Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

IBTD RAVAGED BY FAMILY FEUD

At about 15.30 hrs on May 28 (Saturday) - a working day in Bulgaria as an exception - the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) entrusted the management of International Bank for Trade and Development (IBTD) to the curators Tsvetan Tsvetanov and Hristina Stamatova. Their task within the next three months will be to elucidate the opportunities for the bank's rehabilitation and for the increase of its equity capital. If that is not done, the BNB will revoke IBTD's licence and will ask the court to declare it insolvent. The same will happen if the bank delays by more than seven days the settlement of its undeniable, executable debt. Well, this is the right moment for someone with money to buy a bank licence before Bulgaria get onto the last coach to the European Union. The two curators in IBTR will face a difficult task, from whose solution it will depend if an investor will be found to pour into its equity at least BGN14MN (EUR7MN). In order to attract such an amount one issue should be made clear. Namely, who are the current shareholders in IBTR? Boni Bonev claims he controls 88.64% of the capital. This however, is contested by his brother Plamen Bonev and his cousins Peter Belchev and Boyan Penkov. They have initiated a lawsuit against the decisions of the general meeting of shareholders on July 12, 2004 and the first results of it are already a fact. In May 2005 the Sofia City Court honoured their demand and overrode the decisions of that meeting with the motive that the shareholders who voted in it had submitted illegitimate interim certificates. As could be expected, Boni Bonev did not waste any time and filed an appeal against that ruling at the Sofia Court of Appeal, and the case will be down for hearing in July 2005. In other words, the court battle between the brothers and the relatives who support them continues, although it is disastrous to IBTR. Because everybody - shareholders, supervisors, managers, and debtors - will lose from its close-down.

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