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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Privatisation in Romania; The New Cohort of Opportunists

My First Book online, download for free:

Dr Olga Lazin wants you to see a pin 'Near UCLA, with my dogs.', on

Dr Olga said:

"a cute pic with dogs in the Homlby park."

Pinterest is a place to catalog all the things you love. Join and create your own pinboards here.

- Ben and the Pinterest team

Note: This is a one-time email sent by Dr Olga
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What you need to get into UCLA: 1 Offical transcripts from college.
My requirements for a letter of recommendations:
"You are required to provide letters of recommendation from individuals who are well acquainted with your performance in a work setting, preferably from direct supervisors. If you have been working less than two years, you may include an academic recommendation in place of one that is work related. The title or position of your recommender is less important than their ability to comment knowledgeably about your managerial and professional abilities and/or potential".
The other recommendation will come from my employer who I worked for this last summer, but as you can see I can replace the other work one with an academic recommendation if you comment about my potential. Attached are 4 recommendations from my employers, so you can get an idea of my business potential and abilities in the work place. "
On ROmania:

April 16, 2012 10:19 pm, FT
Shared services: Offices in smaller cities attract IT outsourcing
By Jan Cienski in Krakow

Growth industry: the office parks of suburban Kraków are home to one of the most dynamic shared services markets in the world
Poland’s medieval capital is well known as a tourist magnet, but away from the market square, royal castle and gothic churches, the office parks of suburban Kraków are home to one of the most dynamic shared services markets in the world.
The sector provides more than 25,000 jobs and companies such as Lufthansa,Shell, Google and HSBC have set up back-office operations in the city.

These businesses are attracted by the large number of skilled and multilingual local university graduates, cheaper labour than in western Europe, and the growing availability of modern office space.
“About 80 per cent of our clients are shared service companies,” says Dorota Turska, marketing officer at Buma, a Kraków developer.
Some of the company's recent projects have been rented out to Capgemini, the consultancy, andMotorola, the US electronics group.
Andrew Hallam, general secretary of Aspire, a Polish business process outsourcing (BPO) organisation, says that the sector’s headcount is growing by about 25 per cent a year.
Putting all those people behind computers in new office parks is becoming a driver of the local real estate market in Kraków. Office stock in the city has reached 517,000 sq m, according to DTZ, the property company.
The vast majority of this is aimed at the BPO sector, which places Kraków second to Warsaw in the Polish office market.
The capital, with 3.6m sq m of office space, caters to a much broader range of clients and is becoming too expensive, due to higher labour costs (labour accounts for about 80 per cent of the operational costs of a BPO investment), low unemployment and office costs that are close to €20 per sq m in the centre of the city, compared with about €13 in Kraków.
While Kraków has been the most successful regional magnet for BPO investment – a recent ranking of the top BPO centres in the world by Tholons, the consultancy, put it in 11th place – this dynamic has been repeated around the country.
Hadley Dean, managing partner for central Europe at Colliers, the property company, estimates that about 80 per cent of the office demand in Poland's secondary cities comes from BPO investments.
This has put a premium on designing flexible open-plan office space with reinforced floors and ventilation in order to accommodate banks of servers and high-quality telecommunications links that allow workers to connect with customers and head offices in other countries.
“The demands of the companies are often very high. IBM or Infosys [the IT companies] cannot afford to rent a building that does not meet their standards,” says Waldemar Olbryk, managing director of Skanska Property Poland.
As investments have grown, vacancy rates in the most popular secondary cities have begun to fall. Kraków has a vacancy rate of 7.8 per cent, according to DTZ, but that is expected to tighten to 5-6 per cent by the end of the year; Wroclaw has a vacancy rate of only 4 per cent.
Tighter property markets as well as the hunt for untapped labour markets is beginning to push investors into cities such as Bialystok and Rzeszow in Poland's undeveloped east, says Jacek Levernes, an executive at HP, the computer maker, and head of a Polish BPO lobby group.
“There are cities beyond Wroclaw and Kraków that need a couple of benchmark investments to make the sector come alive,” he says.
BPO also plays a huge role in the office markets of other central European countries. The region captured about a fifth of new outsourcing business globally in 2010, says Tholons.
Although Prague continues to attract new shared service centres, costs are rising and more investments are beginning to spring up in Czech cities such as Brno and Ostrava.
“Capitals such as Sofia, Budapest and Bucharest are not saturated with BPO investments like Warsaw and Prague,” Mr Dean says. “[Here] you can find effective rents for under €10 per sq m, which is impossible in Warsaw and increasingly difficult in Kraków and Wroclaw.”
The vacancy rate in Budapest hovers around 20 per cent, finds a new study by Jones Lang LaSalle, the property company, and new BPO entrants continue to arrive.
In Romania, Bucharest is still the main hub for BPO investments, and has a vacancy rate of about 17 per cent.
Although central Europe faces fierce competition from Indian and Chinese cities, the region has advantages stemming from its close geographic and cultural proximity to western Europe, which should allow shared service offices to continue to grow.


Romania: struggling to privatise
April 12, 2012 by Andrew MacDowall

The abruptly cancelled privatisation of Romania’s largest copper mine is indicative of the challenges the country faces in selling off state assets. But while the process is dogged by controversy and disagreements over procedure, new momentum may be growing behind the liberalisation of state companies.
Last weekend, Reuters reported that the Romanian government had annulled the sale of Cupru Min Abrud to Canada’s Roman Copper, just a day after the Canadian company claims it had agreed to terms and conditions. Roman Copper won the tender to purchase Cupru Min for €200.8m in March. Cupru Min has estimated reserves of 900,000 tonnes of copper, 60 per cent of Romania’s total reserves, although output is low at present.
Officials said the deal foundered because agreement could not be reached on government terms added to the contract late in the process. These set conditions in three areas: transparency; swift payment; and that Roman Copper set aside more than €30m for “environmental investment”.Roman said it was willing to meet the new terms despite their late introduction. But the government said the deal was off.
Liviu Voinea, a Romanian economist, told beyondbrics the reason for cancellation was a realisation that the deal was not in Romania’s interests. He said the new terms should have been in the original tender and the country had been too willing to surrender its resources cheaply, to purchasers of dubious suitability. “The privatisation process is rotten,” he said.
The decision may also result from political pressure on an unpopular government in an election year, egged on by the economy ministry to pull the plug.
The episode has focused attention on Romania’s willingness to follow through with its privatisation programme, which has been at best intermittent over the past two decades. Backtracking on the Cupru Min deal is, as Voinea notes, further “bad marketing” for the process.
Romania pledged sell stakes in a number of state-owned companies, partly to meet loan conditions from the IMF, which has supported the cash-strapped country on the promise that it will shed some of the weight of bulky public businesses. With the Fund’s encouragement, stakes of 10 to 20 per cent in a number of enterprises, mostly in the energy and transport sectors, are due to be offered on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB).
Last year, the government botched the sale of Petrom, an oil company, by overpricing its shares. But the sale of a 15 per cent stake in electricity distribution firm Transelectrica through a secondary public offering on March 27 was more than 50 per cent oversubscribed, raising around €38m.
Lucian Anghel, chief economist at BCR, the country’s biggest bank, and recently appointed chairman of the BVB – which stands to benefit from the listing of state companies – takes an upbeat view. He told beyondbrics the Cupru Min termination could even be a sign that the government is at last making the right decisions on privatisation.
“The government is giving a sign to international markets that we are moving in the right direction,” Anghel said. “From the Transelectrica offering, the first of its kind in more than four years, it is clear that Romania is learning from its experience and finding a new way to finance its economy through the stock exchange.”
Critics remain sceptical about the benefits of part-privatisation on the BVB. “A 10 per cent share sale won’t help capitalise firms as the money will be used to reduce the deficit, and it won’t bring know-how,” says Voinea.
But Anghel is confident that public offerings will now pick up pace, with energy generation firm Hidroelectrica expected to be particularly lucrative. A new listing of Petrom is also being lined up. The offerings should bring much-needed liquidity and activity to the BVB. Anghel and (more quietly) many in the government also see them as the first step towards further privatisation when the time is right.
“We need to take a gradual approach in this economic environment, and in an election year,” Anghel says."

Tags: mining, privatisation

The new government, led by ex_FSN-istas (Ilicescu people) is trying to force the country back into its socialist path; but cannot privatise anything in the meantime.
Dr Olga Lazin


Mike Costache
CEO at Leo & Leo
I’ve known Mike since 2002 when he offered to help with the organization I founded, Blue Heron Foundation. From the very beginning Mike has shared our vision for helping orphaned and abandoned Romanian children, and over the years he has played a vital role in developing the infrastructure of the foundation and raising money for the cause. Mike helped increase the organization’s visibility and funding by organizing large fundraisers. He has demonstrated a great deal of generosity, intelligence, perseverance, business savvy, honesty and work stamina that one rarely comes across. I am very proud to be Mike’s friend and am for ever grateful for the priceless contributions he brought to the organization and ultimately to the disadvantaged kids we help.

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