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Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria remains in historical memory defender of Bulgarian independence, dignity: PM

Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria remains in historical memory defender of Bulgarian independence, dignity: PM

6 October 2014 | 20:13 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. ”In the longest war ever fought in the Bulgarian history, Tsar Samuil gained great victories but also suffered heavy losses. He remains in our historical memory not as a conqueror but as Samuil – the defender of the Bulgarian independence and dignity,” said interim Prime Minister, Professor Georgi Bliznashki, speaking at an event to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the death of Bulgarian Tsar Samuil (997 – October 6, 1014) held at the Ceremonial Hall at Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski in the capital city Sofia, FOCUS News Agency reported.
In the official’s words, the figure of the glorious and tragic Bulgarian Tsar Samuil is among the most unforgettable history lessons.
”We have gathered at this commemoration to honour the memory of great Bulgarian ruler Tsar Samuil. Tsar Samuil is one of the most emblematic, heroic and tragic figures in Bulgarian history. He was born in Sofia, in the family of Comita Nikola. He died as a tsar of the Bulgarians on today’s date 1,000 years ago. His life was a constant battle with the Byzantine Empire to protect the independence of the Bulgarian state,” Mr Bliznashki added.
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We will erect monument to Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria in months to come: deputy mayor

We will erect monument to Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria in months to come: deputy mayor

6 October 2014 | 19:49 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. ”In connection with the remarkable anniversary of Tsar Samuil’s death the Sofia municipal council has unanimously decided to erect at this place a monument to this remarkable Bulgarian, leader and a person with a big heart. Thanks to the Bulgarian Memory Foundation and other Bulgarian patriots we will erect the monument in the months to come. We lay today this plaque as a foundation-stone to mark the place,” said Deputy Mayor of Sofia in charge of culture, education, sport and drug abuse prevention Todor Chobanov, speaking on Monday at a ceremony at which the foundation-stone -stone of the monument to Bulgarian ruler Tsat Samuil (997 – October 6, 1014) that is to be erected close to the Saint Sofia Church in the capital Sofia was inaugurated, FOCUS News Agency reported.
The event was part of the celebrations in connection with the 1,000th anniversary of the death of the ruler.
”Today we mark 1,000 years since the death of great Tsar Samuil. His life and achievements are more than ordinary ones. He played the historical role of lifting the torch of Bulgarian statehood and carrying it nearly 4 decades during years of an incessant conflict with the largest empire at that time – the Byzantine Empire. Even in his lifetime Samuil was a legend for his countrymen and foreigners, for Bulgarians and Byzantines, and is for the next generations a symbol of the unflagging resistance of Bulgaria, of the will of Bulgarian people [to strive for] freedom and independence,” Chobanov added.
”His death forever condemned the Byzantine Emperor Basil II the Bulgar-Slayer to being remembered as a tyrant and an evil person, while Samuil himself gained historical immortality like the Christian saints. It is beyond any doubt the Asen dynasty members and other fighters for freedom were inspired by Tsar Samuil’s model example He is one of the very small number of our tsars what have a place in folklore songs and legends,” he added.
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Tsar Samuil great and tragic figure in Bulgaria’s history: PM

Tsar Samuil great and tragic figure in Bulgaria’s history: PM

6 October 2014 | 19:17 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. ”I think a right decision has been made for the monument to this great ancestor of ours, Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria, to be erected in the heart of the capital as it was his hometown. Sredets [one of Sofia’s former names] is the fortress of Comita Nikola – Samuil’s father. Samuil is a great and along with that a tragic figure in our history,” said interim Prime Minister, Professor Georgi Bliznashki, speaking on Monday at a ceremony at which the foundation-stone -stone of the monument to Bulgarian ruler Tsat Samuil (997 – October 6, 1014) that is to be erected close to the Saint Sofia Church in the capital Sofia was inaugurated, FOCUS News Agency reported.
The event was part of the celebrations in connection with the 1,000th anniversary of the death of the ruler.
”Studying his deeds during that distant time, we perhaps learn the most frightful history lesson but this is actually the history of resistance, of a political and ethnic community that came to an understanding of its existence, which resisted, using all of its strength, the multi-ethnic and diverse Byzantine Empire, which at the time was thriving,” the Prime Minister remarked.
”It is not accidental that our prominent scientist Acad. Vasil Gyuzelev calls this time ”the Bulgarian epopee” and this epopee will forever remain connected to the name of Tsar Samuil. Therefore, as heirs to his great deed we pay respect and promise this monument will be erected in the shortest time, even this year, the year of the 1,000th anniversary of [Tsar Samuil’s death] as Tsar Samuil deserves this homage,” Mr Bliznashki remarked.



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Foundation-stone of monument to Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria inaugurated in capital city

Foundation-stone of monument to Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria inaugurated in capital city

6 October 2014 | 18:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Foundation stone of the monument to Bulgarian ruler Tsat Samuil (997 – October 6, 1014) that is to be erected close to the Saint Sofia Church in the capital Sofia was inaugurated on Monday, FOCUS News Agency reported.
The event was part of the celebrations in connection with the 1,000th anniversary of the death of the ruler.
The event was attended by President Rosen Plevneliev, interim Prime Minister, Professor Georgi Bliznashki, interim Minister of Defence, Velizar Shalamanov, interim Minister of Culture, Martin Ivanov, Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, and Deputy Mayor of Sofia Todor Chobanov as well as municipal councillors from Sofia’s municipal council.

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Bulgarian central bank governor gives public answer to open letter of CEDB leader

Bulgarian central bank governor gives public answer to open letter of CEDB leader

13 September 2014 | 16:34 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) Governor Ivan Iskrov publicly responded to the open letter of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) party leader Boyko Borisov.
Mr Iskrov’s statement was sent to the media from the press office of the central bank.
Here is what Ivan Iskrov’s position:
“Dear Mr Borisov,
I am happy that the case of the banking group Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) and its solution is in the focus of a politician like you, a person I respect as a statesman and leader of a political party.
As Governor of the BNB I find it highly important to make the best decision on CorpBank.
With regard to the high public sensitiveness on the issue I dare to take a position on the issues stated in your open letter though it was not officially received at the BNB. I do this through the public epistolary form of communication you chose.
Your open letter mentions “rash and controversial statements of the BNB Governor”. In the first place, please let me stress on the fact that all statement on CorpBank – since the very first day of the special supervision, are made on behalf of the Management Board of BNB. It is a legitimate managing authority of the central bank that makes managing decisions.
Not only that the statements themselves are not rash and controversial but the taken or future actions have always been clearly explained, including about the appointed suquestrators and auditors in the CorpBank group.
Unfortunately, what was controversial was the behaviour of political subjects, which led to being impossible to resume the activity and the opening of the CorpBank for depositors and clients on July 21, 2014, as wished by the BNB.
Here I have to recall that my only personal address – an exception of the stated institutional right – was my publicly declared readiness presented to the Chairperson of the 42nd National Assembly to hand in my resignation as BNB Governor. […]
Since you also mention “feeling of lack of control over the process”, please allow me to fully agree with you.
You are right, there is such a feeling and it started in the moment when the leading parliamentary represented parties in the 42nd National Assembly did not reach an agreement over the support to the legislative approach proposed by the BNB and the government at the meeting with the President on July 14, 2014. Though this draft bill was discussed in detail with experts from the three leading parliamentary represented parties. You attended this meeting, too and you are personally acquainted with the discussion and the positions expressed by the participants.
From that moment the only option for the BNB was to continue its work within the restricted framework of the existing legislation.
Unfortunately, there is a feeling of unpredictability and it is generated from the frequent change of the positions of several public figures, including politicians and experts. […]
It is the BNB that assumes the responsibility and that is why the central bank is very careful in its public speaking and meetings – it is because its assumes the responsibility. And the other way round – the more talkative the self-proclaimed “CorpBank committees” are, they less responsibility they assume. […]
As far as the deadline until October 20 set by the auditors is concerned, there is nothing unpredictable in it – the information was announced yet on July 31 and since then it has been available on the website of the BNB.
As far as the deadline for evaluation of the assets and liabilities of the CorpBank group and the work of the financial conservator are concerned, I may assure you that the BNB management is keeping a daily contact with the conservators of the two banks.”
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Over 500,000 Bulgarian citizens are directly or indirectly affected by the problems in the CorpBank:  chairman

Over 500,000 Bulgarian citizens are directly or indirectly affected by the problems in the CorpBank: chairman

12 September 2014 | 14:59 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. “Over 500,000 Bulgarian citizens are directly or indirectly affected by the problems in the CorpBank,” Vasil Velev, Chairman of the Industrial Capital Association said at the meeting between bank experts, representatives of trade unions and employers and the Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev, FOCUS News Agency announced.
"There are many complaints filed to the Ombudsman. Affected companies are tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands are the affected workers. 8% of the funds in the banking system do not work. There is one and only culprit and it is the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB),” Velev stated.
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PM calls on majority shareholder of CorpBank to return to Bulgaria

PM calls on majority shareholder of CorpBank to return to Bulgaria

10 September 2014 | 16:02 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Bulgaria’s interim Prime Minister, Professor Georgi Bliznashki, addressed majority shareholder of Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) Tsvetan Vasilev, urging him to return to Bulgaria and cooperate with the justice system so that the truth about the bank in which even he [Vasilev] invested a lot becomes clear.
The Prime Minister addressed the wanted banker, speaking at a press conference after Wednesday’s regular sitting of the cabinet.
Mr Bliznashki thinks if things take a turn for the worse the financial, economic and social dimensions of the problem would be really serious.
”The banks are stable but we have to solve the CorpBank case as if it spins out of control, this may have negative impact on other banks in the country,” the head of the Bulgarian Government remarked.
CorpBank has been placed under special supervision since June 2014.
The people and institutions that have money deposited at it currently have no access to it.
Tsvetan Vasilev is said to be currently in Serbia.
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Bulgaria’s state budget update to be prepared by end-September: interim PM

Bulgaria’s state budget update to be prepared by end-September: interim PM

10 September 2014 | 14:24 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. ”Revision of the [state] budget will be prepared by the end of September, it turned out to be inevitable,” said interim Prime Minister, Professor Georgi Bliznashki, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday after the Council of Minister’s regular sitting, FOCUS News Agency reported.
”The government will prepare by then amendments to the Electronic Government Act. Final versions of operational programmes will be prepared by October 11,” the Prime Minister remarked.
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Bulgaria’s Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t undertaken engagements on behalf of central bank governor

Bulgaria’s Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t undertaken engagements on behalf of central bank governor

10 September 2014 | 09:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. On September 9, 2014 the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Bulgaria, Sotir Tsatsarov, met with representatives of the following employers’ organisations: the Confederation of the Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Industrial Association, the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as representatives of the two largest trade unions in Bulgaria – the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (CITUB) and the Confederation of Labour Podkrepa, the press centre of the Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday.
The organisations of businesses and the trade unions initiated the meeting.
The Minister of Finance took part in the talks were held at their request.
The participants in the discussion presented before the Prosecutor General and the Minister of Finance their positions of experts on the possible recovery of Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) and the way of protecting the people that have financial resources deposited at it.
The necessity of starting a dialogue on these topics with the management of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) was put emphasis on.
The proceedings launched against employees of CorpBank AD were not discussed.
The management of the Prosecutor’s Office did not undertake any engagements on behalf of the BNB governor, including ones concerning concrete deadlines in which the central bank has to take actions.
It was reported on Tuesday Sasho Donchev, chairman of the management board of the Bulgarian Industrial Association, said BNB governor Ivan Iskrov had promised there would be a clear picture of the state of troubled CorpBank before the public on September 21.

FOCUS News Agency recalls:
CorpBank has been placed under special supervision since June 2014.
The people that have money deposited at it currently have no access to it.
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BNB governor pledges clear picture about state of CorpBank on September 21: Bulgarian Industrial Association chair

BNB governor pledges clear picture about state of CorpBank on September 21: Bulgarian Industrial Association chair

9 September 2014 | 17:31 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. ”[Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB)] Ivan Iskrov promised there would be a clear picture of the state of troubled Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) before the public on September 21,” said Sasho Donchev, chairman of the management board of the Bulgarian Industrial Association, speaking before journalists, FOCUS News Agency reported.
Sasho Donchev and other figures met on Tuesday with Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov.
”Our meeting was dedicated to CorpBank. This meeting was provoked by statements of the Prosecutor General over the past week. During the meeting honest points of view were presented, seeking most of all a possibility for cooperation – for the laws of Bulgaria to be observed, this is something which is a responsibility of the Prosecutor’s Office, which we declared support for in each situation when that is needed,” Donchev said further.
In Donchev’s words, he insists the bank is preserved as a business.
Various media reported Donchev said after the meeting CorpBank could be recovered only through public finance.
CorpBank has been placed under special supervision since June 2014.
The people that have money deposited at it currently have no access to it.
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If arrest warrant for wanted banker dropped, he will return to Bulgaria: lawyer

If arrest warrant for wanted banker dropped, he will return to Bulgaria: lawyer

9 September 2014 | 15:36 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. ”If the arrest warrant issued for [majority shareholder of troubled Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank)] Tsvetan Vasilev is dropped, he will return to Bulgaria,” said Vasilev’s lawyer Konstantin Simeonov, speaking before journalists, FOCUS News Agency reported.
Vasilev was accused previously of the money misappropriation of really large scale.
According to the lawyer, Vasilev is in his house in Belgrade.
Konstantin Simeonov explained Vasilev had only signed the papers authorising him to represent him as a lawyer.
Asked to comment on the Prosecutor General’s actions connected with the recovery of the bank, Simeonov declined to comment.
”Would you return if you knew you would be arrested at the border?,” he posed a somewhat rhetoric question.
”It should be first seen where the money went and if there indeed was misappropriation – this is not certain,” the lawyer stated.



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Bulgaria’s most wanted banker Vasilev is in Serbia, working for CorpBank’s recovery (ROUNDUP)

Bulgaria’s most wanted banker Vasilev is in Serbia, working for CorpBank’s recovery (ROUNDUP)

9 September 2014 | 03:37 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The main owner of Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), Tsvetan Vassilev, is willing to return to Bulgaria to help with a rescue plan for the troubled lender if an arrest warrant against him is lifted, his lawyer said on Monday, Reuters reported, citing Bulgarian media.
The central bank took control of Corpbank in June after a run on deposits and shut down its operations, blocking access to accounts containing more than $3.7 billion and triggering the biggest banking crisis in the Balkan country since the 1990s.
Bulgarian prosecutors charged Vassilev with embezzlement and issued an international warrant for his arrest, and a court ordered the seizure of his assets.
Lawyer Konstantin Simeonov said Vassilev - whose whereabouts were previously unknown - was in neighbouring Serbia, "where he is working on a recovery plan for the bank". Simeonov gave no details.
Late in the afternoon, after the news had already spread in all media, the Bulgarian prosecution came out with an official statement.
Search for Bulgarian banker Tsvetan Vasilev is entirely within the competence of Interpol. A press release of the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office said.
As far as the claims that Vasilev was in Serbia and that he was not wanted and searched for by the Bulgarian law-enforcement authorities, the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office declares, as follows:
On 28.07.2014 there was a European arrest warrant issued for Tsvetan Vasilev and he was declared for search in the Schengen Information System.
The same man is declared for search in the information system of Interpol, too, in connection with a request of the Prosecutor’s Office to declare him for international search with the purpose of extradition.
The real search for banker Tsvetan Vasilev is not within the competence and authorities of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria but within the competence and authorities of Interpol, which Serbia is a member state in.
The Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office coordinates its actions with the law and the international agreements and it should be explicitly stressed that it does not have any authorities in terms of extradition on the territory of any other country, including Serbia.
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Search for Bulgarian banker Tsvetan Vasilev within Interpol’s competence

Search for Bulgarian banker Tsvetan Vasilev within Interpol’s competence

8 September 2014 | 16:31 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Search for Bulgarian banker Tsvetan Vasilev is entirely within the competence of Interpol. A press release of the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office says.
As far as the claims that Vasilev was in Serbia and that he was not wanted and searched for by the Bulgarian law-enforcement authorities, the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office declares, as follows:
On 28.07.2014 there was a European arrest warrant issued for Tsvetan Vasilev and he was declared for search in the Schengen Information System.
The same man is declared for search in the information system of Interpol, too, in connection with a request of the Prosecutor’s Office to declare him for international search with the purpose of extradition.
The real search for banker Tsvetan Vasilev is not within the competence and authorities of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria but within the competence and authorities of Interpol, which Serbia is a member state in.
The Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office coordinates its actions with the law and the international agreements and it should be explicitly stressed that it does not have any authorities in terms of extradition on the territory of any other country, including Serbia.
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Main Corpbank owner would return to Bulgaria if arrest warrant lifted -lawyer

Main Corpbank owner would return to Bulgaria if arrest warrant lifted -lawyer

8 September 2014 | 15:11 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The main owner of Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), Tsvetan Vassilev, is willing to return to Bulgaria to help with a rescue plan for the troubled lender if an arrest warrant against him is lifted, his lawyer said on Monday, Reuters reported.
The central bank took control of Corpbank in June after a run on deposits and shut down its operations, blocking access to accounts containing more than $3.7 billion and triggering the biggest banking crisis in the Balkan country since the 1990s.
Bulgarian prosecutors charged Vassilev with embezzlement and issued an international warrant for his arrest, and a court ordered the seizure of his assets.
Lawyer Konstantin Simeonov said Vassilev - whose whereabouts were previously unknown - was in neighbouring Serbia, "where he is working on a recovery plan for the bank". Simeonov gave no details.

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Financier Krasimir Angarski: Bankruptcy of Bulgaria’s CorpBank poses a risk to the banking system

Financier Krasimir Angarski: Bankruptcy of Bulgaria’s CorpBank poses a risk to the banking system

8 September 2014 | 08:05 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The council and Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov will discuss on Tuesday different solutions to the problem of Corporate Commercial Bank. Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) has already made the first step by sending letters to shareholders of corporate Commercial Bank, calling for their help in increasing the capital of the bank, Trud daily writes.
BNB could also establish a consultative council on issues of Corporate Commercial Bank.
Krasimir Angarski is a member of the expert consultative council on problems of Corporate Commercial Bank with employment organisations and trade unions.
According to him, Corporate Commercial Bank could be saved at the expense of the shareholders and depositors whose deposits are not guaranteed. Victoria Bank could be opened immediately if it is acquired by BNB. Corporate Commercial Bank is the fourth largest by assets bank in Bulgaria and if it is closed it will pose a risk to the banking system.
***
Krasimir Angarski has been participating in the management of DSK Bank, DZI Bank and Postbank.
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Bulgarian experts draft a law protecting banks

Bulgarian experts draft a law protecting banks

8 September 2014 | 08:02 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The expert consulting council with the organisation of employers and trade unions in Bulgaria will draft a law protecting banks and their lenders in order to solve the problem of Corporate Commercial Bank, Trud daily writes.
The bank has been closed for a third month after it was put under special supervision by BNB on 20 June. Before drafting the law, the committee which consists of 10 bankers and economists will initiate a series of meetings to discuss the financial restructuring of Corporate Commercial Bank. The first one will be held on 9 September with Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov. After that experts will hold talks with BNB’s conservators in Corporate Commercial Bank and the national ombudsman Konstantin Penchev.

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Tsatsarov: Bulgaria's Prosecutor’s Office cannot give a prescription for Corporate Commercial Bank

Tsatsarov: Bulgaria's Prosecutor’s Office cannot give a prescription for Corporate Commercial Bank

8 September 2014 | 02:42 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Prosecutor’s Office cannot give prescription for Corporate Commercial Bank, Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov told BNT, as quoted by Novinar daily. He commented on the problems of the bank and its possible restructuring. According to Tsatsarov, a decision will be taken after 23 September when audit reports on the bank are published. “Liquidation will be far cheaper, but restructuring would be a better option,” Mr Tsatsarov said. He suggested that Corporate Commercial Bank could be divided into a good and a bad bank. He also added that more officials from BNB’s Banking Supervision department may be accused. Sega daily quotes Mr Tsatsarov as saying that the solution to the problem should not be the financial death of Corporate Commercial Bank because “we do not face a normal situation when a bank is dying because of banking and financial market risks”. Sega daily also reminds that the first person accused of inefficient banking supervision over Corporate Commercial Bank was BNB deputy governor Tsvetan Gunev after Protest Network signalled for this.
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Bulgaria Prosecutor General: I will hold a meeting for saving CorpBank

Bulgaria Prosecutor General: I will hold a meeting for saving CorpBank

4 September 2014 | 08:05 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Bulgarian Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov stated he supported ideas for financial restructuring of Corporate Commercial Bank, 24 Chasa daily writes.
He said he was against liquidation of the bank. He added he would organise a meeting next week on this occasion. He said liquidation was not a solution to the problem of people who deposited their money in the bank. “As the state and politicians created this abnormal situation to some extent, the bank should not be killed and depositors should receive their money,” he said.
Trud daily adds that Mr Tsatsarov said 9 employees of Corporate Commercial Bank and one member of BNB were accused of the draining of BGN 206 million from the bank. He pointed out the Prosecutor’s Office would not limit itself to only one defendant in the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB).
***
Conservators in BNB refused accepting instalments on loans granted by banks, the Committee for Protection of the Financial and Banking Stability in Bulgaria wrote in a letter to BNB Governor Ivan Iskrov, caretaker PMP Georgi Bliznashki, President Rosen Plevneliev and Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev. Conservators did not provide explanation for their actions. Meanwhile, they published a consolidated report of Corporate Commercial Bank for the first six months of the year. The bank lost BGN 65.445 million for the first half of the year. He said he did not realise how MRF MP Delyan Peevski could be involved in the crisis in Corporate Commercial Bank because he had not managed the bank.
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Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz stashes BGN 17.1 million in CorpBank

Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz stashes BGN 17.1 million in CorpBank

3 September 2014 | 08:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. As of 30 June 2014, Bulgargaz has BGN 17.084 million blocked in different payment bank accounts in Corporate Commercial Bank, according to Bulgargaz’s financial report for the first half of 2014, Klasa daily writes.
According to data by the Ministry of Economy, 98.5% of Bulgargaz’s money is blocked in the bank. Recently, Bulgargaz announced a public procurement for a loan of USD 93 million.
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BNB confirms its willingness to discuss various legal market solutions and suggestions of CorpBank shareholders

BNB confirms its willingness to discuss various legal market solutions and suggestions of CorpBank shareholders

1 September 2014 | 20:48 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. On August 22, 2014 the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) has sent letters to the two largest shareholders in Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) - Bromak AD and State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman (SGRF) with a request by August 31 to present their specific proposals for engagement of potential capital and liquidity support of CorpBank in accordance with the legislation in force in Bulgaria and the EU, press centre of the BNB announced.
In that period, Tsvetan Vasilev, the sole shareholder of Bromak AD and SGRF sent response which does not contain specific proposals and financial commitments, but that declares principle intentions for future actions.
Tsvetan Vasilev announced that in the coming days an investment company will bring in the BNB and the government structured proposal.
On its turn the SGRF stated intention to create a consortium of investors who will make a proposal for the restructuring of the CorpBank. This proposal will be based on the valuation of assets, which is currently being carried out by conservators; further assessment ("due diligence") and adequate state support from the Bulgarian government.
On this occasion the Bulgarian National Bank confirms its willingness to maintain a constructive dialogue and discussion of various legal market solutions and suggestions from current shareholders of CorpBank.
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Bulgaria's Corporate Commercial Bank order secured

Bulgaria's Corporate Commercial Bank order secured

30 August 2014 | 05:28 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Four days after the majority shareholder of Corporate Commercial Bank Tsvetan Vasilev received an invitation from the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) to propose measures for its straightening, the court levied a distraint upon all his assets, along with several managers and employees of the bank.
The distraint explicitly shows that the otherwise delayed invitation was nothing more than an act of hypocrisy, as this way Mr Vasilev could only straighten the bank by attracting a large foreign investor or numerous small ones.
Still, jurists told the Banker weekly that companies owned by Vasilev do not enter the scope of the distraint, providing an example with Bromak. The managers of the company can still open deposits and conclude contracts. The distraint also does not regard the shares of Bromak in Corporate Commercial Bank (50.54%). This means that Vasilev can still take part in straitening Corporate Commercial Bank via Bromak.
The severe measures with the distraints came mere days after the court announced that it was shaken in its conviction about the draining of the bank. The last two officials of the bank arrested within the trial were released.
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Bulgaria Finance Minister promised the depositors “candy”

Bulgaria Finance Minister promised the depositors “candy”

30 August 2014 | 05:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The interim Finance Minister Rumen Porozhanov promised the depositors at Corporate Commercial Bank “candy”. This is how representatives of the central bank commented on the idea of the minister for “partial access to deposits based on particular liquidity that Corporate Commercial Bank has.” According to the management of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) this is a cheap way to seek public approval as Bulgarian legislation does not envisage the opportunity to open a bank under special supervision and reimburse deposits, the Banker weekly learnt.
Managers of commercial banks also expressed their bewilderment with the suggestions of the ministers about ideas that are impossible to implement at least until end-October.
The Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) described the statement as “speculative” and attempting to demonstrate the commitment of the ministry and the government to the problem with the bank.
At the same time, the Banker and Standart dailies also quote the minister as saying that if a political decision is taken to support Corporate Commercial Bank with budget funds, the budget deficit would exceed the 3% barrier.
The Trud daily reports on other reactions to the words of the minister. The National Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev said he was very pleased with the statement of the minister as, finally, the voice of common sense could be heard.
Former culture minister Vezhdi Rashidov, who is one of the depositors at the bank, commented that an offer to repay him BGN 500 was “absurd”. He said the state is taking part in the robbery of the bank by oligarchs.
The loss of Corporate Commercial Bank and Commercial Bank Victoria was BGN 259 million in end-July, BNB data shows.
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Deposits of up to BGN 1,000 at Bulgaria's CorpBank reimbursed?

Deposits of up to BGN 1,000 at Bulgaria's CorpBank reimbursed?

30 August 2014 | 04:48 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Opportunities are sought to grant access to all deposits of between BGN 500 – 1,000 at Corporate Commercial Bank, the interim Finance Minister Rumen Porozhanov told bTV on Friday.
In his words, the interim government wants for the bank to resume operation in order not to lose any of the funds of depositors, companies or municipalities. This should happen without the interference of public funds, but through shareholders and creditors that will capitalise the bank and provide liquidity.
In two weeks the government expects for the Vienna fund interested in Corporate Commercial Bank to present a plan for the straightening of the bank, Porozhanov also said. It transpired from his words that the investor from Vienna was in fact invited by a representative of the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman, which holds 30% of the bank, the 24 Chasa daily reports.
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“Emergency aid loan” is yet another mirage in Bulgaria

“Emergency aid loan” is yet another mirage in Bulgaria

30 August 2014 | 03:37 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Violina Marinova, CEO of DSK Bank, told the Banker weekly that she, as well as most commercial bankers, supports the idea of a credit against a deposit at Corporate Commercial Bank. The interest would be of around 5-6% - no more than 2-3% above the deposit interest offered by Corporate Commercial Bank, she noted. The regime would, however, not be applied for companies, which would have to undergo the regular crediting procedure, while the deposit would simply influence the level of the credit interest rate.
“It is highly likely that we work out such a product, ” the CEO of UniCredit Bulbank Levon Hampartzoumian said, noting that the bank is currently clarifying the legal possibilities and making sure that such a loan would in fact be secured. In his opinion these loans would not come at a high cost.
The CEO of CIBank Petar Andronov explained that it is a possible solution, but the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) needs to provide preliminary information on deposit guarantees and the potential number of clients who might be interested in such a product.
The sector expects that the BNB will be active in the process, but the central bank itself refuses to grant its approval or recommendations on the product.
At the same time, the Republic of Bulgaria National Assembly Bank Deposits Guarantee Act stipulates that the repayment of deposits begins 20 days following the revocation of a bankrupt bank's license. However, it does not determine the deadline for the repayment of 100% of the amount, Vanya Vasileva, Chairperson of the Management Board and Executive Director of Tokuda Bank, emphasised.
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Bulgarian municipalities and companies cry out for loans

Bulgarian municipalities and companies cry out for loans

30 August 2014 | 03:03 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Unprecedented crediting demand can be observed among municipalities and state companies since June, with the main part in the process undoubtedly being played by Corporate Commercial Bank’s placement under special supervision, the Banker weekly reads.
The Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD coal mining company announced a public procurement for an overdraft of up to BGN 8 million. Last time it received a loan of such an amount the company paid BGN 434,400 to CIBank without VAT. Mini Maritsa Iztok signed a loan contract for BGN 20 million on August 25 with SG Expressbank. Until June the company had accounts at First Investment Bank and Corpoate Commercial Bank, but following the latter’s closure Mini Maritsa Iztok began using the services of BNP Paribas. There were similar reshuffles with other large energy companies. Bulgargaz replaced Corporate Commercial Bank with SG Expressbank.
Another company in distress due to the situation with Corporate Commercial Bank is TPP Maritsa East 2 as it was deprived of access to two crediting lines (for BGN 5.22 million and BGN 20 million). Some 2,500 officials at the company received their salaries via the bank as well. Due to the extraordinary situation the company decided to secure circulating capital and invited SG Expressbank, United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), UniCredit Bulbank, DSK Bank and Raiffeisenbank to take part in the tender. UBB was selected in the beginning of August, offering an interest rate formed by the base interest rate (0.02%) plus a fixed margin of 2.65%.
Outside the energy field, credits are sought mostly to fill the permanent gaps in the budgets of state and municipal companies. Irrigation systems AD announced a public procurement for an overdraft of BGN 10 million to cover its operating needs on August 8. It took advantage of such a loan from D Commerce Bank in 2013. This time it sent an invitation to CIBank, D Commerce Bank, First Investment Bank, International Asset Bank and Central Cooperative Bank.
Municipal company Burgasbus also had to resort to a credit due to suspended funds under OP Environment. It invited Municipal Bank, UBB, SG Expressbank and UniCredit Bulbank to present offers for the issuance of BGN 6.732 million.
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Urgent measures are needed to avert crisis in the banking system in Bulgaria: ex-PM

Urgent measures are needed to avert crisis in the banking system in Bulgaria: ex-PM

30 August 2014 | 03:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Bulgaria’s banking system is in a critical situation and urgent measures are needed to avert the crisis, former PM Ivan Kostov told bTV. In his words, the necessary steps include immediate talks with investors willing to restructure the closed Corporate Commercial Bank and CB Victoria, appointment of a new BNB Governor and a budget update as soon as a new Parliament is elected. Banker Weekly reports.
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What happening at CorpBank not crisis but affair caused by Bulgarian National Bank: protester

What happening at CorpBank not crisis but affair caused by Bulgarian National Bank: protester

29 August 2014 | 20:49 | FOCUS News Agency
Plovdiv. “What is happening at Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) is not a crisis but an affair caused by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB),“ said Iliya Zyumbilev, one of the organisers of a protest staged Friday in front of the BNB building in the second-biggest city Plovdiv, speaking before demonstrators, Radio FOCUS – Plovdiv reported.
CorpBank has been placed under special supervision since June 2014 and no guaranteed deposits at it have been paid.
In Zyumbilev’s words, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Finance also caused the affair beside the BNB.
Speaking in front of some 50 protesters, Iliya Zyumbilev called on all the political parties and institutions to hold former minister of finance Petar Chobanov and BNB governor Ivan Iskrov responsible.
The demonstration organiser thinks Iskrov has to immediately resign and bear responsibility in court.
Iliya Zyumbilev addressed interim Minister of Finance, Rumen Porozhanov, and interim Prime Minister, Professor Georgi Bliznashki, calling on them not to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors and seek later political protection, too.
According to the protesters in Plovdiv, the statement of the Minister of Finance the CorpBank will open and the people will be able to withdraw up to BGN 1,000 from it is mockery.
“I call on the auditors at the bank not to threaten the bank employees and clients but to do their job, which they are paid for. [I urge] employers or other organisations that exert pressure on people that have money deposited at CorpBank not to take part in this protest; they need to also know they will be held accountable,“ Zyumbile warned.
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Bulgaria finance minister: Fate of CorpBank not decided by govt

Bulgaria finance minister: Fate of CorpBank not decided by govt

29 August 2014 | 10:27 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. “It is not the Bulgarian government to decide the fate of Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank),” said Bulgarian interim Minister of Finance, Rumen Porozhanov, speaking for bTV.
In his words, an assessment on the bank is being underway at the moment, which included an evaluation on its financial state and credit portfolio.
“After that there will be audits and it will be possible to judge whether the bank has been decapitalised, whether there is a decrease of the capital, which needs to be filled in, and what measures need to be taken,” the interim minister remarked.
“Only the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) knows what is happening with the bank at the moment,” Porozhanov added.
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Bulgaria central bank sources - Some BGN 6 billion is required to open CorpBank: Presa

Bulgaria central bank sources - Some BGN 6 billion is required to open CorpBank: Presa

29 August 2014 | 07:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) will not open Corporate Commercial Bank unless investors appear, ready to secure BGN 6 billion, the Presa daily learnt from BNB sources. At present the bank has debts to its depositors and creditors of BGN 6.3 billion.
Former BNB governor Emilia Maslarova believes that the Vienna fund which allegedly has interest in the bank should meet the BNB management until September 15 – 20, 2014. The investors could pour BGN 2 billion in the distressed bank, she says.

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Ivan Kostov: Month before Christmas will be the most difficult for Bulgaria

Ivan Kostov: Month before Christmas will be the most difficult for Bulgaria

29 August 2014 | 07:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. “Corporate Commercial Bank can resume operation on October 15, 2014, but measures need to be undertaken in order for this to happen. Corporate Commercial Bank does not have negative capital adequacy at present and such a capital adequacy will not be shown in the forthcoming audit report in September. This means that it can easily be recapitalised with a capital raise. Me and my team have analysed the risks from the special supervision upon Corporate Commercial Bank and Victoria Bank and have a plan for the straightening of the bank group,” Ivan Kostov, Director of the Risk Management Laboratory at the New Bulgarian University, said in an interview with bTV, as cited by Standart daily.
He added that the hastily issued BGN 1.23 billion of government debt meant to secure liquidity for First Investment Bank (Fibank), which suffered panic attacks in June, will have to be covered in November, as quoted by the Presa daily.
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Bulgaria court released last detainee within CorpBank trial: Capital Daily

Bulgaria court released last detainee within CorpBank trial: Capital Daily

29 August 2014 | 07:18 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. All the detainees within the trial for the embezzlement of BGN 206 million from Corporate Commercial Bank have been released, CapitalDaily writes. The last detainee to be freed from custody was the bank’s Deputy Chief Accountant Borislava Treneva – Kyuchukova. The Sofia Appellate Court (SAC) set a bail for her and the bank’s Chief Accountant Maria Dimova of BGN 3,000.
***
Meanwhile, in an open letter addressed to the Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) Ivan Iskrov, the nearly 500 members of the Committee for the Protection of the Financial and Bank Stability of Bulgaria state that the BNB’s passiveness over solving the problem with the bank borders on a crime.
***
Representatives of the European Commission (EC) are in Sofia for talks with the BNB, the Bulgarian Deposit Insurance Fund (BDIF) and the Finance Ministry on the Corporate Commercial Bank case, the Capital Daily reports, as cited by Sega. They raised the matter of speeding up the payment of guaranteed deposits, but the BNB explained that this cannot happen before the revocation of the bank’s license.
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Bulgaria court of appeal imposes restraining order “on bail” to CorpBank defendants

Bulgaria court of appeal imposes restraining order “on bail” to CorpBank defendants

28 August 2014 | 12:38 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Sofia Court of Appeals imposed a restraining order of BGN 3,000 bail on two of the defendants under the Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) case – senior accountant Maria Dimova and her deputy Borislava Treneva-Kyuchukova, FOCUS News Agency reporter said.
The restraining orders of the two women were changed last week by the Sofia City Court.
Four people were arrested under the CorpBank case – senior cashier Margarita Petrova, executive director of the bank – Oril Rusev, Maria Dimova, and Borislav Treneva.
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Bulgaria court to sit on restraining orders of CorpBank defendants

Bulgaria court to sit on restraining orders of CorpBank defendants

28 August 2014 | 09:02 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Sofia Court of Appeals is to sit on the restraining orders of Maria Dimova, former senior accountant of troubled Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank), and her deputy Borislava Treneva-Kyuchukova.
Last week Sofia City Court changed the restraining orders to the lightest ones – released on bail.
Four people were arrested under the CorpBank case – senior cashier Margarita Petrova, executive director of the bank – Oril Rusev, Maria Dimova, and Borislav Treneva.
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Bulgaria central bank mocks depositors in Corporate Commercial Bank

Bulgaria central bank mocks depositors in Corporate Commercial Bank

28 August 2014 | 07:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Capital Daily comments that Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) undermines trust in Bulgarian banking system and leaves the impression that it is ready to sacrifice Bulgaria’s financial stability in the name of saving its Governors, Capital Daily writes.
BNB relies on the poor financial knowledge of political leaders as well as on the direct participation of Movement for Right and Freedoms and Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB) in the draining of Corporate Commercial Bank.
Meanwhile, the focus is on how deposits up to EUR 100,000 will be paid off. The sum of all deposits under EUR 100,000 in Corporate Commercial Bank and Victoria Bank is BGN 3.75 billion. Not all of them, however, are guaranteed.
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Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank can be saved: Trud

Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank can be saved: Trud

28 August 2014 | 07:15 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Despite scarce public information about the current state of Corporate Commercial Bank, Bulgarians do not see the proofs for the insolvency of Corporate Commercial Bank and Victoria Bank. Just on the contrary, all proofs show that the banks could be saved, Trud daily commented. Direct negative impact on clients and indirect losses for Bulgarian economy due to potential insolvency of Corporate Commercial Bank and its group will surpass even the most pessimistic estimates. The bank should be restructured in such a way that neither the state budget nor Bulgarian Deposit Insurance Fund or any other fund should suffer losses due to the restructuring of the bank. Bulgarian National bank (BNB) could implement various measures in relation to Corporate Commercial Bank. BNB may urge shareholders to increase their capital and provide liquidity of the bank. Corporate Commercial Bank might merge with another bank. BNB should state what of the measures it will implement.
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Bulgaria’s CorpBank majority shareholder wanted in all INTERPOL member countries (ROUNDUP)

Bulgaria’s CorpBank majority shareholder wanted in all INTERPOL member countries (ROUNDUP)

27 August 2014 | 05:20 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Tsvetan Vasilev, majority shareholder at Bulgaria’s troubled Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank), which has been placed under special supervision, is wanted in all the INTERPOL member countries.
In connection with questions posed by various media the press centre of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria says Tsvetan Radoev Vasilev was placed on the wanted list of July 28, 2014 with the cooperation of Eurojust.
The Bulgarian representatives at Eurojust provided cooperation in the preparation of a request for legal aid for the summoning of Tsvetan Vasilev in view of the available then information he was on the territory of the Republic of Austria.
The department of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation in charge of international affairs received on July 29, 2014 a copy of a European Arrest Warrant issued for Vasilev on July 28, 2014.
Vasilev is accused of a crime under the Penal Code of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Prosecutor’s Office was informed on July 29, 2014 through a letter of the international operational cooperation directorate of the Interior Ministry Tsvetan Vasilev was a wanted individual in the Schengen Information System and by INTERPOL.
The Prosecutor’s Office was informed through the same letter after it was announced Vasilev was wanted abroad, the international operational cooperation directorate of the Interior Ministry was notified by Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry (SIRENE) – Austria that according to the verifications in the national databases of Austria Vasilev was not known to the Austrian authorities.
On August 1, 2014 the Bulgarian representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office atr Eurojust informed the case against CorpBank employees was listed as a case under the Case Management System of Eurojust and will be officially reported on at a plenary sitting of the body.
At the same time the materials on the case have been sent on to the National Bureau of Austria at Eurojust.
On August 13, 2014 the deputy of the Prosecutor General at the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation sent to the international operational cooperation directorate of the Interior Ministry a proposal of Ivan Geshev, observing prosecutor in the pre-trial proceedings at Sofia City Court, concerning declaring Tsvetan Vasilev wanted internationally and placing a temporary restraining order of arrest on him in view of a following extradition to the Republic of Bulgaria from the territory of all INTERPOL member countries, so that it [the proposal] could be complied with.
On August 22, 2014 Sofia City Court complied with the request of the Prosecutor’s Office placed under restraint the properties of Tsvetan Radoev Vasilev and a number of other individuals.
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Bulgaria’s CorpBank majority shareholder wanted in all INTERPOL member countries

Bulgaria’s CorpBank majority shareholder wanted in all INTERPOL member countries

26 August 2014 | 13:30 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Tsvetan Vasilev, majority shareholder at Bulgaria’s troubled Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank), which has been placed under special supervision, is wanted in all the INTERPOL member countries.
In connection with questions posed by various media the press centre of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria says Tsvetan Radoev Vasilev was placed on the wanted list of July 28, 2014 with the cooperation of Eurojust.
The Bulgarian representatives at Eurojust provided cooperation in the preparation of a request for legal aid for the summoning of Tsvetan Vasilev in view of the available then information he was on the territory of the Republic of Austria.
The department of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation in charge of international affairs received on July 29, 2014 a copy of a European Arrest Warrant issued for Vasilev on July 28, 2014.
Vasilev is accused of a crime under the Penal Code of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The Prosecutor’s Office was informed on July 29, 2014 through a letter of the international operational cooperation directorate of the Interior Ministry Tsvetan Vasilev was a wanted individual in the Schengen Information System and by INTERPOL.
The Prosecutor’s Office was informed through the same letter after it was announced Vasilev was wanted abroad, the international operational cooperation directorate of the Interior Ministry was notified by Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry (SIRENE) – Austria that according to the verifications in the national databases of Austria Vasilev was not known to the Austrian authorities.
On August 1, 2014 the Bulgarian representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office atr Eurojust informed the case against CorpBank employees was listed as a case under the Case Management System of Eurojust and will be officially reported on at a plenary sitting of the body.
At the same time the materials on the case have been sent on to the National Bureau of Austria at Eurojust.
On August 13, 2014 the deputy of the Prosecutor General at the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation sent to the international operational cooperation directorate of the Interior Ministry a proposal of Ivan Geshev, observing prosecutor in the pre-trial proceedings at Sofia City Court, concerning declaring Tsvetan Vasilev wanted internationally and placing a temporary restraining order of arrest on him in view of a following extradition to the Republic of Bulgaria from the territory of all INTERPOL member countries, so that it [the proposal] could be complied with.
On August 22, 2014 Sofia City Court complied with the request of the Prosecutor’s Office placed under restraint the properties of Tsvetan Radoev Vasilev and a number of other individuals.

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Why the reimbursement of deposits at Corporate Commercial Bank can begin...now

Why the reimbursement of deposits at Corporate Commercial Bank can begin...now

26 August 2014 | 06:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) never managed to provide a solid argumentation over not revoking the license of Corporate Commercial Bank and why it necessarily requires information on the quality of its crediting portfolio, the Capital Daily writes.
The law provides the central bank a wide range of authorities. Article 103 of the Credit Institutions Act enumerates violations that the BNB can sanction with various supervisory measures, some of which could lead to license revocation.
The other thesis of the BNB about the insufficiency of funds at the Bulgarian Deposit Insurance Fund (BDIF) is also exaggerated. One of the existing options is for the BDIF to increase the annual premium instalment of banks to 1.5% of their deposit base. Another option is for the BDIF to issue bonds and sell them to banks, pension funds and insurance companies.
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BNB not to interfere with the “credit against deposit at Corporate Commercial Bank” scheme

BNB not to interfere with the “credit against deposit at Corporate Commercial Bank” scheme

26 August 2014 | 05:15 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Representatives of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) commented that, theoretically, a scheme for securing loans from commercial banks with deposits at Corporate Commercial Bank and Victoria Bank is possible and does not require “the blessing” of the central bank, the Standart daily writes. Commercial banks and Corporate Commercial Bank clients could agree on the parameters of such a credit, they explained. However, financiers noted that a decision on the straightening of the bank would considerably extend the term of the repayment of the loans beyond the six months set in the law on special supervision.
DSK Bank CEO Violina Marinova said that the operation is possible, but the conditions and the scheme need to be considered carefully and require the BNB’s recommendations.
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Investigated Vasilev will propose a plan for Corporate Commercial Bank

Investigated Vasilev will propose a plan for Corporate Commercial Bank

26 August 2014 | 04:42 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The majority shareholder of Corporate Commercial Bank Tsvetan Vasilev and the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman, along with other shareholders at the bank, are working out a plan on the bank’s restructuring and capitalisation that will be revealed soon. This is what Vasilev said in an announcement on his personal website. The statement was made in response to an inquiry of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) on possible measures they might be willing to undertake.
According to the BNB, Vasilev has so far not expressed any interest in straightening the bank. Vasilev, however, claims no one addressed any proposals to him to take part in the bank’s capitalisation or solve the crisis, the 24 Chasa daily reports.
The Duma daily adds that in Vasilev’s words there is an ongoing campaign for the liquidation of the bank, which includes the actions of ombudsmen at placing it under special supervision.
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Bulgaria Corpbank's owner says working with Oman on restructuring plan

Bulgaria Corpbank's owner says working with Oman on restructuring plan

25 August 2014 | 16:05 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The majority owner of Bulgaria's troubled Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank) said on Monday it was working with Oman's sovereign wealth fund and other interested investors to restructure the lender, Reuters reported.
Corpbank's fate has been in limbo since June, when a run on deposits prompted the central bank to seize control of it and close its operations, sparking the worst banking crisis in the poor Black Sea state since 1990s.
Tsvetan Vassilev's Bromak owns just over half of Corpbank, the Balkan country's fourth-largest lender. Oman's sovereign wealth fund is the second-biggest shareholder with a stake of about 30 percent.
The central bank said on Friday it had asked the two shareholders to unveil plans for the bank's rescue by the end of August.
"I believe we are close to unveiling a decision in principle for the bank's rehabilitation that will fully comply with the legal requirements for capital adequacy and liquidity," Bromak owner Vassilev said in a statement posted on his personal website www.vassilev.bg.
Two days after Bulgarian Interim Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki said an unidentified fund based in Vienna had expressed interest in rescuing the bank, the central bank said it had sent letters to the two shareholders.
The central bank said in its statement that Bromak had not yet notified it of any initiative regarding support for Corpbank nor had Bromak sought information on the financial state of the lender.
On Monday, Vassilev said the central bank had not asked him to present a plan, branding this as an attempt to avoid responsibility for its handling of the case during special supervision.
Bulgarian prosecutors have charged Vassilev with embezzlement and said that an international warrant for his arrest had been issued.
Vassilev, whose current whereabouts are unknown, was locked in a public feud with a rival at the time of the run on Corpbank. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said the run was a plot hatched by his competitors.
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CoropBank depositors from Bulgaria’s Varna to stage new protest

CoropBank depositors from Bulgaria’s Varna to stage new protest

25 August 2014 | 10:54 | FOCUS News Agency
Varna. Depositors in the troubled Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) from the Bulgarian coastal city of Varna are to stage a third protest with a demand for immediate re-opening of the bank, Radio FOCUS – Varna reported.
The news broke on Facebook in the group established by the clients of the bank – KTBalive.
The demonstration will start in front of the Varna Municipality Office at 6 p.m.
Less than 30 demonstrators gathered on a protest on Friday. The first protest was staged on Monday and it attracted more than 50 people.
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Bulgaria central bank invites CorpBank majority shareholders to present their plans: press

Bulgaria central bank invites CorpBank majority shareholders to present their plans: press

25 August 2014 | 08:00 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) Governing Council addressed a letter to major shareholders at Corporate Commercial Bank – Bromak and the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman, calling upon them to present their plants and financial opportunities for the straightening of the bank group, Capital Daily writes.
The BNB says the results from the complete audit on the banking group’s financial condition will be released on October 20. The BNB notifies the shareholders that these results will show the actual capital deficiency at the bank. The BNB emphasises that the opening of the banks from the group and their normal functioning are directly related to securing complete liquidity to allow the payment of every deposit and savings account at the bank. According to BNB, there are no reasons for lifting the receivership procedure, since the two banks lack enough liquidity to handle a new mass withdrawal of cash by their clients.
Capital Daily also published a commentary which first appeared on webcafe.bg, saying that the recent headwinds for Corporate Commercial Bank and South Stream signal some serious troubles for notorious MP Delyan Peevski.
Duma Daily came out with a nippy commentary on the recent calls of CEDB to punish the responsible for the crisis in Corporate Commercial Bank and to use taxpayers’ money to put the bank back on its feet.
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Late invitation to Corporate Commercial Bank shareholders

Late invitation to Corporate Commercial Bank shareholders

23 August 2014 | 04:37 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Public pressure to solve the problem with the Corporate Commercial Bank group has forced the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) to come out of its shell and come up with a special press release to justify its actions.
The BNB notes that on July 14, 2014, during consultations with the President Rosen Plevneliev, representatives of the main political forces rejected the BNB’s proposal for a special law on the restructuring of the bank, while the bill in fact contained some restructuring mechanisms stipulated in the new Directive 2014/59/EU. The proposed restructuring was also discussed with the European Commission (EC)’s DG Competition and represents an established and efficient EU model that was implemented mere days ago regarding the Portuguese Banco Espirito Santo.
The BNB also notes that one of the main requirements of the EU for the provision of state aid to a financial institution is its economic viability, the Banker weekly reports.
The Sega daily adds that Corporate Commercial Bank clients carried out two protests in front of the BNB head office on Friday and sent a letter to the EC, insisting on its experts to take part in solving the bank crisis.
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BNB officials address letter to Vasilev and SGRF of the Sultanate of Oman

BNB officials address letter to Vasilev and SGRF of the Sultanate of Oman

23 August 2014 | 04:12 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) Governing Council addressed a letter to major shareholders at Corporate Commercial Bank – Bromak and the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman, calling upon them to present their plants and financial opportunities for the straightening of the bank group. The BNB says the results from the complete audit on the banking group’s financial condition will be released on October 20. The BNB notifies the shareholders that these results will show the actual capital deficiency at the bank.
The BNB emphasises that the opening of the banks from the group and their normal functioning are directly related to securing complete liquidity to allow the payment of every deposit and savings account at the bank. The total volume of funds attracted by the two financial institutions from the group is BGN 6.3 billion, the Banker weekly reads.
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Cheap loans against a deposit at Corporate Commercial Bank

Cheap loans against a deposit at Corporate Commercial Bank

23 August 2014 | 03:21 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Bankers are considering a scheme through which people with guaranteed deposits at Corporate Commercial Bank or Victoria Bank could receive their savings immediately in the form of a loan, the Trud daily learnt. So far the two largest banks in Bulgaria – UniCredit Bulbank and DSK Bank, – have expressed interest towards the issuance of credits at low interest rates, secured with guaranteed deposits at the two banks under special supervision.
In the words of UniCredit CEO Levon Hampartzoumian it is very likely for the banks to launch such a product. The financial institution is currently considering the legal opportunities for this to happen and making sure security on such a loan would certainly be guaranteed. A credit of the sort would not be expensive, he added.
DSK Bank CEO Violina Marinova said the bank would express interest towards such a scheme, but requires more information on its implementation from the central bank.
CIBank CEO Petar Andronov noted a decision of the sort is possible, but information is necessary in advance from central bank ombudsmen on their preparedness to certify that the deposits are guaranteed and estimates on the potential number of clients who might be interested.
ProCredit’s CEO Petar Slavov was the only one to explicitly reject such a crediting opportunity.
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Daniel Bozhilov, KTBalive: Lack of adequate action from BNB on the CorpBank case, shake the financial stability of the country

Daniel Bozhilov, KTBalive: Lack of adequate action from BNB on the CorpBank case, shake the financial stability of the country

22 August 2014 | 17:35 | FOCUS News Agency
Varna. “There is standing political scenario behind the problematic situation in Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank),” Daniel Bozhilov, representative of the KTBalive initiative said for Radio FOCUS – Varna. Bozhilov noted that the whole story was made by politicians. "Not surprisingly, everything is done by purpose to drag on the things until the elections in order to form a parliamentary majority to settle the issue in their political interest," Daniel Bozhilov said. He said there is a weakened banking system, since there is a problem with one of the largest banks in the country. Bozhilov stated that over 10% of deposits and loans, respectively, of the Bulgarian economy are in that bank.
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Bulgaria court hesitant about guilt of 2 defendants under CorpBank case

Bulgaria court hesitant about guilt of 2 defendants under CorpBank case

21 August 2014 | 12:40 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Court is hesitant about the guilt of two of the defendants under the trial on money draining from Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank) – Maria Dimova and Borislava Kyuchukova, FOCUS News Agency reporter said.
Sofia City Court ruled that the grounded supposition about the authorship of the criminal activity is hesitant. It did not credit the testimony of the witnesses in the trial and respectively does not place absolute trust in their statements.
Maria Dimova and Borislava Kyuchukova were released on parole. The court also ruled that with regard to the worsened medical state of Maria Dimova her restraining order should be changed from home arrest to parole.
The court considers that there is no risk for the two to commit another crime or hamper the investigation on the case, if their restraining orders are changed.
The prosecution will appeal against the ruling.
Speaking with journalists, the lawyer of the defendants explained that court’s ruling has been affected by the report of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), the testimony of one of the witnesses.
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2 defendants under Bulgaria’s CorpBank case released on parole

2 defendants under Bulgaria’s CorpBank case released on parole

21 August 2014 | 11:55 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Sofia City Court released Maria Dimova and Borislava Kyuchukova, defendants under the trial on Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank), on parole, FOCUS News Agency reporter said.
More to follow.
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Bulgaria central bank invites receivers to ‘find’ the capital hole in CorpBank: Sega

Bulgaria central bank invites receivers to ‘find’ the capital hole in CorpBank: Sega

21 August 2014 | 08:04 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. In an interview with Sega daily, economist Prof. Hristina Vucheva warns that by tweaking internal audit standards in line with international ones, as they are supposed to do by August 20, Corporate Commercial Bank receivers may actually cook the books to match the initially announced BGN 3.4-billion capital hole in the bank. In her words, the idea of BNB Governor Ivan Iskrov and finance minister Rumen Porozhanov to invite IMF to check up on the banking supervision in the country is good. She also dismisses the comments of US Professor Steve Hanke that Corporate Commercial Bank should undergo bankruptcy procedures. According to Prof. Vucheva, if Bulgaria was part of the euro area, it could have received serious support from the European Central Bank and the European Commission with regard to banking troubles.
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