Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

BANKERS - VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION

Managers and employees of state-run banks are the only ones, who are not entitled by law to get preferential shares in the companies they have worked for. At the same time, effective legal provisions allowed the CEOs of most enterprises (both money-losers and money-makers) and their employees acquire shares in the state-owned companies at preferencial prices.
Moreover, the grand wisdom of MPs legalized the vicious practice of privatising enterprises by management-employees buyout companies. In that case, again, bankers were discriminated by the ruling circles, who did not permit them to become sherholders in the institutions they have worked for and managed.
The State got more than USD400MN from the sale of United Bulgarian Bank, Bulgarian Post Bank, EXPRESSBANK, HEBROSBANK, and BULBANK. From the latter's sale alone it received USD306MN (as per the USD/BGL exchange rate on the date of payment). Nevertheless, the demand of BULBANK's managers to get a minimum share of its shares as an award for the 10 years of successful management during which they contributed to the budget more than USD900MN in benefit, was brutally rejected by the former government. And there was no law that could protect the reasonable requirements of the bankers and employees of the biggest and richest local bank. Their colleagues from the other credit institutions, that were slated for divestment, did not dare to say a word against the privatisation discriminattion imposed by the State.
The process of selling the state-run credit institutions is already approaching completion. Only Biochim commercial bank and DSK State Savings Bank are still in the State's hands. The new ruling force, however, can set right the existing unfairness by entitling the managers and employees of these two institutions to purchase some of their shares at preferential prices.

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