FALSE START OF BULGARTABAC'S PURCHASE CAMPAIGN
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mehmed Dikme, who is also a member of Bulgartabac Holding's Supervisory Board, calls an urgent meeting of the board in the beginning of next week. The reason is that the holding has bought only 10% of the agreed quantity of tobacco from the 2004 crop. The term for the completion of the purchase campaign is February 28. The Agriculture Minister gave an example with private companies, which have already bought 75% of the declared quantities.The main reason for the false start of Bulgartabac's purchase campaign is its insufficient financial guaranteeing. Some of the holding's subsidiaries find it difficult to fulfil their programmes as they don't have the necessary funds and besides, they can hardly get credits because they are in a privatisation process. Therefore, banks refrain from extending them loans. At the meeting of the Supervisory Board Mr. Dikme will propose to solve that problem by the holding undertaking the guarantees for the credits of its subsidiaries. He wants also to consider the quotas from Bulgartabac's subsidiaries for tobacco from the new crop.The minister will insist on having a special clause for factories liable to privatisation, obliging them to buy the entire quantity of tobacco they have declared. Meanwhile, the deal on Parvomai BT was finalized. On January 5 the 85.68% package of the tobacco enterprise was transferred to Zaara Yancho Ivanov Sole Trader. Bulgartabac Holding closed a contract for selling its stake in Parvomai BT against BGN390,000 in December 2004.