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Dec 18, 2014

Bulgarian regulator points to lapses in KPMG’s Corpbank audits

SOFIA, Dec 18 (Reuters) – A Bulgarian regulator said it had
found “significant gaps and inconsistencies” in the way KPMG
audited the books of troubled lender Corporate Commercial Bank
, putting renewed scrutiny on the country’s financial
sector.

Majority-owned by a Bulgarian businessman who was later
charged with embezzlement, Corpbank was hit by a bank run in
June that triggered the Balkan country’s worst financial crisis
since the 1990s and raised concerns about banking supervision.

Dec 4, 2014

Fed-up Bulgarians get access to deposits at Corpbank

SOFIA, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Bulgarians began withdrawing
deposits at Corporate Commercial Bank on Thursday, more
than five months after a run on the country’s fourth-largest
lender triggered a banking crisis that left authorities
scrambling to restore trust.

Majority-owned by a local tycoon who was subsequently
charged with embezzlement, Corpbank saw more than a fifth of
deposits drain away in a week-long bank run in June, prompting
the central bank to seize control and shut it down.

Dec 2, 2014

Sinking of Kremlin gas project leaves south-east Europe high and dry

PRAGUE/SOFIA, Dec 2 (Reuters) – The European Union’s
diplomatic victory in forcing the Kremlin to cancel its South
Stream pipeline also gives Brussels a headache: how to come up
with an alternative source of secure gas supply for
south-eastern Europe.

Though it became politically toxic after the crisis in
Ukraine, the pipeline made sense for countries such as Serbia,
Bulgaria and Hungary because it offered a supply of gas that did
not pass through Ukraine and so was at less risk of disruption.

Nov 18, 2014

Bulgaria to raise 1.3 bln euros in foreign debt this year: sources

SOFIA, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Bulgaria wants to raise about 1.3
billion euros ($1.6 billion) in bridge financing from foreign
banks by the end of the year, to be refinanced by global bonds
in 2015, three sources familiar with the plans told Reuters.

The Balkan country, one of EU’s least indebted members,
needs to raise 4.5 billion levs ($2.9 billion) in 2014 to plug
its budget gap and prop up the banking system after the collapse
of Corporate Commercial Bank.

Nov 11, 2014

Don’t put years of progress at risk, IMF urges Romania

SOFIA (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund urged Romania on Tuesday not to put at risk years of progress in getting its spending under control, as Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s government looks set to exit an aid deal next year.

The IMF came to Romania’s rescue in 2009 when the eastern European country endured a painful recession, nudging it to cut its fiscal deficit and implement reforms in a series of deals that restored credibility with investors.

Nov 6, 2014

Bulgaria lets Corpbank fail, faces clean-up bill

SOFIA, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s central bank has
stripped Corporate Commercial Bank of its operating licence and
asked a court to open insolvency proceedings, snuffing out hopes
of a rescue for the country’s No.4 lender and leaving the state
with a costly clean-up bill.

Corpbank was hit by a run on deposits in June after
reports of murky dealings, sparking the eastern European
country’s worst financial crisis since the 1990s.

Nov 6, 2014

Bulgaria election winner to form minority government

SOFIA, Nov 6 (Reuters) – The winner of Bulgaria’s
parliamentary election signed an accord on Thursday to form a
minority coalition government after a month of talks, a welcome
breakthrough for a country reeling from a bank crisis and
struggling to revive economic growth.

The centre-right GERB party will partner a group of five
tiny pro-market parties, paving the way for former bodyguard
Boiko Borisov to become prime minister again after he was
toppled by street protests in early 2013.

Nov 4, 2014

Bulgaria edges nearer to forming government

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria inched closer towards getting a new government on Tuesday, nearly a month after an inconclusive parliamentary election, after the biggest party, the center-right GERB, made headway in coalition talks with a small pro-market group.

Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member state, urgently needs to tackle a bank crisis and an almost stagnant economy, but a messy result in the Oct. 5 election has hobbled GERB leader Boiko Borisov’s efforts to form a stable government.

Nov 4, 2014

Bondholders warn Bulgaria over cost of Corpbank failure

BUCHAREST/SOFIA, Nov 4 (Reuters) – International creditors
to crisis-hit lender Corporate Commercial Bank warned
Bulgarian authorities on Tuesday that letting the bank fail
would be more expensive than saving it and risked years of
lawsuits.

In a letter to the government seen by Reuters, a group of
Corpbank’s bondholders urged authorities to reconsider a rescue
offer put forward by a consortium last week that was rejected by
parliament and criticised by the central bank.

Oct 31, 2014

Bulgaria’s prospective PM douses hopes of Corpbank rescue

SOFIA, Oct 31 (Reuters) – The man expected to be Bulgaria’s
next prime minister on Friday poured cold water on a plan by a
consortium to rescue Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank)
, nudging the crisis-hit lender a step closer to
collapse.

Boiko Borisov, who won an Oct. 5 election and could form a
government as early as this weekend, said Corpbank could not be
rescued and that trying to do so with the help of state funds
could tip the eastern European country into recession.