Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

UBB AND DYNAMO TO MEET AT COURT IN MARCH

The court battle, led by United Bulgarian Bank (BB) against its debtor Dynamo of Sliven, has been going on for a fourth year now and its end cannot be seen yet. On February 14, 2002, the Bourgas Court of Appeal again postponed the lawsuit. UBB has lodged an appeal for adjudicating Dynamo bankrupt because the Sliven-based electric engines manufacturer owes it more than USD4.7MN. The enterprise's lawyers, however, insisted that UBB should present additional proof that it had informed the Council of Ministers and the Centre for Mass Privatistion (CMP) about its receivables from Dynamo. The court announced it would hear the case again in March, and by then UBB's lawyers should find the required documents.In 1998 the managers of Dynamo (purchased by AKB Corporation) refused to pay back the enterprise's credit to UBB. Their motive was that the bank had not informed the privatisation authorities (the CMP in this case) about its receivables from Dynamo prior the enterprise's divestment. Lawsuits began and passed through all court instances within four years. The case is presently at the Sliven Regional Court again.The lawsuit for adjudicating Dynamo bankrupt (initiated by UBB in 1998 again) is progressing in a similar way. A year later, in March 1999, the regional magistrates rejected UBB's claim, refusing to declared Dynamo insolvent. The bank appealed that ruling at the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC). In October 1999, the magistrates from the SCC rejected the ruling of the Sliven Regional Court and returned the case for a second hearing.Despite SCC's ruling, however, on August 11, 2001, the Sliven Regional Court again refused to honour UBB's claim for adjudicating Dynamo insolvent. The bank lodged an appeal against this ruling and the case was forwarded to the Bourgas Court of Appeal. But the latter has not extended its final ruling yet, demanding from UBB to prove the indisputability of its receivables from Dynamo. The bank's lawyers claim that they'll not have problems in providing the documents, required by the Bourgas magistrates. However, some lawyers who are acquainted with the legal proceedings, believe this would not be sufficient for the Bourgas Court of Apepal in order to extend a ruling on the case.

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