Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

GLOBUL TO INVEST BGN950MN BY 2005

GloBul, the second GSM-operator in Bulgaria, will invest almost BGN1BN over the next four years. The bulk of the projected BGN950MN will be spent in 2002, and the amounts for the other three years will be probably equal, company insiders announced. GloBul invested a total of BGN500MN in 2001, including USD135MN it paid for the licence.The company's investments in 2002 will be mainly in the establishment of its cellular network. In the licensing document the State Telecommunications Commission obliges the mobile operator to cover 80% of the country's territory by January 2003. Our management, however, has set as its aim to accomplish this before the end of 2002. We already succeeded to cover 40% of Bulgaria's territory by the end of 2001, although as per the licence we had to do this by January 2002, the company's PR explained to the BANKER weekly. Assenovgrad, Dimitrovgrad and Veliko Tirnovo will be connected to GloBul's network in the first quarter of this year.According to representatives of the mobile operator, the number of its subscribers will probably reach 400,000 towards the end of 2002. So far almost 150,000 subscribers have signed contracts with the GSM-operator's three main partners: Germanos, Office One Superstore, and Global Net. GloBul plans to open its stores in most of the big Bulgarian towns by the year-end. Currently, it has stores in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, and Bourgas, as well as in all hypermarkets of the Metro Cash Carry chain. The number of its main distributors will be increased, too, but the company declined to provide more information.The Bulgarians in GloBul's management will be increased as well, pundits informed. Presently, three of its seven directors are Bulgarians: Atanas Dobrev, head of Finances Department, Sonya Slavcheva, chief of the Human resources and Organization Department, and Stefan Kolev, Technical Director.The number of the second local GSM-operator's employees is expected to total 350 by the end of 2002. Currently, some 250 are on payroll at GloBul, and almost 1,000 are employed by its subcontractors. The second Bulgarian mobile operator is preparing a promotion of its services during the Easter holidays. There might be such such a campaign for the Valentine's Day as well.Currently, the GSM-operator Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile, bearing the trade mark GloBul, is 100% owned by OTE Austria Holding, registered in Austria, which on its part is 100% ownership of the Greek telecom OTE. The holding company was set up in December 2001 and will be managing the foreign assets of the Greek telecom.

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