Archive for March, 2006

The Parliament Approved the Strategy for Privatization of Bulgaria Air

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

The Parliament approved the Strategy for the privatization of the national air carrier Bulgaria Air EAD. According to the Strategy 99.99% of the capital of the air carrier will be offered for sale but the Bulgarian state will retain a golden share in the company entitling it to veto certain strategic decisions.

The privatization procedure will be open for both strategic investors active in civil aviation and financial investors. The eligible candidates – strategic investors will have to be incorporated as Bulgarian registered companies, in which more than 51% of the voting shares or the share capital must be owned by Bulgarian individuals and/or legal entities or by individuals and/or legal entities of European Union Member/s State/s or states from the European Economic Area. The strategic investors should have over EUR 150 mln annual revenues from aviation services for the last two financial years and over 750,000 passengers annually for the same period. The financial investors should have managed within the last two financial years financial assets of more than EUR 250 mln and/or held shareholding interest in other companies of value exceeding EUR 150 mln. Bulgaria Air will be privatized through an open public bidding procedure that will consist of two stages – preliminary and final. The candidates selected to take part in the final stage will be allowed to carry out their own legal and financial due diligence of the air carrier. They will be required to present a 5-year business plan covering the planned investments and the employment program.

Moody’s Upgrades Bulgaria’s Rating to Investment Grade

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

Moody’s upgraded Bulgaria’s sovereign credit rating to Baa3 from Ba1. According to the rating agency Bulgarian government finances, the improved quality of institutions and the up-coming accession in the EU now warrant investment-grade status. “The government’s financial position and the quality of its institutions have now reached a point where Bulgaria can be considered an investment-grade credit” Moody’s said in a statement quoted by Reuters. The other two major rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s awarded investment grade status BBB to Bulgaria in 2004 and have upgraded it since.