Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

EASTER HAS COME FOR COMPENSATION INSTRUMENTS

The two groups with the most attractive companies, whose minority packages will be traded against compensation instruments of payment, have at last come out on the stock exchange. These are the so-called Dream Pool, including Bulgartabac Holding, the Bulgarian Telecommunication Company (BTC), the State Insurance Institute (DZI) Navigation Maritime Bulgare (Navibulgar), Petrol and Gas Prospecting and Extraction, and the Energy Pool, including the energy repairs companies, Sofia Film, Maritsa Iztok 3 thermoelectric power station, and Bulgarian River Shipping. Their trade on the stock exchange was launched on April 21 when the auction for 49% of Maritsa Iztok 3 was opened. Under the sale scheme the entire package of 45,913 shares was offered at an initial price of BGN1,080 par bill, payable in compensation instruments. The 49% package, purchased by compensation instruments priced BGN0.24/piece, would fetch almost BGN12MN. According to brokers, the initially set price was so high in order to let the pre-chosen buyer prepare for the deal and join the bidding when the parameters are changed. Under the contract, signed between the Privatisation Agency (PA) and the mediator in the sale, the minimum price in compensation instruments can reach BGN250 par bill. Thus, the entire package would cost BGN2.8MN, or almost six times the price asked on April 21. The sale of 49% of Maritsa Iztok 3 will be brokered by Fina-S, which will be also selling the paper of Sofia Film and Energy Repairs - Bobov Dol. The marketing of state-owned packages of the other companies from the Energy Pool will be brokered by First Finance and Brokerage House. The contest for a mediator in the sale of packages from the Dream Pool was won by the consortium between Bulbrokers, United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), and the National Bank of Greece. The first step towards the privatisation of the Dream Pool will be made on May 12. The strategy for public offering of 12.8% of Bulgartabac's shares projects that this would be effected in several stages from May 12 till June 6. Initially, auctions will be invited for smaller packages in order to see the disposition on the market. Afterwards, the volumes will be increased, and finally smaller tranches will offered again. The Executive Director of the Stock Exchange Georgi Draichev explained that one lot will be equal to one share, but he did not specify what the initial price would be. Mr. Draichev said it would be close to the price the holding's paper fetch on the free market. Presently, Bulgartabac's shares are traded at about BGN23/apiece, but according to the players on the market it would decrease. In fact, the price at which the shares will be offered will become known on May 10 - only two days before the first auction. Then it will be clear in how many tranches the paper will be offered. After the first big deal on Bulgartabac failed, the PA hurried to put up for sale at least the package of its shares, payable by compensation instruments. That will be advantageous to the future shareholders because they will get part of the profit when the dividend for 2002 is distributed. Law entitles to dividend investors who have acquired stocks from a certain company two weeks prior its general meeting of shareholders which distributes the dividend.The auctions for stakes in DZI and Petrol and Gas Prospecting and Extraction will probably begin in early-June. However, the strategy for their offering has not been prepared yet. The minority packages of the BTC and Navibulgar should be on the stock exchange by October. Initially, only two of the five companies within the Dream Poll were public: Bulgartabac and Petrol and Gas Prospecting and Extraction. The tobacco holding has been public since 1996 when its divestment through mass privatisation began. However, investors acquired just 7% of it. The Pleven-based Petrol and Gas Prospecting and Extraction became public in end-September 2002. 49% of the company will be offered against non-cash instruments of payment.After Contract Sofia OOD acquired 80% of DZI's capital, the general meeting of the insurance company decided that its shares shall not be traded on the stock exchange. But after the recent amendments to the Privatisation and Post-privatisation Control Act, the Commission for Financial Supervision will enter DZI in the public register, despite its new owner's dissent, and 20% of its capital will be put up for sale on the exchange. It is another question if Contract Sofia will take part in the bidding by compensation instruments in order to prevent the entering of other shareholders in the insurance company. The future buyer of BTC's majority package shall neither have the say when listing the company on the stock exchange. 20% of its capital will be sold against compensation instruments. 30% of Navibulgar will be offered against comspensation instruments, but only after the deal on the majority package of its shares.

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