Fellow Expert Blasts Bulgarian FinMin Silver Fund Idea

Finance | March 13, 2012, Tuesday // 11:02|  views

The Head of the Bulgaria Financial Supervision Commission, Stoyan Mavrodiev (r) and PM Boyko Borisov, together at an international conference. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The Head of the Bulgaria Financial Supervision Commission, Stoyan Mavrodiev, became Tuesday the latest expert to attack Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, on his plans for the Silver Fund.

Djankov recently proposed changes to the governance of the Silver (Retirement) Fund that would enable a more active management of the collected funds and the investment of up to 70% of it in government securities. The Fund is part of the country's fiscal reserve.

Speaking in an interview for TV7, Mavrodiev, who is also from the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, said the Minister's plan will lead to a fall of the country's credit rating.

The move will increase the CDS rating, meaning interest rates of credits of Bulgarian citizens will go up. The debt of Bulgarian citizens and businesses to foreign creditors is EUR 33 B total, and the risk is huge, according to the finance expert, who added this would mean a collapse of the trust in Bulgaria's fiscal stability.

Mavrodiev further explained he had notified the leadership of GERB about this opinion which, he said, was not his own, but of the Commission he is heading.

He also pointed out that the fiscal reserve is melting because it is used to cover all deficit holes, and this bares risk for Bulgaria's credit rating.

"Rating agencies know that Bulgaria has to make large foreign debt payments in 2013. BGN 300 M must be paid as early as this year and the total amount of the debt is BGN 3.7 M," said the Head of the Financial Supervision Commission.

Mavrodiev is known to be very close to PM Boyko Borisov before GERB rose to power. He was in charge of the party's fiscal program and was even rumored to become Finance Minister in the GERB cabinet. He was elected GERB Member of the Parliament, but left after being appointed Head of the Commission.

The Financial Supervision Commission was established in March, 2003 under the Financial Supervision Commission Act. It is an institution that is independent from the executive authority and reports its activity to the Parliament. The Commission is a specialized government body for regulation and control over different segments of the financial system – capital market, insurance market, health insurance market, and retirement funds.

Just days ago, the country's EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, and former colleague of Djankov at the World Bank, also voiced skepticism about his Silver Fund ideas.

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Tags: Retirement, World Bank, Kristalina Georgieva, bonus, Silver Fund, investment, rating, Simeon Djankov, finance minister, securities, sources, Boyko Borisov, PM, Stoyan Mavrodiev, Financial Supervision Commission, GERB


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