Банкеръ Weekly



New Year, new bank, new luck is the wish, accepted with pleasure by Mitko Sabev, Chairman of the Board of Directrors of Haftex Bulgaria Holding.On December 14, 2002 he left the Supervisory Board of NEFTINVESTBANK, and a week later became Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EUROBANK. In the beginning of January 2003, Petrol AD, in which Haftex Bulgaria Holding owns 90% of the capital, demanded a permission from the BNB to purchase the company Eurocapital Bulgaria. That deal will make it EUROBANK's owner. The central bank's blessing is necessary, as it has entitled the Slovak fund Istrocapital to hold through Eurocapital Bulgaria 85.35% of EUROBANK's shares. Therefore, only the BNB can transfer that right to another owner of Eurocapital Bulgaria.I hope we'll soon get BNB's permission as I'm eager to close new bank deals, Mr. Sabev joked infront of the BANKER weekly. He specified that Petrol will pay BGN14.5MN to Istrocapital for the purchase of Eurocapital Bulgaria AD. But I'll order remittance of the money to thr Slovak fund only after the central bank permits to Petrol to acquire 85.35% of EUROBANK through the purchase of Eurocapital Bulgaria, Mr. Sabev explained.However, the Chairman of Naftex Bulgaria Holding's BoD and of EUROBANK's Supervisory Board should not be so optimistic. The BNB has its own schedule for the permissions it is going to issue regarding NEFTINVESTBANK (renamed to INVESTBANK on December 14, 2002) and to EUROBANK. On January 13, 2003, the central bank withdrew its curators from HEFTINVESTBANK and by the end of the month will probably allow its shareholder to decrease the financial institution's capital from BGN42.6MN to BGN16.6MN. According to Mr. Sabev, as a result of that operation some BGN30MN will be remitted to the bank accounts of Petrol AD and Naftex Bulgaria Holding, which own together 75.78% of NEFTINVESTBANK's shares. They'll get additional money when Petya Slavova's Festa Holding (Ms. Slavova is Chairperson of the bank's Supervisory Board) buys from her former partners 60% of the credit institution''s capital, for which a permission from the BNB is also necessary. Only after the completion of that cascade of operations, the central bank will allow Petrol AD to acquire through Eurocapital Bulgaria 85.35% of EUROBANK.We believe that Petrol should first get free from its share participation in one of the credit isntituions, and after that take control over the other one, representatives of BNB's Bank Supervision Department commented for the BANKER weekly. Mitko Sabev claims that Petrol AD has sufficient own funds in order to pay BGN14.5MN to Istrocapital prior getting its money from the decrease of NEFTINVESTBANK's capital. However, he underlined that he would wait for BNB's Bank Supervision permission.

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