ZIARUL FINANCIAR publishes the third edition of the Top Tranzactii (Top Deals) yearbook today, which describes 113 deals worth 6.5 billion euros.
Other than energy, the hottest markets were real estate, retail, consumer goods, Internet and insurance. Investor options show what fields will increase faster and faster over the coming years.
The yearbook presents 113 deals, worth 6.5 billion euros. This is not entirely money collected by Romanian residents - be they companies or individuals, therefore not all of it has entered Romania, but the amount reveals how big the bet placed on the Romanian economy is.
The 34 acquisitions in the real estate sector, that is more than one third of the total, reveal it is now time for the major deals in real estate and everyone wants to seize the moment.
Investors know the market is cyclical and Romania will get "cold" in a few years, too, so that they are buying in bulk now, while they still think there is potential for growth.
Multinationals are occupying strategic markets and working their way onto those they had been present on before. Their "forerunners" are the investment funds. In 2007, the first entry on the tour operators market occurred (Ged Capital bought Happy Tour), where the top ten companies used to be Romanian until last year.
Banks were the laggards, with no transactions. Insurance on the other hand, was the theatre of some shock operations: Asirom was taken over by Vienna Insurance Group (which also owns Omniasig and Unita) and BT Asigurari, the star of the market in terms of expansion over the past year was sold to French Groupama group.
The depletion of the acquisition potential in the banking sector shows that investors are now looking for profit. A completely privatised banking system will be the most powerful instrument to restructure and make the domestic business efficient, by selecting the corporate clients and pressure for profits.
This pressure from fund providers, as well as the profitability and efficiency requirement of the new shareholders will turn domestic companies into regional "tigers" over the yeas to come.
Romania's position as the Eastern gateway to the European Union, the industrial development in the West of the country and Bucharest's power to become a business centre of the Balkans are the coordinates on which economy will develop over the years to come.