DEMIRBANK (BULGARIA) MAY REMAIN IN TURKISH HANDS
The Turkish Agency for Bank Regulation and Supervision has already nominated most of the preferred buyers for the foreign structures of Demirbank T.A.S., Demirbank (Bulgaria) included.The Agency will hold negotiations with the Turkish Iden Dogan Consortium, in which the former owner of Demirbank T.A.S. - Djangala Holding - participates. According to inofficial infromation, the consortium has offered USD89MN for 99.9% of the capital of Demirbank (Bulgaria), a 70% stake in Demir-Halk Bank (Netherlands), operating in Holland, Germany, Belgium and Great Britain, 99.9% of Demir Kazakhstan Bank, and 60% of the shares in of Demir Kirgiz International Bank.Dogan Holding is a major player in Iden Dogan Consortium, which owns the Turkish Dishbank and a media group, controlling the influential newspaper Miliet and the TV channel Channel D.UniCredito Italiano has been picked up by the Turkish Agency for Bank Regulation and Supervision to buy a 62.5% stake in Demirbank (Romania) and 36.33% of its leasing company Demir Romlease. The Italian creidt institution, which holds 85.6% of BULBANK's capital is trying to set up a network of subsidiary banks all over Eastern Europe. In addition to BULBANK, it has also acquired one of the top banks in Poland - Bank Pekao, the Croatian Splitska Banka, and the Slovak Polnobanka. The Italians also tried to acquire shares of the Czech Commerchni Bank and of Demirbank T.A.S., but their attempts failed. However, they are now setting foot on the Romanian market by purchasing Demirbank (Romania) amd its leasing subsidiary. Exclusively for the BANKER weekly the press service of UniCredito Italiano announced it would pay USD16.6MN for acquiring a 62.5% stake in Demirbank (Romania). Twenty per cent of its shares are owned by the International Financial Corporation (IFC), which is a part of the World Bank group, and the balance of 17.5% are distributed between three Romanian investment funds. The Italians will pay USD1.5MN for acquiring 36% of Romlease. Demirbank (Romania), established in 1997, is the 12th largest Romanian bank in terms of total assets (USD62MN as of December 31, 2000), and has 11 branches. It is prevailently a corporate bank, specialized in the mid-corporate and SME segments. The bank operates on the entire territory of Romania, and especially in the western part, where most of the Italian investments are concentrated. The product range offered by Demirbank Romania is completed by Demir Romlease, a main Romanian leasing company, set up in 1994 and specialized in leasing for corporate customers.As the BANKER weekly has already written, six investors are bidding for Demirbank (Bulgaria): a Russian gas group, UniCredito Italiano, TBI Holding Company N.V., Chimimport, Tokushukai Medical Corporation, and Iden Dogan Consortium, in which the former owner of Demirbank T.A.S. - Djangala Holding - participates.Some of these candidates, for example the Russians and the Turkish consortium, want to buy all the 16 foreign structures of Demirbank T.A.S. Others, as UniCredito Italiano amd TBI Holding Company N.V. have filed bids for three or four banks only, which were subsidiaries to the Turksih bank, and the offered purchase price for Demirbank (Bulgaria) is a part of their entire offer. Chimimport and Tokushukai Medical Corporation, on their part, are bidding for Demirbank (Bulgaria) only.The Russians have offered to pay USD100MN for all subsidiaries of Demirbank T.A.S., of which USD80MN should be spent on repaying Turkey's liabilities to Russia for gas deliveries.Chimimport has submitted one of the most aggressive bids for Demirbank (Bulgaria). According to some businessmen, the company has offered to pay USD17.5MN for the credit institution. The purchase bids of the other candidate-buyers are in the range of USD14MN.