Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

BULGARGAS PAYS BGN370MN IN TAXES TO THE TREASURY

The 2002 net profit of Bulgargas after payment of due taxes is BGN99MN-plus, preliminary accounting reports of the company show. BGN370MN has been paid to the State budget as taxes and all accrued losses to the State were paid off by end-December 2002.The 3-year investment programme for increasing the capacity of the gas-transiting network to Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia, to 18.7 billion cu m annually, was completed last year. Thanks to that 13.5 billion cu m of natural gas was transited during that period. As compared to 2001, however, consumption in Bulgaria dropped by 12% to 2.741 billion cu m.In 2002 Bulgaria got pay-free 300 million cu m of gas from the Ukraine under the Yamburg agreement. A total of 1.248 billion cu m of gas has been supplied to Bulgaria in recent years after that agreement, but the remaining quantity for 2003 is only 11.10 million cu m. Thus, by the agreement closed with the Ukraine in 2000, Bulgaria succeeded to take back what it had invested in that country, the Executive Director Kiril Gegov believes. However, things connected with the collection of receivables for sold fuel are not so well. Anyway, the liabilities of state and private enterprises to the State in 2002 decreased to BGN270MN. The largest natural gas consumers are still from the sectors of power engineering, chemical industry and metallurgy. The chief debtors are also from these sectors. The central heating facilities are again the biggest debtors with liabilities of BGN150MN. They are followed by the Vratza-based Chimco (with liabilities of BGN80MN) and Kremikovtzi (which owes BGN30MN). These there groups form the main part of our receivables, Mr. Gegov said in front of the BANKER weekly. Although Bulgargas has agreed repayment plans with all its debtors, most of them do not observe them practically. The court rulings and the calculated interests are obviously not a sufficient argument, which makes the management of Bulgargas seek alternative ways for solving the problem. One of the possibilities for collection of overdue liabilities is through the debt market, according to the Deputy Finance Minister Gati Al Djeburi. The other alternative, according to the Deputy Minister of Energy and member of Bulgargas BoD Ilko Yotsev, is to set up a state-run company which would buy out the enterprises' liabilities at a fixed discount percent. When the State collects a certain receivable, it will be able to get a profit from the per cent.

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