Tsvetan Vasilev Blames KTB Crisis on Politicians

Society | March 29, 2015, Sunday // 14:42
Bulgaria: Tsvetan Vasilev Blames KTB Crisis on Politicians

Tsvetan Vaslilev, majority owner of collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank, has said the crisis at the bank has been orchestrated by politicians.

In an interview with Bulgarian journalist Yavor Dachkov posted on the Glasove website on 29 March, Vasilev claimed that in April 2014 he was asked to transfer - for free - stakes in major Bulgarian companies controlled by Corpbank, or KTB, to entities thought to be linked to a Bulgarian politician and media tycoon. 

“After I refused, they caused the crisis at KTB,” Vasilev said.

Bulgaria’s central bank BNB seized control of KTB, the country’s fourth largest bank, in June following a deposits run, which, according to Vasilev, was initiated with the aim of seizing assets of key Bulgarian companies controlled by Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) that were financed by KTB.

Vasilev said he met the leaders of the three biggest political parties in Parliament in May and June 2014 to warn them of the pending attack against the bank but “they all ran away from responsibility”.

“I warned the three of them, not only those who were in power,” Vasilev said, referring to the leaders of the then-governing Socialists and the allied Movement for Rights and Freedoms, or DPS, party.

“The third was the current premier, Boyko Borisov,” Vasilev said, referring to the leader of centre-right GERB party, in opposition at the time.

”I had a meeting with him on June 6 and I warned him things could turn catastrophic – not so much for me and the bank but for the state,” Vasilev said but declined to reveal what the two of them told each other.

Vasilev also said he warned the BNB governor Ivan Iskrov about the pending attack on the bank.

Vasilev denied the BNB’s claim that an audit had found a gap of BGN 4 B in KTB’s balance sheet, saying the shortfall had been fabricated with the aim of creating formal grounds for scrapping the bank’s licence.

Referring to the deal with LIC33 group for acquring control of major Bulgarian companies, Vasilev said the transaction won’t go through unless the buyer failed to repay debts to KTB owed by those companies.

LIC33 announced last week it was acquiring key telecommunication and defence industry assets in Bulgaria for a token price of EUR 1 and commitment to repay EUR 900 M in outstanding debt of those companies.

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Tags: LIC33, Vasilev, KTB, Bulgaria
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