DSK BANK GROUP IS EXPANDING
DSK Bank managers are already implementing the plans of the bank's owner, the Hungarian OTP Bank, which intends to transform the savings bank into Bulgaria's largest banking group. The intention was declared by OTP President Sandor Csanyi last November. In 2004 DSK Bank is going to establish an insurance lease company as well as an asset manager, Mr. Csanyi then said. His plans are already under way. By mid-February, the bank will ask the Financial Supervision Commission for permission to create DSK Guarantee life insurance company. It will offer life insurance to all citizens who take consumer or home credits from the bank. At present, borrowers are offered free life insurance which DSK Bank signs with Bulstrad - DSK Life company (in which the bank controls 26% of the capital). DSK Bank's curator Nikolay Marev said that right now the bank is negotiating the sale of its stake in Bulstrad insurance company and as soon as it makes the deal it plans to transfer all of its customers' insurance transactions to DSK Guarantee. According to the procedure, the newly-established insurer should first be licensed by the Financial Supervision Commission and then by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB).Experts of DSK Bank have almost prepared the documents needed for establishment of an asset manager which will have a BGN500,000 worth equity. According to the curator Nikolay Marev, the company will manage the assets of DSK Guarantee and those of Rodina Savings Pension Insurance Fund (in which DSK bank holds 98% of the capital). Besides, the investment company is planning to create a few stakes (based on treasury bills and bonds in Bulgarian levs, US dollars, and euro owned by the bank) and to sell them to individuals and companies.At first, OTP Bank intended that DSK Bank create its own lease company to sell automobiles on lease. However, that idea will be difficult for implementation, Nikolay Marev said, as the Bulgarian market of new cars is too small - 15,000 or less newly-produced cars are imported and sold in the country every year.Considering the amount of sales, the lease sale of automobiles has no good chances to grow. However, we are still working on the establishment of a lease company of DSK Bank which will occupy with all kinds of investment products. This project will be implemented no sooner than the year-end, Mr. Marev said.DSK Bank is currently the sole shareholder in DSK Transsecurity - a company specialized in collection activities, and in DSK Tours, owner and manager of DSK Bank's holiday resorts. For the present, the Hungarian bankers are not planning to sell the tourist company. They want to renovate the resorts and let the company occupy with tourism. Thanks to the new insurance and asset management subsidiaries, the savings bank will be able to cover almost the whole spectrum of bank and other financial services.