Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

BIOCHIM TO SELL PLAMA'S DEBT?

If BIOCHIM's managers succeed in selling the overdue receivables from the Pleven-based oil-refinery Nova Plama, the profit of the credit institution at end of 2001 will exceed BGL25MN. The liability's nominal size is about USD67MN and is entirely provided for by the bank. It is guaranteed by a mortgage which validity is now being litigated, yet if the refinery's management team finds buyers for the liability, all legal problems will be automatically solved. In April, 2001, the oil-refinery's general meeting decided to revise its capital downwards from BGL45MN to BGL6MN so as to clear the ficticious payment made by Euroenergy in 1999. Afterwards the capital is to be raised from BGL6MN to BGL106MN through a money deposit amounting to BGL100MN. Both BIOCHIM's and Plama's CEOs refused any comments on when exactly negotiations on settling the liability will be started. However, in the financial circles is rumoured that in a private conversation with representatives of Plama Peter Jotev, who is chairman of the Supervisory Board of BIOCHIM, has promised his help so as the first meeting to be organized as soon as possible.
Till this very moment, however, it lacks even inofficial information about how much the consortium is ready to pay for the liability to BIOCHIM. Experts make assumptions that the sum will hardly exceed USD6MN. Insiders state that BIOCHIM's executive directors will probably start negotiations with USD9MN and provided there is good will from both sides, agreement may be reached over USD7-8MN. In any case settlement of the liability will prove useful for both creditor and debtor.
As of the end of May, 2001, BIOCHIM's profit was reported to be about BGL9MN. Nearly BGL4MN of it comes from freed provisions on Kremikovtsi's liability as the metallurgy plant signed a settlement agreement with the bank.
The same scheme may be followed in the case of Plama's liability and if successful BIOCHIM's net profit at end of 2001 may surpass BGL25MN. This will definitely raise the price set by the Bank Consolidation Company (BCC) for the privatisation of the bank. Peter Jotev informs that offers for BIOCHIM will start being collected at the beginning of September and the privatisation procedure will be dealt with by BCC's Board of Directors which is to be appointed by the new government.
At BIOCHIM's general meeting which took place on June 19, 2001, its shareholders accepted the balance sheet and the profit and loss account of the bank for 2000. It was decided that the whole profit amounting to BGL1,682MN should be placed in the Reserves Fund.

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