NEW HEAD OF THE BULGARIAN AGENCY FOR EXPORT INSURANCE SOUGHT
The members of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Bulgarian Agency for Export Insurance (BAEI) have kept their positions for an indefinite period of time. The general meeting of BAEI's shareholders, whose only item on the agenda was replacement of its BoD, was scheduled for October 1. However, the meeting was postponed for October 5, and at the last moment its was cancelled again, without setting a new date for holding it.According to representatives of the Ministry of Economy, BAEI's general meeting was twice cancelled because of the failure to find a suitable person to head the BoD. The export agency is 100% state-owned. In addition to the Ministry of Economy, the State Insurance Institute (DZI) is a shareholder in it with a small stake. The Agency was set up three years ago by a special law in order to insure against trade and non-trade risks, related to the export of Bulgarian goods abroad. The BAEI is presently headed by a 7-member BoD, and its operational management is the hands of three executive directors - Sonya Sofronova, Nataliya Bozhkova, and Tsvyatko Goranov. As a result of circulating rumours that the new Government would replace the Agency's managers, Mr. Goranov hurried up to hand in his regignation as executive director in the beginning of September. He will be also relieved from his duties as BoD member at the forthcoming general meeting. In addition to the executive directors, the BoD includes Lyuchezar Stefanov, Diana Naidenova, Kiril Grigorov, and DZI as a jusristic person. Many of them are also expected to be dismissed from the Board. Until two or three weeks ago Petrozar Petkov (currently employed at Allianz Bulgaria) was frequently mentioned as the probable new head of the BAEI. Presumably, the choice of the Agency's new management was postponed because Mr. Petkov had refused to take over the post, or because not sufficient candidates for the whole management team were found. Economic Ministry insiders presume there might be another reason as well - that the Export Insurance Act needs amendments. A panel of experts has been set up to draft a bill on the necessary changes in that Act. It is probable that both the legislative amendments and the replacements in the managerial team would be done simultaneously.The expected changes do not influence the everyday work of the Agency, its managers claim. Several offers for closing insurance contracts are being discussed every day, insiders explained. Since its establishment the BAEI has signed contracts for cooperation with 13 banks, and 47 insurance contracts are presently in force. The premium revenues of the Agency for the first nine months of 2001 are twice its revenue for the entire 2000, BAEI representatives reported to the BANKER weekly.