CORPORATE BANK AND EUROBANK - ENTANGLED IN A NEW PLOT
It has been reported this week that the building of Atanas Burov's former bank at Garibaldi Square, wich previously housed Ivan Evlogiev's bankrupted International Bank for Investments and Development, has been sold to Corporate Bank by Sofia Municipality.
The price of the deal still remains a secret. Yet insiders claim that till end of March BGL18.6MN have been reported as attracted funds from banks and BGL11MN of them have been transferred to Corporate Bank in April to pay for the building.
Corporate Bank owns a stake of 19.43% in Central Co-operative Bank (CCB) which stake is expected to be trasnferred to EUROBANK to cover part of Corporate Bank's liability. However, the scheme will be confirmed only on June 29 when CCB's general assembly will take place. Several investors are already interested in the purchase of CCB. EUROBANK is the intermediary of one of them - the Slovakian fund Istrocapital BG. But financists comment that its interest in the deal is no more serious than its intention to keep Eurocapital - Bulgaria JSCo - the company, possessing 85.35% of EUROBANK.
In April, 2001, rumours started spreading around that Eurocapital - Bulgaria JSCo had signed a draft agreement with NEFTINVESTBANK's shareholders for the sale of its stake in EUROBANK. At present both EUROBANK's and NEFTINVESTBANK's managers deny any such future deal, yet their plans may look different after the elections.
It is also commented that NEFTINVESTBANK will not do with EUROBANK only. Financists discuss as very probable that after taking over EUROBANK, NEFTINVESTBANK may finance its new acquisition for the purchase of 32.7% of CCB's shares from the Bank Consolidation Company. Corporate Bank is also expected to transfer its stake of 19.43% in CCB to NEFTINVESTBANK and thus reduce its liability of USD11MN to EUROBANK. All being well, the present NEFTINVESTBANK's shareholders will acquire both EUROBANK and CCB and then will merge them. Thus a new credit institution with balance sheet value of BGL400MN will be born and it will rank among the top ten Bulgarian banks.