Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

PENSION BONDS CAMPAIGN SUFFERS FIASCO

Not one of the 8 licensed pension insurance companies has established a voluntary pension fund with investment bonds, and there will not be such a licensed fund. It is not only because of lack of willingness but also due to shortage of time. The vouchers will be valid for another four months - till December 31, 2001. No extension of this term has been proposed yet, the legal department of the Centre for Mass Privatisation (CMP) explained to the BANKER weekly.
Two more tenders are to be held by the term's expiration. The date for the 20th centralized public tender has been set at September 3. According to CMP's schedule, this voucher divestment should be finalized with the payment of shares purchased at the 21st tender, by December 14.
Thus, nobody swallowed the bait of the second wave of mass privatisation - the possibility of buying an additional pension by vouchers - and citizens will be in for their bonds.
The reason does not lie in legislation as all necessary administrative procedures for setting up such a fund have been worked out, Assoc. Prof. Petar Boyadjiev, Chairman of the State Agency for Insurance Supervision, commented to the BANKER weekly the lack of licence applicants for the fourth possible fund of pension companies. The establishment of pensison funds with investment bonds is explicitely regulated by the Act on Voluntary Additional Pension Insurance.
The use of mass privatisation vouchers is one of the issues, lying most heavily on us now, Nikola Abadjiev, Chairman of the Bulgarian Association of Companies for Additional Pension Insurance, admitted to the BANKER. The interest is considerable, and there are constantly inquiries at the Association as to when and how the bonds could be used for pension insurance. People's expectations are great.
Private insurance companies' representatives said that at the current state of the economic situation they do not venture to undertake investing these bonds as it is not profitable.

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