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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

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

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.

Oct 29, 2014

Bulgaria central bank governor to step down after crisis

SOFIA, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s Central Bank Governor
Ivan Iskrov told parliament on Wednesday he will step down as
soon as a decision is taken on what to do with Corporate
Commercial Bank (Corpbank), after the country’s worst
banking crisis since the 1990s.

The central bank has come under fire from lawmakers and the
public for its handling of a run on deposits at Corpbank in
June, which forced the lender to shut down. Iskrov had offered
to resign in the run-up to an election on Oct. 5.

Oct 27, 2014

Bulgaria election winner struggles to form government

SOFIA, Oct 27 (Reuters) – The winner of this month’s general
election said on Monday he was willing to try to form a
government, but warned that Bulgaria might have to return to the
polls next year as parties struggle to agree on a coalition.

The centre-right GERB party emerged as the largest single
parliamentary force at the Oct. 5 vote, but fell dozens of seats
short of a majority in the most fractured result the Balkan
state has seen since the fall of Communism in 1989.

Oct 26, 2014

Eastern Europe in focus amid bank test failures and extra losses

SOFIA/BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Some of the strongest ripples from the European Central Bank’s landmark stress tests could be felt in eastern Europe as multinational lenders short of capital mull the future of their Balkan operations, while others face extra losses.

The 25 banks that failed the health check included four which own subsidiaries in eastern Europe. Some banks that passed were found to have overvalued their assets in the region by a significant margin, something that will force them to hold more capital and makes them likely to eventually face extra losses.