.

311. Greek resort village near Bansko

News BG: 2008-11-30

A luxury village will be built in the Bansko surrounding area by Greek investors.

The project will cost ?300 mln and will include 650 houses, hotel with 320 rooms, spa centre, two golf grounds and a DownTown.

The village is ten minutes away from the town and has to be built until 2009.

Four Greek citizens already purchased estates in the village.

Around 65 % of the houses were sold beforehand to investors from Russia, the UK and Germany.

In Bansko many businessmen are building, their investments amounting of more than ?20 mln.

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