Romania courts Scots investment managers

Romania's capital Bucharest is being touted as a good financial centre. Picture: Getty
Romania's capital Bucharest is being touted as a good financial centre. Picture: Getty
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EDINBURGH investment managers are being courted by the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) as it seeks to establish Romania as an emerging market destination for funds.

Ludwik Sobolewski, chief executive of the BSE, was in the Scottish capital last week to promote the up-and-coming financial centre to the city’s world-renowned asset management industry.

He said that with an active privatisation programme and an emergent financial industry, the country is following in the footsteps of Poland in becoming a hub for investment in the former Eastern Bloc.

“We want to make people aware that Romania is a promising investment territory,” he said.

“Romania has one of the highest GDP growth rates in the EU and it is a country where things are really happening in terms of privatisations and development of the financial sector.”

Sobolewski himself has already played a part in developing central eastern Europe as a financial entity – he was lured to Bucharest in 2013 from the Warsaw Stock Exchange, which under his leadership had established itself as the main destination for foreign investment in the region.

He is following a similar path in Romania, launching a junior market to encourage smaller companies to float, while also catering for the large former state monopolies being offloaded by the government.

Sobolewski is also hoping to repeat his success from Warsaw by making Bucharest a regional financial hub.

Although the term “emerging market” is often associated with Asia and Latin America, in the parlance of financial analysts Romania has a lower status still, as a “frontier” market.

Sobolewski’s latest tour is aimed at changing that, and he hopes that “very soon” analysts will change their classification and Romania will see “a massive influx of new money” as it comes onto the radar of emerging market funds.

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