RECENT NEWS  Jan 18  Comment 
SOFIA (dpa-AFX) - Bulgaria's current account deficit increased in November from a year ago, preliminary figures from the Bulgarian National Bank showed Monday. The current account deficit widened notably to EUR 289.7 million in November from...  Jan 15  Comment 
SOFIA (dpa-AFX) - Bulgaria's money supply growth slowed at the end of the year, after accelerating sharply in the previous month, figures from the Bulgarian National Bank showed Tuesday. M3, the broad measure of money supply, climbed at a...  Jan 14  Comment 
SOFIA (dpa-AFX) - Bulgaria's consumer prices decreased at a stable pace in December, figures from the National Institute of Statistics showed Thursday. The consumer price index fell 0.4 percent year-over-year in December, the same rate of...
New York Times  Jan 10  Comment 
A police raid in Bulgaria was heralded as a rare success against the trafficking of antiquities, but it also highlighted the barriers officials face.
New York Times  Jan 9  Comment 
A police raid in Bulgaria was heralded as a rare success against the trafficking of antiquities, but it also highlighted the barriers officials face.
Forbes  Jan 8  Comment 
It’s not often on your travels that your daily anticipation of that Five O’Clock hour can stretch out for a week. But on your Danube river journey on the Viking River Cruises Longship Embla a new environment unfolds every evening as you make...
Reuters  Jan 6  Comment 
Bulgaria's state energy regulator launched emergency checks into private company Overgas on Wednesday amid a deepening row over gas supply, sparked when Russian gas exporter Gazprom suddenly halted supplies to Overgas on January 1.  Dec 17  Comment 
SOFIA (dpa-AFX) - Bulgaria's current account deficit narrowed in October from a year ago, preliminary figures from the Bulgarian National Bank showed Thursday. The current account deficit fell to EUR 68 million in October from EUR...
Reuters  Dec 11  Comment 
Bulgaria started test trading on Friday at its new day-ahead power exchange, which will become operational next month and help liberalise the country's energy market and make it more transparent.
Reuters  Dec 10  Comment 
European Union antitrust regulators accepted on Thursday an offer from state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) to open up the country's wholesale electricity market.


Bulgaria, the world's 74th largest country by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) joined the European Union on June 1, 2007.[1] Bulgaria's currency is the Bulgarian Lev (BGN), which was exchanged at 1.3 Lev per U.S. Dollar (USD) in 2008.[1] Since 2004, Bulgaria's economy has averaged more than 6% annual growth, attracting significant amounts of new foreign direct investment investment.[1] Between 2004 and 2008, foreign direct investment grew by 19.6% driven primarily by increased investments in Bulgaria's Real Estate, Energy, and Manufacturing sectors.[2][3]

Bulgaria's agriculture, industry, and services sectors account for 4.6%, 28.7%, and 66.7% of its GDP, respectively.[1] Bulgaria's primary agricultural crops include wheat, corn, barley, sugar beats, sunflowers and various fruits.[1] The country's dominant industries are Mining and Energy. Bulgaria's abundant natural resources like copper, lead, zinc, and coal are Bulgaria's main exports, accounting for 11.4% of Bulgaria's exports in 2008.[3] Additionally, over 40% of Bulgaria's energy is generated from coal.[4] Bulgaria's energy production industry accounts for 18.2% of the country's overall industrial GDP as its Southeast Europe's primary exporter of electricity.[5] Bulgaria's services sector is mainly comprised of financial services and tourism.[5] In particular, Bulgaria's natural landscapes attract almost 6 million visitors annually which contribute significantly to Bulgaria's economic growth.[6]

However, corruption in Bulgaria's public administration and the presence of organized crime remain challenges to Bulgaria's economic development.[1] Furthermore, Bulgaria's relatively high inflation rate (7.8% in 2008) and dependence on foreign direct investment impedes its economic growth.[1]

Major Bulgarian Companies


  • Zarneni hrani Bulgaria AD is an agribusiness company that operates throughout the farmer-user food chain, selling seeds, fertilizers and other farming services as well as manufacturing biofuels.[7]
  • Bulgartabac Holding AD manages and finances a variety of companies across the Tobacco industry including the cultivation and processing of tobacco and manufacturing of cigarettes.[8]
  • Mekom AD is a food processing company that specializes in the production of livestock.[9]





Real Estate


Stock Exchange

The Bulgarian Stock Exchange or Sofia had a market capitalization of BGN 12.46 billion at the end of 2008, down 57% from a year earlier because of the global economic downturn.[22]

Trends and Forces

Cheap, Well-Educated Labor and Bargain Real Estate Provide Investment Advantages

Bulgaria's cheap labor and resources, coupled with favorable corporate tax rates render Bulgaria as somewhat of an investment haven. The average Bulgarian monthly salary is $165, compared to the EU average of $2,396.[23] Additionally, Bulgarians spend 14 years on average in school and 98.2% of the country's population is literate.[23] This cheap, well-educated labor helps minimize companies' labor costs without compromising the education and productivity of its employees. Furthermore, Bulgaria's corporate tax rate reaches 0% in some regions, maintaining higher profit margins for firms.[23]

Bulgaria's Heavy Dependence on Foreign Direct Investment Jeopardizes Economic Growth

Because of its reliance on foreign investment to foster economic growth, Bulgaria's economy is vulnerable to any downturns in the global economy that would reduce lending. In 2008, foreign investments accounted for 18% of Bulgaria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), ranking highest in the European Union in amount of foreign investments as share of GDP[24] In January 2009 foreign direct investments dropped 37% from a year earlier because of credit constraints associated with the 2008 Financial Crisis.[25] In particular, foreign investment in Bulgaria's Real Estate industry declined 66% in January 2009.[25] Stoyan Stalev, chief of Bulgaria's association of investments expects that the global financial crisis may reduce foreign direct investment in Bulgaria by up to 50% in 2009.[26] As a result, The Economist believes that Bulgaria's GDP growth will decrease by 3.8% during the year.[3]

Compounding Bulgaria's investment woes is its large Current account deficit- in 2008, Bulgaria's current-account deficit totaled $11.7 billion or 23.4% of GDP, up from 22% of GDP in 2007.[3] A high current-account deficit is bad for Bulgaria because it exacerbates their preexisting financial needs and may decrease foreign investor confidence. However, the 2008 Financial Crisis has reduced imports to Bulgaria and as a result, Bulgaria's current-account deficit has decreased as well- in 2009 the IMF expects that Bulgaria's deficit will shrink to 13.9% of GDP.[3]

High Corruption Rates Stifle Investment and Economic Growth in Bulgaria

Bulgaria's corruption issues throughout its judicial and financial institutions continue to impede its economic growth. Significant amounts of foreign aid and investment is lost or stolen each year due to corruption and fraud.[3] For example, 54% of respondents in a 2009 Transparency International survey indicated their beliefs that Bulgarian businesses pay bribes to secure favorable legislative decisions.[27] Because of these issues, the European Commission froze €800 million or about $1.1 billion in aid in 2009, with options of canceling the aid entirely.[28]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 CIA Bulgaria World Factbook
  2. "Bulgaria's FDI expected to grow 10 per cent - State Investment Agency"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Bulgaria Fact Sheet
  4. "Bulgaria Mining Report 2008"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wikipedia: Industry of Bulgaria
  6. Wikipedia:Tourism in Bulgaria
  7. Zarneni hrani Bulgaria AD Google Finance Page
  8. Bulgartabac Holding AD Google Finance Page
  9. Mekom AD Google Finance Page
  10. Bulgarian Telecommunications Company Google Finance Page
  11. Petrol AD Google Finance Page
  12. Evrohold Bulgaria AD Google Finance Page
  13. CB First Investment Bank AD Google Finance Page
  14. Sopharma Google Finance Page
  15. Druzhba Staklarski Zavodi Google Finance Page
  16. Monbat AD Google Finance Page
  17. Pirinhart Google Finance Page
  18. Euroterra Bulgaria AD Google Finance Page
  19. Investment Properties ADSITS Google Finance Page
  20. Albena AD Google Finance Page
  21. Pamporovo AD Smolyan Google Finance Page
  22. Sofia 2008 Annual Report, pg. 13
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2
  24. "Bulgaria FDIs Tower to 7% of GDP, Europe's Highest"
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Bulgaria: FDI decrease dramatically" 3/16/2009
  26. "Foreign investments in Bulgaria might drop down with 50%" 5/27/2009
  27. "Transparency International: Bulgaria Still with High Corruption" 6/3/2009
  28. "Bulgarian rhapsody" 5/14/2009

Companies in the Investing in Bulgaria Industry (413)

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