Archive for October, 2003

New Regulation on Insurance Brokers

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

The Financial Supervision Commission adopted on October 15, 2003 a new Regulation on Insurance Brokers and Agents. The new Regulation will enter into force on November 4, 2003.

The Privatization of the Electricity Distribution Utilities Starts

Friday, October 24th, 2003

The Privatization Agency of the Republic of Bulgaria has taken today, October 24, 2003, a decision to open public tenders for the privatization of the seven electricity distribution utilities in Bulgaria. No special purposes vehicles or consortiums will be allowed to participate in the privatization, but only strategic investors meeting certain eligibility criteria:

(i) at least Euro 700 million shareholders’ equity as at December 31, 2002 and volume of electricity sold above 7,000 GWh in 2002

(ii) exposure to at least one liberalized electricity market, defined as “an electricity market, where at least 26.5% of the market was legally declared eligible for competition”, and

(iii) debt rating of at least “BBB minus – Standard & Poor’s”, “Baa3 – Moody’s Investors Service”, “BBB minus – Fitch”, “BBB minus – Thomson BankWatch”.

Until December 5, 2003 interested parties may purchase the tender documentations for the three sales packages (Western Bulgaria, Southeast Bulgaria and Northeast Bulgaria). The price of the tender documentation will be BGN 3,000 (approx. Euro 1,500). The tender documentation will not contain an information memorandum, which will be bought separately. An investor who buys the tender documentation for one of the sales packages will receive also the tender documentations for the other two packages.

Important Deadlines of the Privatization Procedure:

December 5, 2003 – deadline to purchase tender documentation

December 15, 2003 – submission of eligibility documentation

December 23, 2003 – purchase of information memorandum

January 9, 2004 – requests for clarifications of the tender procedure

January 30, 2004 – submission of preliminary non-binding offers

Borislav Boyanov & Co. advises the Government of Bulgaria on the privatization of the electricity distribution utilities as part of an international consortium led by BNP Paribas.

Center for Intellectual Property Opened

Monday, October 13th, 2003

On October 13, 2003, members of the Intellectual Property Department at Borislav Boyanov & Co. participated in the opening ceremony of the Center for Intellectual Property. It was opened in the University of National and World Economy, Sofia by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria – Mr. Georgy Parvanov, and by the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization – Dr. Kamil Idris.

The Center is a result of the continuous cooperation between the WIPO and the UNWE – one of the several Universities in Europe offering education of Intellectual Property. It will act as a regional branch of the WIPO Worldwide Academy for South-East Europe. One of its main purposes is to improve the education in the field of the Intellectual Property, including via offering distance learning programs.

New Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank Elected

Monday, October 13th, 2003

On October 9, 2003 the Parliament elected Mr. Ivan Iskrov as the new Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank. Mr. Iskrov was the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission responsible for the State Budget during the last two years. The term of office of the Governor will be six years.

Bulgarian Parliament Elects New Members of Bulgarian Competition Authority

Monday, October 6th, 2003

With a decision of October 3, 2003 the Bulgarian National Assembly approved the new panel of the Commission for the Protection of Competition. The election was expected for more than 9 months, and comes as a result of the latest changes to the Protection of Competition Act, which, among others, reduced the panel of the Commission from 11 to 7 members. Chairman of the Commission will be Petko Nickolov, a former attorney and currently Head of the Supervisory Board of the Privatization Agency, with Vice Chairmen Redjeb Moustafa and Vesselin Bojkov. The new panel comprises several competition technocrats, among which Roumiana Karlova, former Head of the Legal Department of the Commission, and Vesela Antonova, former expert from the administration. Current members Elena Stoimenova and Maria Popova will continue in office for a new mandate.

New Privatisation Strategy of Bulgartabac Companies Adopted by the Government

Monday, October 6th, 2003

On October 2, 2003 the Bulgarian Government approved the draft of a new strategy for the privatisation of the companies in the group of Bulgartabac Holding AD (the state-owned tobacco and tobacco products manufacturer). Pursuant to the new strategy individual companies included in the holding structure, among which the “jewels in the crown” – Blagoevgrad BT and Sofia BT, will be offered for privatisation by the holding company instead of the Privatisation Agency which has already tried unsuccessfully to sell Bulgartabac Holding AD. The strategy sets out a requirement that potential bidders should be well recognized strategic investors – multinational companies with an established corporate history and experience in tobacco manufacturing. The draft strategy is to be approved by the Bulgarian Parliament.

End of the Banking Privatisation in Bulgaria

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

The closing of the privatization deal of DSK Bank (the last state-owned bank intended for privatization) on October 2, 2003 marked the end of the banking privatization in Bulgaria started in 1997. Borislav Boyanov & Co. participated in the privatization procedures for 5 out of 7 state owned banks. Among our achievements were Bulbank (the largest Bulgarian bank), the Bulgarian Post Bank (announced as the best privatization transaction for 1998) and Hebrosbank.