Банкеръ Weekly



147 companies were entirely divested at the fifth centralized public tender, held on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE) May 3-18. Three of them - Comsig EAD - Sofia, Montazhni Sistemi - Pazardjik, and Atomenergostroiprogress - Kozlodoui, were 100% state-owned. Comsig, which operates in the sphere of electronics and electrical engineering, was purchased against BGN1MN in cash. The non-standard electric boards producer Montazhni Sistemi was sold against investment bonds worth BGN444,440. Only one purchase bid of BGN5MN was submitted for Atomenergostroiprogress. This price was four-fold higher than the initially asked one. The enterprise was established in 1987 as an unit of the Nuclear Power Station of Kozlodoui. In 2001 it was separated from the N-plant, but to the very present day it still repairs Kozlodoui's energy generating capacities. State-owned shares in 24 enterprises were put up for sale, but not all of them were bought. BGN6.5MN in compensation instruments of payment and investment bonds, and BGN7.5MN in cash will be paid for all privatized packages at the fifth centralized public tender. The players on the BSE completely disregarded 82 companies, not a single share in which changed hands. At the third non-attendance tender, held concurrently with the centralized one, state-owned shares in 49 companies were sold. Buyers will pay for them a total of BGN7.3MN in investment bonds and compensation instruments, and BGN2.9MN in cash. Thus, 16 of all the 65 state-owned shares, offered for sale, could not find buyers. Tenders enjoyed huge interest initially, and afterwards the enthusiasm of investors declined. However, activity stirred up again when the lowest prices dropped by half on May 12. The next centralized public tender will begin in June, the Privatisation Agency (PA) announced. Minority packages in some 50 firms will be put up for sale then, and this exhausts the resource of the PA. In about a week the names of the companies will become known, but according to PA's practice so far, they will also include companies, whose state-owned shares remained unsold at the previous tender. The initial price of shares in that case will be BGN0.01/apiece. The new tender is expected to end on June 30, when the term of validity of investment bonds elapses. The Government has recently proposed amendments to the Privatisation and Post-privatisation Control Act, stipulating to extend the term of validity of investment bonds till mid-2005. That is why, as of June 30 trade in these instruments on the BSE will be stopped, but their accounts shall not be closed and the voting of the proposed changes will be waited for. If the term of validity is extended, trade in investment bonds will be resumed. The PA has closed so far 1,000 deals for the sale of state-owned shares, most of them minority packages. Proceeds from these tenders in non-cash instruments of payment amount to BGN67MN.

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