Archive for December, 2016

Overgas Signs New Supply Contract with Bulgargaz

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Bulgaria’s biggest private gas supplier Overgas has signed a new deliveries contract that gives it gas from the biggest state company.

Bulgargaz will pump BGN 300 million cubic meters of gas to the private company, allowing it to meet the needs of 60 000 households and 3000 public and industrial consumers.

Gazprom halted supplies to Overgas at the end of last December, citing commercial issues, prompting the private suplier to demand gas from the state-owned company.

The supply network of Overgas was taken over by Sasho Donchev, who until then had a 50% stake in the company alongside the Russian energy giant.

Overgas in September demanded that its firs contract with Bulgargaz be terminated, and that conditions should be renegotiated, but the latter request was turned down.

Bulgargaz receives the bulk of its gas from the Russian holding – the same source Overgas had been using until the end of last year.

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Thousands of Animals to Be Killed in Bulgaria’s Stara Zagora over Bird Flu

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Fifteen thousand livestock birds will have to be mortified as a bird flu epidemic is raging in the area of Stara Zagora, authorities say.

A large number of bird flu cases have been discovered in several villages near the southern Bulgarian city.

The same steps will be applied in some breeding farms in the area of Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second-largest city, where not enough precaution measures have been taken against the disease.

As many as 15 centers of bird flu have now been established across Bulgaria, according to the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.

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Bulgaria’s UBB Bank Changes Owner

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Belgium-based KBC group has finalized the purchase of the United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and leasing company Interlease, according to its own statement.

The deal, with a price tag of EUR 610 M, gives KBC control over 99.9% of the bank’s shares and 100% of Interlease.

KBC is the owner of CIBank and insurance company DZI in Bulgaria.

UBB was until now owned by the National Bank of Greece (NBG) and the fourth-largest bank in Bulgaria with BGN 7.1 B in assets, having taken over from Corporate Commerical Bank (KTB) as the latter collapsed.

Its merger with CIBank (whose assets were BGN 2.8 B as of September) will form the third-largest bank in Bulgaria in terms of size of the bank assets, with a share of around 11%.

The deal requires approval from the Bulgarian National Bank, the central bank of Belgium, the Financial Supervision Commission, and the European Central Bank.

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Bulgaria’s Public Radio Stops Playing Contemporary Music over Row

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

The Bulgarian National Radio will only play classical music, jazz and folklore as of January 01, its Director General says.

In a statement, Aleksandar Velev has cited a dispute of the public broadcaster with Musicautor, the union managing copyright of composers and record labels.

Musicautor “unilaterally suspended its contract with the BNR” and barred the radio braodcaster from playing any music whose rights it holds, he has explained.

This comprises much of the contemporary music in Bulgaria and abroad. No royalties are needed to play much of the classical, jazz and folklore music on the BNR’s archive as its prescription has expired.

But the union insists the amount of music royalties paid by the BNR should be three times the current one.

The demand, however, is a burden on the BNR’s budget and “does not rest with economic realities”, with state funding allocated to the BNR remaining unchanged. To pay to Musicautor, the broadcaster would have to suspend one of its regional programs or take anoher harsh measure that would “tarnish the radio’s public mission”.

The measure will be in force on a temporary basis, until the row is settled.

Bulgaria’s both public broadcasters, the BNT and the BNR, hold the status under the 1997 Radio and Television Act, but are de facto state-run, with funding set aside by the central budget every year.

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Hundreds Stranded on Roads after Chain Crashes Near Bulgaria’s Burgas

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Part of Trakia motorway and a bypass route leading into Burgas will remain closed at least until the afternoon on Saturday as heavy chain-reaction crashes have left the roads jammed since Friday evening.

Travelers are advised against using Trakia motorway after the Zimnitsa junction in eastern Bulgaria.

The road linking the towns of Karnobat and Aytos to Burgas has also been completely sealed off after a TIR truck crashed, blocking the lanes, despite a ban on heavy vehicles moving there.

Cars have been lining up for kilometers due to the traffic incidents, possibly caused by snow and ice on roads.

Hundreds have spent the night stranded on the two roads. Emergency teams have evacuated people with health problems, pregnant women and mothers with children.

A crisis team was formed in the night, while local authorities declared a state of emergency.

“I want to urge people there to be patient, since this kind of conditions are not common,” outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said at a briefing.

He added authorities had booked rooms in two hotels in Burgas for the stranded people willing to be accommodated, assuring those would be taken there on buses sent by authorities.

Borisov explained he had talked over the phone to many of the people who contacted him on Facebook.

Source

Hundreds Left Stranded on Roads after Car Crashes Near Bulgaria’s Burgas

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Part of Trakia motorway and a bypass route leading into Burgas will remain closed at least until the afternoon on Saturday as heavy chain-reaction crashes have left the roads jammed since Friday evening.

Travelers are advised against using Trakia motorway after the Zimnitsa junction in eastern Bulgaria.

The road linking the towns of Karnobat and Aytos to Burgas has also been completely sealed off after a TIR truck crashed, blocking the lanes, despite a ban on heavy vehicles moving there.

Cars have been lining up for kilometers due to the traffic incidents, possibly caused by snow and ice on roads.

Hundreds have spent the night stranded on the two roads. Emergency teams have evacuated people with health problems, pregnant women and mothers with children.

A crisis team was formed in the night, while local authorities declared a state of emergency.

“I want to urge people there to be patient, since this kind of conditions are not common,” outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said at a briefing.

He added authorities had booked rooms in two hotels in Burgas for the stranded people willing to be accommodated, assuring those would be taken there on buses sent by authorities.

Borisov explained he had talked over the phone to many of the people who contacted him on Facebook.

Source

Did You Know? Times Square New Year’s Eve Party Started As a Business Event (Watch)

Friday, December 30th, 2016

When you think about New Year’s Eve, a few things likely come to mind. There’s the champagne, noisemakers, silly glasses — and of course, Times Square.

But that famous annual celebration didn’t actually start out as just a New Year’s party. In fact, it has a history that is steeped in the business world.

The party started in 1904. That’s the year that the New York Times moved its headquarters to that intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue — more commonly known as Times Square. In fact, the newspaper is what gave Times Square its current name. Before that, it was known as the Long Acre Square.

So when the Times moved its headquarters there, owner Adolph Ochs decided to throw a big party to introduce the building and ring in the new year. It was so popular that it caught on and they continued the party for years after.

A Good Example of the Benefits of Hosting a Business Event

Of course, today’s event isn’t directly related to the New York Times anymore. In fact, the building isn’t even home to the Times or any other business — except a Walgreens — today. But this little history lesson does demonstrate how powerful parties or events can be for businesses. Sometimes, they even take on a life of their own.

Times Square Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Did You Know? Times Square New Year’s Eve Party Started As a Business Event (Watch)” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Independent energy firms call for end to meddling

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Companies challenging the Big Six worry about price caps

Facebook Launches Live Video Chat, Pinterest Introduces Trending Topics

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Live chat and live video streaming are likely to be big parts of marketing and communication strategies for many businesses in 2016. And for businesses that plan on using those strategies, there are a few new tools to choose from.

Recently, Facebook announced a new group video chat feature. And for marketers who regularly use Pinterest, the image sharing platform released a list of 100 trending topics you may want to keep in mind. Learn about this and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Social Media

Facebook Messenger Introduces Group Video Chat — with Up to Six People at a Time

Back in September, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) launched Messenger Instant Video to allow Facebook Messenger users to broadcast real-time video in Messenger text exchanges. Now the social networking giant has introduced Group Video Chat in Messenger, a real-time video option that has practical business applications.

Top 100 Trending Topics for Pinterest Marketers Heading Into 2017

Pinterest has revealed trends it predicts will dominate in 2017. The third annual Pinterest 100 report (PDF) narrows down the top trends in 10 key categories the image sharing social network expects to be hot in the new year.

How to Use the New Instagram Live

In the last few weeks, Instagram announced it was adding a live feature to its now popular Instagram stories — and it has. Live videos are already popping up on Instagram! The new feature allows users to stream real-time videos via Instagram Stories. But unlike Facebook Live and Periscope, Instagram Live videos aren’t hosted on the platform.

Snapchat Could Use Augmented Reality to Differentiate From Facebook, Instagram (Watch)

How do you compete with huge brands like Facebook and Instagram? Well, if you’re Snapchat, you acquire new technology startups. Snap Inc., the company that owns Snapchat, just acquired Cimagine, an augmented reality firm based in Israel. Right now, Cimagine mainly makes tools for home retailers and manufacturers.

Economy

Will Fed Rate Hike Mean Easier Access to Small Business Loans?

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate Wednesday for only the second time since the 2008 recession, citing falling unemployment and low inflation as key factors in its decision. According to Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen, the country has seen sustained economic growth over the past few years.

Minimum Wage Going Up in Many Communities: Is Your Business Affected?

Two significant events are set to take place in New York City on New Year’s Eve. One will be, as always, the ball drop in Times Square. The other is that minimum wage workers will be among the first across the country to receive a new mandated pay hike in 2017.

Marketing Tips

More Millennials Living With Parents And What This Means for Your Business (Watch)

A lot of young adults are still living with their parents. In fact, data released by real estate tracker Trulia indicates that nearly 40 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds lived with a parent or other family member in 2015. That’s the highest percentage since the Great Depression came to a close in 1940. Of course, there are several factors that contribute to this.

These Were the Best Viral Campaigns of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, it’s a great time to look back on all the different marketing campaigns of the past year. Some were more effective than others at getting consumers’ attention. And there’s a lot you can potentially learn from looking at those viral marketing campaigns. Here are some of the most popular ones from 2016.

Retail Trends

Mall Fights: Yet Another Reason For Customers to Shop Online

Massive brawls broke out at malls across the country a day after Christmas. Police say almost all of the brawls were initiated by juveniles. Some were minor scuffles at food courts. Others were violent clashes that led to mass evacuations.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Kanbanize Helps Businesses Measure Success

Small business owners are required to wear many different hats. But managing every single process and looking at all the analytics and results to make sure your business runs as efficiently as possible can be incredibly time consuming. That’s where process management tools like Kanbanize come in.

Technology Trends

Take That Amazon! 7-Eleven Drone Delivery Has Already Started in the U.S.

Move over Amazon! 7-Eleven, the iconic chain of convenience stores with locations throughout the United States and Canada, has already completed more than 70 routine commercial drone deliveries in the U.S. And all this while mega-online retailer Amazon, which first floated the idea in a big way, remains mired in regulatory red tape and forced to test its deliveries overseas.

Wow! Self-Making Bed Shows an Example of a Real-World Market Need

If necessity is the mother of invention, Kickstarter is its playpen. SMARTDUVET: the self-making bed, is a campaign that launched on Kickstarter and has already surpassed its $30,000 (Canadian) goal by almost $11,000 as of this posting. If there is one thing Kickstarter has highlighted is, there is a market for almost every imaginable idea.

Here’s a First for Apple – But Not a Good One (Watch)

If you think that one bad customer review can be bad for business, just think about how much a negative review from a trusted authority like Consumer Reports would hurt. Unfortunately for Apple, the tech giant is about to find out. For the first time ever, Consumer Reports decided not to recommend the new line of Macbook Pros over battery life concerns.

Image: Facebook

This article, “Facebook Launches Live Video Chat, Pinterest Introduces Trending Topics” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Kentucky miner Ramaco Resources files for IPO

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Private-equity backed group sets ball rolling on first US coal float since mid-2015

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