Chimimport’s long-term development technique contains strategic joint ventures with main worldwide corporations in varied sectors
Interview with: Ivo Kamenov, Executive Director and Member of the Management Board, Chimimport
March 31, 2020
Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007; since then, its economic destiny has been inextricably tied to the bloc. The Balkan nation has exhibited sturdy development in that point, however challenges stay – significantly regarding productiveness. What’s extra, progress in Bulgaria has usually been stunted by political uncertainty, with main parliamentary figures torn between enhancing relations with Brussels or Russia.
Still, Bulgaria has had many successes. Last 12 months’s economic development was forecast at 3.6 p.c, up from 3.1 p.c in 2018. Bulgaria is additionally residence to modern corporations like Chimimport, a holding firm that operates throughout a number of sectors. World Finance spoke to the agency’s govt director, Ivo Kamenov, in regards to the position his firm is set to play in Bulgaria’s economic development.
What is the state of the inventory market in Bulgaria and South-East Europe typically?
Having suffered a number of political setbacks because the world monetary disaster of 2008, Bulgaria’s inventory market has solely simply began to get well. While there are new investments out there and corporations need to enter the market, many steps must be taken to additional development. Notably, main worldwide gamers are but to affix the Bulgarian market. This should change if Bulgaria is to draw worldwide traders who can carry know-how and contemporary assets to the nation.
Investing in human capital and know-how is key to making a sustainable enterprise mode
Market tendencies in South-East Europe sometimes observe world ones, albeit on a smaller scale. The resolution to retain zero or near-zero rates of interest by central banks and the extraordinarily low – typically unfavourable – yields of presidency securities has compelled many traders to redirect assets in the direction of capital markets in pursuit of returns. The most outstanding industries throughout the inventory markets in the area are manufacturing, monetary providers, inexperienced power funding and IT.
It’s additionally price noting that public corporations in South-East Europe face quite a few challenges, together with the instability of the Greek and Turkish economies, the combination of nations from the Balkan Peninsula into the EU and the continuing warfare in Syria. Brexit is one other main problem – not solely as a result of the UK was one of many EU’s main economies, but in addition on account of the paradox surrounding any future commerce settlement with the bloc.
How is the state of Bulgaria’s financial system affecting the development of its personal companies?
Overall, the Bulgarian financial system is steady and the macroeconomic indicators are good – all of which creates a beneficial setting for the development of personal enterprise.
However, the state of the Bulgarian financial system nonetheless very a lot is dependent upon the conditions of the main economies in the EU and people neighbouring the bloc. According to Trading Economics, roughly 78 p.c of Bulgarian exports are delivered to Europe, with the bulk going to Germany, Italy, Romania, Greece, Turkey, France, Belgium and the Netherlands (see Fig 1). A lower in these nations’ imports would have an effect on Bulgaria.
Which sectors of the Bulgarian financial system does Chimimport help?
In its 70-year-plus existence, Chimimport has grown from a profitable overseas commerce agency, specialising in the commerce of chemical merchandise, right into a large-scale holding firm that brings collectively practically 70 subsidiaries and associates. We help the monetary providers, transport, building, manufacturing, commerce and actual property sectors by investing in and growing corporations in these areas.
Chimimport – together with its subsidiaries – is usually recognised by prestigious rankings that element the best-performing corporations in Central and South-East Europe. Chimimport’s acquisitions of Central Cooperative Bank and Armeec Insurance are amongst these which have been celebrated in such a means.
What is your prognosis for Bulgaria’s financial system in the approaching years and what position do you see Chimimport enjoying?
Providing there are not any shocks in the world financial system, nor in the main economies of the EU, I anticipate the Bulgarian financial system to develop steadily in the approaching years. The similar applies to the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. Chimimport – along with its subsidiary, Central Cooperative Bank – is among the many most liquid corporations on the inventory change and can invariably proceed to contribute to the development of the capital market in Bulgaria.
Further, I feel changing into part of the eurozone would play a constructive position in the development of the Bulgarian financial system, so it is little marvel the federal government is working to make that occur in the approaching years. Such a transfer would encourage overseas traders to enter Bulgaria’s financial system and capital market.
How does Chimimport give again to the area people?
Developing profitable corporations in main sectors of the Bulgarian financial system and investing in human capital are maybe Chimimport’s best social missions. And that is with out even mentioning the various company social accountability (CSR) tasks we feature out.
There is little doubt that investing in human assets yields the best returns. That is why we’re engaged on varied CSR tasks in the training sector, together with the supply of scholarships to among the finest enterprise universities in Bulgaria, the Higher School of Insurance and Finance. We additionally hope to open a faculty for pilots and aviation engineers in the close future.
Outside of training, now we have been supporting Bulgarian sport for a few years, sponsoring the organisation of prestigious worldwide competitions. As chairman of the Kyokushin World Union’s International Professional League and the National Martial Arts Association – the one fight sports activities organisation accredited by the Bulgarian Ministry of Youth and Sports – I goal to carry the unique guidelines of one of many world’s oldest martial arts, Kyokushin, again to life. The philosophy of Kyokushin and the self-discipline it imparts might be basic to anybody’s development.
What tasks does the corporate at present have in the pipeline?
The tasks we maintain are as various and assorted as our portfolio. In each sector that we develop, we create and implement improvements. In the monetary sphere, for instance, we attempt to offer a full vary of providers to our shoppers, investing in the creation of fully new merchandise. Further, public belief in the corporate is excessive, as we handle established names throughout banking, insurance coverage, pension and mutual fund administration, receivables securitisation and extra.
In the transport sector, we develop aviation, river and maritime tasks – once more, providing a full vary of providers. In aviation, these embody concessions on the Varna and Burgas airports, plane floor dealing with, plane restore and upkeep, and far more. In the sector of river and sea transport, we offer ship restore, the concession of ports (together with these in Varna, Balchik, Ruse and Vidin) and the servicing of crusing vessels.
Chimimport holds a number one place in the commerce and manufacturing sectors too, assembly EU requirements. The group produces, processes and trades petroleum merchandise, pure fuel, cereals, vegetable oils and biofuels. Our building tasks, in the meantime, deal with civil engineering, transport design, constructing inspection and venture administration. A rising portfolio of actual property dietary supplements this a part of our enterprise.
Ultimately, we goal to supply a full vary of providers in each section of our enterprise, offering high-quality merchandise that give Chimimport a aggressive edge.
What is Chimimport’s development technique transferring ahead?
Investing in human capital and know-how is key to making a sustainable enterprise mannequin – many companies have underestimated this over time and at the moment are experiencing nice difficulties because of this.
At Chimimport, we perceive the significance of sustainability. Our long-term development technique contains strategic joint ventures with main worldwide corporations in varied sectors, establishing franchise partnerships with main worldwide manufacturers, managing and sustaining steady and sustainable money flows, and enhancing individuals’s caliber of life in Bulgaria.