This paper highlights Bulgaria’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) sector and to assess its performance in a regional perspective. A detailed and rich firm-level dataset of state-owned and private firms was compiled for this note to compare key performance indicators of SOEs to private firms in the same sector and to similar firms in Croatia and Romania for a regional comparison. In some network industries, such as energy, SOEs are heavily loss-making. Large amounts of debt have been piled up notably in the energy and transport sectors which, to the extent that it is classified outside the general government accounts, can pose significant risk to public finances in the form of contingent liabilities if the SOEs run into financial difficulties. SOE profitability and resource allocation efficiency largely lag private firms in the same sectors, even when isolating SOEs engaged in competitive market activities and hence classified outside of general government. Coupled with comparably poor output quality, these challenges have the potential to impair competitiveness and productivity across the economy.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper looks at the longer-term challenges pension funds face as population age and key issues to address to enhance their risk management practices and their role as long-term investors. The paper focuses primarily on Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where funded pension plans are most developed. The size of pension savings in these countries, their projected growth, and the recent development of funded pension schemes in other countries highlight the fast-growing importance of pension funds for international capital markets and to financial stability.