Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

BTC TO BE LISTED ON THE STOCK EXCHANGE AS OF JANUARY 27

The minimum selling price per share (which par value is BGN35) of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) will be BGN100 in compensation instruments as per the scheme for trading 34.78% of the telecom's capital, approved by the Privatisation Agency (PA). Thus, the price of the entire package will be BGN286,957,300 in compensation instruments of payment. The number of shares to be offered on the stock exchange against non-cash instruments decreased from 2,887,648 to 2,869,573 as restitution claims were honoured. BTC's shares will be traded on the capital market from January 27 to February 28 and the entire quantity will be put up for sale on the very first day. No packages will be offered. So, anyone willing to buy even just one share could do that. If the paper is not sold out till February 28 investors may purchase them till they are all traded. The telecom's paper could be purchased as well by holders of housing receipts (given to owners of long-time saving deposits for the purpose of buying flats). BTC's shares will be offered for sale by a consortium between United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), National Bank of Greece, Bulgarian branch, and Bulbrokers. The consortium was appointed back in September 2002 in order to sell the so-called Dream pool, in which 20% of BTC's capital was included. By a decision of the Council of Ministers as of November 25, 2004 it was decided that the remaining 15% of the telecom's capital would be traded against compensation instruments of payment. The consortium will announce details regarding the divestment itself at a special meeting with the holders of compensation instruments on January 17. With the cherished day drawing near owners of compensation instruments are reluctant to sell their paper in expectation of higher prices. Presently, there are 1.1BN used restitution bonds and half of them are subject of active trade. Being pedantic in their accounts, however, can play holders of compensation instruments a tricky joke as the procedure for selling them may last longer and they could fail to get the desired price. They can encounter unsuspected problems. It might turn out that their compensation instruments have not been registered at thе Central Depository. If that is the case, there is a long way to be walked - about six months - before they reach the floor of the stock exchange. Lawyer Nikolay Nachev faced such a problem when he decided to sell his wife's compensation instruments. In August 2000 the Governor of Sofia issued in the name of Maria Nacheva a temporary certificate for owning housing compensation receipts worth BGN10,700. According to Mr. Nachev, there are at least 5,000 unsigned documents for ownership of restitution paper with the Governor at present, which have logically not reached the Central Depository. It's a pity that these holders of compensation instruments will not get adequate compensation due to bureaucratic hindrances. Inheritors of restitution paper, especially of registered compensation bonds. According to Valentin Hristov, Chairman of the Union of Owners of Compensation Instruments, these are the main reasons for the present scarcity of compensation instruments on the market. Even at the present high prices of these instruments which were selling above par in the first days of the week (January 10-12), only 0.5% of all compensation instruments, registered at the Central Depository, were offered. Nevertheless, Mr. Hristov is optimistic about the prices of compensation bonds and believes they will increase further. So far the major buyer of compensatory instruments is a client of EIBANK who has been dictating the rules on that market for three months now. A phantom customer of First Finance Brokerage House has been also buying recently big quantities of restitution paper. According to a well-informed source, the main players on that market have not yet gathered the necessary resource for the purchase of BTC shares.

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