Bulgarian Parliament Tentatively Bans Sale of Three Arms Firms
Bulgaria’s Parliament on Thursday approved on first reading a ban on the sale of arms manufacturers VMZ and NITI, as well as arms trader Kintex.
Sopot-based VMZ and Sofia-based Kintex are major elements of Bulgaria’s military-industrial complex and an important element of the country’s economy and national security, the government had said in its proposal to ban the sale of the two companies.
A separate proposal to put Kazanlak-based NITI on the list of state firms banned for sale had been submitted by an MP from opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party.
On Thursday, both proposals were approved by Parliament.
The three companies are in good financial shape, their sales revenue is rising, they operate at full capacity and repay old debt accumulated over the years, according to the authors of the proposals.
The possibility of offering VMZ and Kintex for saleemerged in April when the Finance Ministry unveiled its medium-term budget forecast. According to the forecast, privatisation procedures for VMZ and Kintex could be launched in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The draft changes to the Privatisation Act that ban the sale of the three companies need to be approved on second reading to enter into force.
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