Банкеръ Weekly



The political experience of the Deputy Prime Minister Peter Jotev started to exert influence on his work as CEO of the Bank Consolidation Company. Mr. Jotev was appointed leader of the SDS pre-election list in Bourgas where he was supposed to regain voters' trust in the ruling majority. And in order to fulfil his task Mr. Jotev took up a wide range of activities. For example, he tried to play simultaneous chess, but failed to win against all of his rivals. The banker did not miss the chance to test his combination skills in banking as well.
Six days before the elections a meeting of the Board of Directors of BCC took place. It was followed by a short and rather vague message for the medias, reading:
Over BGL500,000 have been collected from an old credit remained after the sale of EXPRESSBANK. There is a possibility that other BGL600,000 may also be collected from the same credit plus nearly BGL1MN from another old credit remained from the bank.
When in 1999 Mr. Jotev sold the Varna-located EXPRESSBANK (now renamed to SG EXPRESSBANK) to the French Societe Generale, BCC agreed to buy the uncollectable receivables of the Bulgarian credit institution from the bankrupted Varna shipyard. Their total size amounted to USD20.3MN, while BCC paid about USD6MN for them. Together with the receivables, the Consolidation Company was also given all guarantees on them - the mortgages on three unfinished ships. However, till this very moment they remain unsold.
Insiders comment that on May 2, 2001, BCC has owned SG EXPRESSBANK's receivables from the firms Bulunion and Dolphin 1 which are undergoing legal proceedings at the moment. Dolphin 1 claims that it does not owe BGL3.369MN to the bank and accuses the credit institution of illegal settlement of a payment amounting to BGL362,000. In March, 2001, SG EXPRESSBANK won the case against Dolphin 1 at the Varna Municipal Court, yet the firm claimed against court rule in front of the Varna Court of Appeal which has still not reached a decision.
Financists comment that apart from its receivable from Dolphin 1, the bank has also transferred to BCC all sums collected as settlements of payment from the firm's accounts.
The other debtor of SG EXPRESSBANK - the firm Bulunion, was announced in liquidation in May, 2001. It has a liability amounting to USD1.1MN to Varna shipyard which has been guaranteed by a mortgage on the motor ship Serdika. The guarantee has been transferred in favour of BCC. SG EXPRESSBANK took the engagement to carry out all negotiations for the sale of the ship and to transfer all collected money to BCC's accounts. Several Bulgarian and foreign firms are said to be interested in the vessel, however only as old scrap.

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