Stuck in the middle – CEE advisers buffeted from pressures from east and west

Flanked by a volatile Russia to the east and a struggling eurozone in the west, the prospects for short-term success in central and eastern Europe look uncertain. However, many international and domestic firms in the region are building for the future.

On a Sunday night in mid-November last year, people gathered on the streets of Bucharest in their thousands to celebrate the choice of Klaus Iohannis as Romania’s next president; a liberal thinker and the first person from the country’s ethnic German Protestant minority to be elected. With a voting turnout of 62%, the highest in 14 years, Iohannis’s appointment was considered a surprise for this conservative, majority-Eastern Orthodox country.

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Breaking new ground – advisers hope shale revolution can restart CEE market

Weighed down by political unrest and slowing economies, energy and infra projects look like one area to be driving the CEE economy. Can the shale revolution power up the market?

While most of central and eastern Europe (CEE) predictably remains in recovery mode from the global financial crisis, the buoyant energy sector has led to a steady stream of foreign investment and some prized mandates for law firms active in the region.

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Central and eastern Europe: CEE the light

It’s been a turbulent time for the Central and Eastern European markets but bright spots such as Poland, Romania and Turkey ensure that the region remains an important investment destination

The most recent global deal statistics have shown that the outlook remains pretty dark for the world’s emerging markets. According to figures published by mergermarket, the value of emerging markets deals plummeted by 24.1% in the first three quarters of a2012, down from $386.8bn in 2011 to $293.5bn. Significantly, it’s not simply a result of a drop in worldwide deals. Instead, it seems that investors are specifically turning away from these jurisdictions; emerging markets accounted for 23.5% of deals in 2011, but in the first three quarters of 2012 that fell to 15.8%.

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CEE – Generating Growth

Project work continues to be a dominant driver of CEE deal flow but how long is the gold rush set to last?

Oil and gas? Renewables? Nuclear? Whichever energy source you’re selling, there’s no doubt that the appetite for power in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) seems almost insatiable. That demand, coupled with the urgent need for infrastructure, is ensuring that even those CEE economies facing the imminent threat of recession are viewing the fulfilment of their relevant construction programmes as a number one priority.

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The Balkans – Holding up

Despite political and economic upheaval, intensified by pressure coming from the eurozone, the Balkan region is providing a rich diet for the diverse law firms operating there.

The signs had been positive for the Balkan states until very recently. Not only have countries in the region shown great commitment in pushing through reforms to bring domestic legislation in line with the rest of Europe, but many have also shown exemplary discipline in complying with International Monetary Fund (IMF) austerity measures. All this contributed to the IMF’s forecast last year that growth in the Balkans by 2013 would be three times that of western Europe.


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Eastern Rivals

The financial crisis has done more than stall investment in Central and Eastern Europe. It has caused a remarkable sea change in the respective legal markets, where the international elite have their work cut out

The crystal balls of Romania’s gypsies would be a valuable tool for many a law firm partner operating in Central and Eastern Europe. Almost precisely to the day of Lehman Brothers’ collapse, the investment appeal of these emerging markets all but extinguished. Continue reading “Eastern Rivals”