According to the British magazine Gas Vehicle Report, Bulgaria is the country with the highest number of cars and busses which use natural gas instead of petrol. This year the number of such vehicles has exceeded 45 000. The number of the CNG stations have increased to 31, while in Sofia alone there are not few than 16.
Archive for August 2008
Despite the new Law for the Black Sea Shore which came into effect in January of this year, the developers have found a way to continue building right on sea shore. They call their buildings apartment complexes instead of hotels. However, because of the new restrictions for the height of hotels on the shore and for their size – the height of a hotel should not exceeding 7.5 metres which in reality is two or three floors – it is expected that investments in such hotels will not have a good return. The investors have switched to building villas and have ignored the warnings of the experts for a property slump.
Almost 400 hotels on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast are for sale, according to Colliers. In the last year only, 20 000 new apartments have appeared on the market, while at the moment another 12 000 are in the process of construction. Half of the apartments for sale are secondary market. However, the deals with holiday apartments have decreased by 40% in comparison to last year.
More than 97 Bulgarians have drawn loans exceeding 1 million Bulgarian levs, they owe 153.1 million levs to the banks, or in other terms, on average each one of them owes 1.56 million levs. Generally, the individual borrowing in the country has increased, according to the Bulgarian National Bank. The average personal loan is 5841.42 levs, which is an increase of 1139 levs in comparison to 2007. The size of the most of the personal loans does not exceed 10 000 levs. 2.46 million personal loans totaling 4.71 billion levs have been lent. Although these are as much as 88.4% of all loans, in terms of money, they are only 29% of the total amount of the loans measured in levs. The concentration of the credits is between 10 000 and 250 000 levs. In this price bracket the number of the loans is 320 000 but their volume in levs is 10.43 billion which is 64.1% of the total amount of all personal loans. The tendency shows that within a few years time the amount of the personal loans will exceed the company loans in Bulgarian.
The construction of Struma Highway will cost about 1 billion Euros and its completion has been planned for 2020. Initially, the 160 km long highway connection between Sofia and Thessaloniki had to be completed in 2004. Until recently it was considered that the project would cost 600 million Euros and this amount has been provided to Bulgaria from the cohesion fund of the EU. However, the Ministry of Environment and Water has calculated that in order to secure the necessary protection of the rare species of animals who live along the Struma river, another 200 million Euros will be required. As result the Council of Ministers has included the final completion of the Struma Highway in the financial plans for 2020. When the highway will be completed it will take only one and a half hours to take the distance from Sofia to Thessaloniki.