ALLIANZ BULGARIA BANK NAMED AFTER INSURANCE GIANT ALLIANZ
The credit institution Bulgaria Invest has been renamed to Allianz Bulgaria Commercial Bank by a decision of the general meeting of its shareholders, held on Monday (October 13). The Chairman of the bank's Management Board Dimiter Zhelev, who is also Executive Director of the insurance company Allianz Bulgaria Holding (owner of 67% of the financial institution's shares), underlined that for the first time the German insurance giant Allianz has given its name to a bank. The decision depended on whether DRESDNERBANK, in which Allianz holds the majority package of shares, will invest in Eastern Europe. After it became known that the bank was not interested in that region, we asked Allianz to give its name to Bulgaria Invest, Mr. Zhelev explained. He recalled that the group has strong positions in the sale of pension and insurance products. It has 1,000,000 clients in the sphere of life and general insurance, towards whom the credit institution intends to direct retail banking. The bank's managerial team hopes to offer the best conditions for extending housing credits and loans for the purchase of cars. Mr. Zhelev announced that mutual investment funds would be set. They will also be named Allianz.According to the bank's CEO Strahil Vidinov, its balance sheet value by end-September 2003 was over BGN300MN, and its profit amounted to BGN3.4MN. The assets of Allianz Bulgaria Holding, which the credit institution manages, exceed BGN600MN. In 2003 the group's assets went up 30%, and its managerial team projects them at BGN1BN-plus in 2004.