Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

THE GOOD AND THE BAD INVESTORS IN PRIVATISATION

The Agency for Post-privatisation Control's (APC) list of the most inaccurate buyers, that have violated the clauses for investments in the purchase contracts, includes ten names. Strange enough, the first position in that black list is occupied by the owner of an enterprise where no scandalous privatisation deal has been effected. This is Transtourist - the top tourist transport company in the Balkans. On August 5, 1998, 75% of its capital was acquired by Mister - Bulgaria AD against USD165,565. For the failure of its 2001 investment programme the buyer was fined by the APC to pay BGN9.5MN and by another BGN11MN for not fulfilling its 2002 programme. The second place is occupied by Kambana - 1998 AD, successor of the well-known Dutch company Hellian Commodities, which brought two Bulgarian enterprises to bankruptcy: the Bourgas-based oil refinery Kambana, and Prima-M of Polski Trambesh. Due to unfulfillment of the 2001 investment programme for Prima-M (the Dutch who disappered from Bulgaria long ago had promised and failed to invest USD7MN in the enterprise), Kambana - 1998 will have to pay now USD4.5MN in default.The Bulgarian company Europack is third in the list of bad investors. It was fined by the APC to pay BGN6.5MN for non-fulfillment of its 2001 investment commitments to the Sofia-based Rulon Iskar.The first three in the rating of the 18 buyers who have been imposed the greatest sanctions for failure of their year 2001 and 2002 employment programmes again inludes Kambana - 1998 and Europack AD. The owner of the Sofia-based Rulon Iskar was fined to pay BGN2.4MN for not opening any of the promised 540 working positions. For similar inaction in Prima-M the company Kambana - 1998 has been fined by BGN1.3MN. The first place is occupied by Muller Sons, which also didn't create a single working position in Dunavska Korpina (purchased by the company in December 1998) for which they were sanctioned to pay BGN2.6MN. It should be noted as well that Vassilevs Bros. OOD is among the fined buyers who have failed to fulfill their commitments for opening new jobs. The company which acquired the Sofia-based refrigerator manufacturer Mraz in end-1996 was fined by BGN983,400. This seams strange, having in mind that the company's manager Vassil Vassilev is also the Chairman of the Union of Bulgarian Employers. The good thing is that as everything else privatisation also has its dark and its light side. APC's white list includes a total of 28 enterprises, which have overfulfilled their investment programmes. Sodi of Devnya is on the top. Instead of the promised USD4.1MN the majority owner - Belgium's Solvey - invested USD11.7MN in 2001. International Consortium Bulgaria AD - owner of Petrol AD - rates second. The buyer has agreed investments of USD15MN and has invested insted USD21,829,565 in the enterprise. Sparky Trading - the owner of the Lovech-based Eltos - ranks third among the excellent performers. It invested BGN8.9MN in the enterprise istead of the promised BGN1.9MN. Among the 36 investors that have overfulfilled their employment programme are: Elatsite Med, Arsenal of Kazanluk, and Acid Fertilizers, which holds the controlling package of shares in the Devnya-based Agropolychim.All in all, these are the new dark and light tones in the Bulgarian post-privatisation picture. APC's experts (after coming back from their summer holidays) will have to describe it in more detail and more analytically because it could tell what could we expect after the sale of the aces - the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) and Bulgartabac.

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