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Aug 5, 2014

Bulgaria to decide on Corpbank in mid-October: President

SOFIA, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Bulgarian authorities will take a
decision on what to do with Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank)
only after the results of an audit are known around
mid-October, President Rosen Plevneliev said on Tuesday.

The fate of Bulgaria’s fourth-largest lender has been in
limbo as efforts to rescue the bank were scuttled by the
outgoing parliament, dragging out the Balkan state’s worst
banking crisis since the 1990s. Authorities have estimated the
cost of a possible state rescue at around 1.5-2.0 billion levs
($1.0-1.4 billion).

Aug 5, 2014

Troubled Bulgaria names law professor as interim premier

SOFIA (Reuters) – A Bulgarian law professor and former Socialist lawmaker was named caretaker prime minister on Tuesday for two months as the Balkan state grapples with the fallout of its worst banking crisis since the 1990s.

Georgi Bliznashki, 57, took over as premier while Rumen Porozhanov, a 49-year-old former senior civil servant, will be finance minister, President Rosen Plevneliev said in a televised statement.

Aug 4, 2014

Bulgaria parliament rejects plans to raise debt, deficit

SOFIA, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s outgoing parliament
refused on Monday to authorise the interim government to raise
new debt and increase public spending, restricting its ability
to tackle the Balkan country’s worst banking crisis since the
1990s.

President Rosen Plevneliev, who last week told lawmakers
that failure to allow an increase in debt and the deficit would
harm the European Union’s poorest economy, is due to appoint an
interim government of technocrats on Wednesday that will steer
Bulgaria until a parliamentary election on Oct. 5.

Aug 1, 2014

Bulgarian president appeals for deficit, debt hikes

SOFIA, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s president appealed on
Friday for authority to increase the country’s budget deficit
and raise new debt, as his interim government coped with the
worst banking crisis since the 1990s.

Rosen Plevneliev said a failure to increase the deficit to
2.7 percent of GDP and raise up to 3.4 billion levs ($2.33
billion) in new debt would have a “dramatic” effect on the
economy, destabilising the country.

Aug 1, 2014

Bulgaria signs nuclear deal with Westinghouse

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria, one of five EU states that depend totally on Russia for nuclear fuel, and Westinghouse Electric Company signed a shareholder agreement on Friday paving the way for construction of a new nuclear reactor estimated to cost $5 billion.

The deal, which still requires the approval of Bulgaria’s next government, will help the Balkan country reduce its energy dependence on Russia at a time of increased tensions between Moscow and the European Union over Ukraine.

Jul 31, 2014

Bulgaria’s central bank orders full audit of Corpbank

SOFIA, July 31 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s central bank will ask
independent auditors to carry out a thorough review of Corporate
Commercial Bank’s (Corpbank) books until Oct. 20, it
said on Thursday, effectively extending its control over the
bank.

The central bank took control of Corpbank on June 20 for
three months following a bank run, which plunged the Balkan
country into its worst banking crisis since the 1990s. The
central bank proposed a rescue plan for Bulgaria’s fourth
largest lender, which failed to get parliament’s approval.

Jul 29, 2014

Bulgarian lawmakers vote to raise fiscal deficit and debt

SOFIA, July 29 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s outgoing parliament
voted on Tuesday to widen the 2014 fiscal deficit target and
raise 3.4 billion levs ($2.33 billion) in new debt, giving the
next government some of the tools needed to solve the country’s
banking crisis.

President Rosen Plevneliev is due to appoint an interim
government on Aug. 6 to govern the Balkan state for two months
ahead of a general election, but it cannot raise new sovereign
debt without this parliament’s permission.

Jul 25, 2014

Bulgaria risks turning bank woes into “gold mine” for blackmail: president

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev urged lawmakers on Friday not to try to hush up the activities at troubled lender Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank) or risk opening themselves up to blackmail about their connections to it.

Clients unnerved by reports of shady deals by Corpbank’s main owner withdrew more than a fifth of deposits in a week-long bank run in June, forcing the central bank to take control of the lender, shut down its operations and order an audit.

Jul 25, 2014

Bulgaria’s Corpbank bonds set to default in August: source

SOFIA, July 25 (Reuters) – The dollar bonds of Bulgaria’s
Corporate Commercial Bank look set to default on their
Aug. 8 maturity date with no way found to rescue the lender so
far, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The government resigned on Wednesday without reaching an
agreement with lawmakers about how to rescue the lender, which
was hit by a run on deposits in June. Parliament earlier in July
rejected a proposed rescue package and has a rapidly shrinking
window to approve one before it is dissolved on Aug. 6.

Jul 24, 2014

Bulgarian lawmakers pave way for election with bank crisis unresolved

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgarian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to accept Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski’s resignation on Thursday, paving the way for an interim government to take over in August and a snap election in early October.

Oresharski’s departure leaves his successor to sort out the Balkan state’s worst banking crisis since the 1990s, with the fate of its fourth largest lender undecided. Bulgaria’s credit default swaps rose on Thursday to their highest level since July 4, according to Markit, the financial information services company, as investors sought insurance against losses.