Банкеръ Weekly



There are 29 Bulgarian citizens who are credit millionaires. And they are not the owners of firms which had borrowed money from banks and never returned it. Neither are they included in the notorious list from 1997, written after the collapse of our banking system. The Bulgarians in question have taken credits as individuals and are still serving them. It might sound improbable, but BNB's information cannot be false. In mid-2002 (the data for the entire 2002 will be published in June, 2003) the local banking system had launched 17 consumer credits in BG levs and 12 credits in US dollars and euro, which total size in our national currency exceeds BGN42.76MN. If we leave alone all details and simply divide the total sum to the number of borrowers, then it turns out that each one of the 29 citizens has received about BGN1.5MN. One year earlier (in mid-2001) this privilege had been preserved to only one Bulgarian, whose credit amounted to BGN758,000.Naturally, the names of these ultra-rich individuals who are so trusted by the banks remain a secret. But if all the credit-permission procedures have been strictly followed, then these loans should have been guaranteed by mortgages which cover at least 120% of the credit, or by adequate cash deposits. In other words a credit of BGN1.5MN should be guaranteed by estates of market value no less than BGN1.8MN. In case the money has been launched by the Bulgarian branch of a foreign bank, then the credit might not be guaranteed by a mortgage if the client has a deposit at the same bank which size is no smaller than the size of the credit. It's far more curious, however, what the tax authorities know about these rich men. Because in order to have acquired estates for BGN1.8MN, a person should have paid several hundred thousand levs in income tax and should be transferring about BGN2,700 as inhabited house duty each year. Moreover, the monthly expenses for serving a 10-year credit of BGN1.5MN amount to about BGN25,000. This means that for 2002 the borrower must have paid income tax of BGN40,000.What not many people in Bulgaria know is that there are persons in our county who pay five digit income taxes. Back in June, 2001, the Chairman of the present National Assembly Ognian Gerdzhikov admitted to a reporter of the BANKER weekly that he had been paying annual taxes between BGN15,000 and BGN20,000. This seems to be the highest sum publicly stated to be paid in taxes by any Bulgarian. There is still no information about a person who pays annual taxes amounting to BGN40,000. But there must be such people. At least judging from BNB's information about the 29 citizens each one of whom has drawn a BGN1.5MN average credit from Bulgarian banks.

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