Nearly All Bulgargaz's Money Held in KTB

Business » FINANCE | August 1, 2014, Friday // 11:06
Bulgaria: Nearly All Bulgargaz's Money Held in KTB Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's state-owned gas supplier Bulgargaz has some 98.5% of its assets stored in Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), data from the Economy Ministry shows.

A report cited by daily 24 chasa contains a list of companies holding over BGN 3 M in a single bank.

Only entities for which the sum accounts for more than a quarter of their assets are included.

KTB was placed under special supervision by Bulgaria's central bank BNB after rumors about its prospective collapse depleted its liquidity.

On Thursday, the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) announced plans to extend the conservatorship period for the second time. Corpbank was due to open on September 21 (and not on July 21, as previously expected).

A regular inquiry at the Economy Ministry shows Bulgargaz's net exposure at KTB was far beyond one-quarter as of December 30, 2013 (72.62%).

Surprisingly, the gas utility is missing from the inquiry in March this year, which would suggest it has less than 25% stored in any bank.

In an interview with the Bulgarian National Television on Friday, Economy Minister Dragomir Stoynev did not deny the July figures.

Other state-owned energy entities also have significant amounts deposited there, including the Bulgarian Energy Holding BEH (25.08%) and gas transmission and storage operator Bulgartransgaz, a BEH subsidiary (45.38%).

Corpbank's conservatorship means operations at the bank are halted, which means companies holding assets there are unable to deliver on their current payments.

Bulgargaz is now to pay a BGN 23 M worth fine under a ruling by the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) after the watchdog declared it was abusing its dominant position by imposing dishonest commercial practices.

The sum is just 0.5% of its annual turnover.

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Tags: Bulgargaz, Corporate Commercial Bank, KTB, Corpbank, Economy Ministry, special supervision, conservatorship, BEH, Bulgartransgaz
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