FORMER FUNDS ABSTAIN FROM PAYING DIVIDENDS
Most of the former privatisation funds that gradually grew into holding structures observe a tradition to pay dividends as seldom as possible. At least this is the conclusion based on figures showing how public holding companies (the ex-funds) distributed their profit in the past few years. Not to pay dividends is logical for a company that fails to make profit. Still, many of the other companies simply prefer to increase their reserves or reinvest the money.As a whole, holdings with large portfolios reported successful operations in 2002. Sinergon Holding (former Petrol) ended last year at a profit amounting to BGN8.4MN. The holding portfolio includes 21 companies, while in 15 of them Sinergon is the majority shareholder. Last year, the holding made much of its investments in tourism.Albena Invest Holding is another ex-privatisation fund with significant investments in this sector. The holding ended 2002 with a profit amounting to BGN2.1MN and allocated 39% of it for dividends.Doverie United Holding is known as the former privatisation fund that collected the greatest number of voucher books. It has invested mainly in the textile industry. Majority stakes in United Milk Company and Medika are also included in Doverie United Holding's portfolio. Last year Doverie reported a BGN651,000 profit. Another holding - Aktsioner Favorit, is going to pay dividends (BGN0.094 per share) for the first time in the past three years.Bulgaria Industrial Holding reported a BGN605,000 profit for 2002, but is not going to pay dividends. Some changes to the management of the company were made on the general meeting held on June 24. Aneta Zheleva was appointed Executive Director of Bulgaria Industrial Holding. She replaced Rossen Dimolarov who became chairman of the Supervisory Board.Sunny Beach Holding ended last year at a profit amounting to BGN3.9MN. The result was partly due to Sunny Beach AD, one of the major companies in which the holding is a shareholder. The company that runs the Sunny Beach resort is 75% owned by the state. The stake is about to be privatised (or restructured through the establishment of separate units). Sunny Beach Holding preferred to reinvest its profit in shares of other companies, as well as in acquisition of long-term assets, instead of delighting its shareholders.Napreduk Holding reported a BGN118,000 profit for 2002. However, its managers intend to use it for covering the losses accumulated in previous years.