The Bulgarian capital market has been suffering from very low investors' activity since the start of the crisis, which naturally results in low overall liquidity. The outflow of foreign investors marked the start of the crisis and their return perhaps will mark the turning point in the recovery. The overall stock market performance remained weak throughout the year and far under the levels of the pre-crisis period.
The year ended with the successful privatization of the 33% state-owned stake in the electricity distribution company EVN through the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. The sale of the state–owned stakes in the other two electricity distribution companies, E.ON and CEZ, and their listing on the Exchange are expected to be finalised by end-June of the current year.
Improvement in the corporate governance quality of local public companies will be among the main priorities of BSE-Sofia in 2012. Recent changes in the Exchange rules set additional requirements to the companies listed on the highest Exchange segment, Premium. Effective as from March 1 all Premium companies will be obliged to disclose regulated information to the public, both in Bulgarian and English. In addition, issuers that do not disclose regulated information according to the terms specified will be periodically transferred to the Bulgarian Alternative Stock Market, BaSE.
Further efforts will also be put into attracting new issuers and investors, as well as introducing new financial instruments. All these are ongoing commitments by the BSE-Sofia management that are laid out in the 2-year BSE-Sofia development strategy till the end of 2012. In addition, negotiations are expected to start with potential strategic partners that are interested in acquiring the 50% controlling government stake in the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.
Bulgarian Stock Exchange has always put significant efforts to develop the regional co-operation among stock exchanges in Southeast Europe. In 2012 the Exchange will continue to promote new forms of interaction and common initiatives with the neighboring exchanges that will make the regional market more visible on the global investment map.