Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

BCC ON ITS WAY TO HISTORY

The Bank Consolidation Company (BCC) is preparing to go into history and waving farewell will leave about BGN143MN to its major owner, the Ministry of Finance. At the general meeting held on October 12, 2004, a decision was made to stop BCC's operation and wind it up within a year. The Board of Directors of BCC was relieved of responsibility and Nelly Kordovska (so far executive director of BCC) was appointed liquidator. She will have to complete all procedures connected with the company's closure and the distribution of assets among its shareholders. Immediately after the decisions of BCC's general meeting are entered in the firms' register of the Sofia City Court, Ms. Kordovska will publish an announcement in the Official Gazette that all creditors could place their claims to the BCC within six months. If no claims are presented within that term, BCC's liquidator will distribute all its assets among the company shareholders as per their stake in the equity capital. This means that the State, in the person of the Finance Ministry will get 99.5% of BCC's assets and the balance of 0.5% will be divided between the remaining more than 1,250 shareholders, among which are United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), HEBROSBANK, ROSEXIMBANK, SG EXPRESSBANK, Chimimport, Nitex, Navigation Maritime Bulgare (Navibulgar), the Sofia Municipality, etc.In BCC's register of shareholders there are 35 firms which have been privatized or declared insolvent and it's not clear at present who the owners of their stakes are. The liquidator will open special accounts in which amounts of money equivalent to those stakes will be deposited. If a person turns up, proving with documents that he is the legal owner of shares, he will be entitled to getting the respective sum.In case claims from citizens or firms are filed to BCC within the set six-month term, the liquidator shall be again obliged to deposit in special accounts the sums od money that are the object of argument. They will remain blocked until the court extends its ruling on each individual case. If the claims are rejected the blocked amounts will again be distributed among BCC's shareholders. All these procedures will be in the hands of Ms. Kordovska within a year. The efforts are worthwhile as even after BCC stops active operation it still remains one of the richest companies in Bulgaria. In fact, the BCC is unique in several aspects. It is the only commercial company in Bulgaria, established (in 1992) to restructure and sell an entire sector - the state-owned banks. Within 12 years (though it sounds unbelievable) it succeeded to fulfil its task to the end. There is hardly any other firm in this country which has been allocated by the Finance Ministry (as the BCC) a single-time financing of USD400MN, which has paid back only USD100MN of it and does not have to return the remaining USD300MN.BCC received almost EUR810MN from the sale of its shares in the banks and till its liquidation was announced paid BGN1.5BN-plus to its major shareholder - the Finance Ministry.

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