Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

NAVIBULGAR WILL HAVE TO CHANGE COURSE

The Privatisation Agency (PA) is not intending to allow Navigation Maritime Bulgare (Navibulgar) to issue bonds worth BGN75MN, experts of the agency said. The decision has not been officially announced yet. Permission from the PA is needed, because the shipping company is in a process of privatisation. The agency explained its decision with the fact that the issue will raise significantly the credit burden of the company. Its sale will become difficult, because its debts will exceed the amount of assets. The shipping company intended to use the bond loan to pay off its credits to foreign banks. 15 Bulgarian ships are still sailing under foreign banners as collateral on these credits.As a principal of Navibulgar, the newly-appointed transport minister Nikolay Vassilev may give up the bond sale, so that the agency would not be forced to announce an official opinion on the issue. Most probably, however, the new minister will not act this way. Slaveiko Staikov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Navibulgar, said that new parametres of the bond issue are being prepared and they would be put forward for approval by the PA in the coming days.The castling in the Ministry of Transport provoked allegations that there might be significant changes in the strategy for finding a new owner of the Varna Shipyard. A commission at the transport ministry is currently occupied with the sale of the shipyard. The commission is still negotiating with Baker Investment on the establishment of a joint-venture with the shipping company that would manage the assets of the bankrupt Varna Shipyard. Staikov explained that the commission has a two-week period to conclude the negotiations and to choose the favourite. It seems that the other applicant that had chances to win the competition, AKB Fores, is already far from this achievement. Moreover, Slaveiko Staikov confirmed that Baker Investment had provided the full set of documents, including the registration ones.

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