Bulgaria banking on the rise

As Bulgaria moves closer to European Union accession, its banking sector is reported to be thriving, with improved risk management and booming demand for financial services products.

The eastern European nation is believed to have sought expert advice from other countries in order to improve its banking sector, as it witnesses unprecedented growth.

Bulgaria is now two years away from joining the EU and will have to pass a series of financial tests set by Brussels this year in order to remain on track for accession.

The country is home to a large number of Greek-owned financial interests and will be closely watched by its neighbour, as it continues to experience fast economic expansion and tackles emerging pressures, the International Herald Tribune reports.

International financial analysts at credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s claim that Bulgaria now has one of central and eastern Europe's most rapidly evolving banking and finance sectors, according to Sofia news agency.

The agency raised Bulgaria's rating to an average 'BB' at the end of last year and said the developing credit sector is increasingly robust, with rapid growth in banking, finance and the economy predicted to continue for the rest of the decade.

A poll of Bulgarian businesses published last week indicated that the climate for enterprise dramatically improved last year, with almost three quarters of firms optimistic about future economic conditions.

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