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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.

310. Ancient city of Nessebar celebrates 25-year anniversary as cultural monument

Frog News: 2008-11-29

Nessebar celebrates its 25-year anniversary as an UNESCO World heritage site with official concerts, processions and exhibitions. It was declared a heritage site in 1983. The festivities will continue for three days December 6, 7 and 8 with an exciting diverse program organized by Nessebar municipality. Nessebar has been the only Bulgarian town that is a world heritage site since 25 years and we should celebrate the occasion, said Nessebar mayor Nikolay Dimitrov at a press conference. The festivities will be dedicated to the residents of the museum city, who have come to realize that not only is the city unique; its monuments require special care and preservation. On December 7 the museum will be open until late so that visitors can see the latest archaeological discoveries. Some of them are worthy to be featured in any world-famous museum. Most of the items are still undergoing restoration. Some of them will be part of a national exhibit, which opens at the National History Museum in Sofia on December 19.

309. Biggest solar energy plant in SE Europe opens in Bulgaria

News BG: 2008-11-28

A photovoltaic park with installed power of 1 Mwp was built by the Bulgarian enterprise InterSol in the regions of Paunovo village, Ihtiman municipality, informed the company investor.

The solar facility is the biggest of its kind not only in Bulgaria but in Southeast Europe. The energy plant is situated at an area of 45 decares on which over 13 thousand slim thin layer amorphous silicon solar modules, produced by Japanese company.

The thin layer modules secure maximum productivity during the summer season and can absorb the diffused light in the winter explains the manager of SunSevice, the company which conducted the construction and assembly works.

The Bulgarian SunService used the services of the German IBC Solar AG as a consultant. For the whole project, which was completed within a year, less than 4 million euro have been invested. Two thirds of the money have been secured through a bank loan. The main part of the bank crediting is a loan from a credit line for energy efficiency of the European bank for reconstruction and development.

The new electric plant saves 900 tones carbon emissions, which would have been emitted in the atmosphere provided raw fuel materials were used. The electricity productivity of the new solar plant near Ihtiman will equal at least 1 250 Mwh/MWp.

Ventseslav Petrov, chairman of the board of directors in InterSol and executive director of Advance Equity Holding explains that the leading motif in the investment is the construction of a modern and effective installation which to reimburse the invested in it resources in a fast way.

308. Property rentals soar in major Bulgarian cities

Wise Property: 2008-11-26

Bulgaria's four biggest cities - Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas - have see a significant shift in the trends of the real estate sector, in particular the growing interest in property rental, data from real estate agency Address showed on November 24.

The double digit increase on the market in 2008 has been credited to the sharp demand of property rentals, as a consequence of the global financial crisis and the subsequent decline in demand for purchase of single family homes, flats or planned unit developments.

Address Real Estate's research showed that between January and October, the major trend in the real estate market was shifting towards rentals, observing a significant growth of 12 per cent in the market for the last three quarters.

The largest interest is aimed at two-room flats, where the demand has increased by over 14 per cent, which has come at the expense for single-room flats or studios, which have registered a cooling off with a six per cent drop in demand, mainly because rental prices were very close to those charged for two-room apartments.

Three-room flats are also on the up, recording a three per cent raise.

Nationwide, amongst the four largest cities in Bulgaria, in the port town of Varna the increase has been the steepest, followed by Sofia, Plovdiv and Bourgas, Address Real Estate said, as quoted by Focus news agency.

Rental demand in Varna was 13 per cent on the up for the first three quarters. compared to the eight per cent figure recorded in Sofia. The biggest demand in the capital is gravitating towards the Sofia centre, and the neighbourhood of Lozenetz, as well as the large residential boroughs of Mladost and Lulin.

Bourgas rated last in the table with 5.43 per cent increase, the cheapest rate of all major towns in Bulgaria.

The data showed that prospective clients were generally unconcerned whether the flat was in a newly constructed building or in a relatively old one. The main factors in making their decision is whether the flat has undergone recent refurbishment and whether it has the necessary appliances. Tenants generally are reluctant to be burdened with refurbishing the flat themselves, whereas prospective buyers are keen on making the choices themselves and having the flat built custom.

Fully-furnished apartments are generally of older construction and on average command higher prices. New construction on the other hand, is exactly that brand-new flats with no furniture or electric appliances.

307. Demand for real estate properties in Bansko ski resort plummets

Frog News: 2008-11-25

So far 197 construction licenses have been issued in Bansko, which is twice as low as last year. Data of brokers indicates that most plots appropriate for construction of properties or hotels have been sold and over 80% have been built up. It emerged that demand for properties in the ski resort has leveled off. This is due to the global economy crisis, experts maintain. The property market in the biggest nearby town, Blagoevgrad, is not what it was 2-3 years ago. In 2003 there was a boom of investments in Bansko. At the time huge sums were invested in agricultural plots lacking infrastructure. Over time things changed. Things are going in the direction of a normal market, not lack of one, brokers assure. Properties in the process of construction are being finished; there are no abandoned construction sites. Bansko district administration informs that the infrastructure in the resort is undergoing development.

306. Sunny Beach resort to sell its infrastructure

Frog News: 2008-11-24

SB AD will part with its last property streets, alleyways, canals and parks, reported Malina Stratieva, executive director of the resort. The sale should be finalized by the end of this year. Nessebar municipality offered to buy the infrastructure, which is valued at BGN 47 million without VAT. If no sale agreement is reached by the end of the year the infrastructure will be sold to a private company, which happened in Golden Sands resort. Sunny Beach offered to pay the sum in installments over six years. The negotiations with Nessebar municipality have been ongoing for more than a year and a half, but no agreement on the price has been reached.

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