Банкеръ Weekly



The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) may remain without a representative in the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Bank Consolidation Company (BCC). BNB's Deputy Governor and Head of the Bank Supervision Department Emilia Milanova is presently a member of BCC's BoD. Although the central bank has not been a shareholder in the BCC since 1999, the presence of Ms. Milanova in its managerial team is entirely reasonable. The BCC is selling the largest Bulgarian credit institutions, and the Bank Supervision Department, headed by Ms. Milanova, is obliged to assess the trustworthiness of any buyer and appraise if the future owner would contribute to the development of the institution, which he bids to acquire.
This is the situation today, but BCC's general meeting scheduled for September 17, 2001 is to elect a new BoD. The former deputy finance minister Plamen Oresharski, the ex-deputy premier and minister of economy and incumbent MP of the UDF Petar Jotev, and Alexander Bozhkov, will certainly go out of the BoD. A conflict may arise if the Ministry of Finance, which holds 97.8% of BCC's shares, does not vote for a representative of the BNB on BCC's new BoD.
As the Ministry of Finance participates in BCC's BoD as an institution, the incumbent Finance Minister Milen Velchev has already replaced his predecessor Muravey Radev and undertaken the chairmanship. The Deputy Finance Minsiter Krassimir Katev, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Economy Nikolai Vassilev, and his deputy in the Ministry of Economy Sofia Kassidova, will be also appointed on BCC's managerial team on September 17. However, the name of the fifth BoD member is still not known. In financial circles there are comments that preferences are given to the new Deputy Chairman of the State Agency for Energy and Energy Resources (SAEER) Gati Al Djiburi.

And while the appointment of Mr. Katev, Mr. Vassilev and Ms. Kassidova on BCC's BoD is reasonable, the presence of SAEER's official in its management is quite strange. Mr. Katev will assume all responsibilities of his predecessor in the Finance Ministry Plamen Oresharski, including his membership in BCC's BoD. The situation regarding Nikolai Vassilev is analogous. He will replace Petar Jotev in all vacated positions except one - as executive director of the BCC. The post will be overtaken by the Deputy Minister of Economy Sofia Kassidova.
Ms. Kassidova is the only one in BCC's new managerial team, who has worked in the Bulgarian banking sector and is acquainted with it in greater detail. Her stance is that the sector should be entirely placed under control of private capital. Ms. Kassidova believes that after the sale of Biochim commercial bank and of Bank DSK the credit institutions in Bulgaria would be forced to consider the opportunities for consolidation due to increased competition.

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