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Deutsche Bank Bulgaria targets 15-20 million euro profit in 2008

Date: 29.02.2008

Deutsche Bank Bulgaria, the local representative office of the German banking heavyweight, ended last year with 10 million euro profit, an increase from four million euro the year before, Borislav Ivanov, director of Deutsche Bank Bulgaria, told a news conference on February 26. This year, the bank hopes to record a figure in the 15-20 million euro range.

Eastern Europe has proven one of the catalysts for Deutsche Bank growth, with Bulgaria contributing to it, and South Eastern Europe accounted for 30 per cent of Deutsche Bank's profit growth, Ivanov said.

The bank advised several major deals in 2007, including the sale of 65 per cent in Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) to AIG Investment Group, the sale of Business Park Sofia to US investment fund Gramercy Emerging Markets (the largest real estate transaction in the country) and the sale of 75 per cent in Economic Investment Bank to KBC Bank.

Mergers and acquisitions, initial public offers (IPOs), transaction banking and large-scale corporate loans were the focus of the bank's operations in 2007, while another five banks had turned to Deutsche Bank with requests for operational financing, Ivanov said.

In transaction banking, it claimed clearing 60 per cent of all such deals in Bulgaria last year and maintaining its leading position is one of the goals it set for 2008, he added. Deutsche Bank has clearing agreements with 15 of Bulgaria's 23 banks and it wants to continue developing its relationships with large corporate clients, its target group, as well as assume a more active role as a consultant and financier in large infrastructure projects through public private partnerships.

The bank has held talks with 10-12 corporate clients recently and plans to issue securitisation loans, in which the entire property of the borrower is used as a guarantee and the bank lends money when there is need, to help them grow, Ivanov said. Among those clients was ProCredit Bank and an unnamed local insurer, he added.

Ivanov emphasised that the bank would work with local companies with appetite for growth and would assist them in raising capital through IPOs, as well as in acquisition of local or foreign peers. For IPOs, the preferred bourses would be in London and Warsaw, as it was yet to receive an operating licence for the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.

Large infrastructure projects were another area of interest to the bank. Through public-private partnerships, Deutsche Bank Bulgaria planned to participate in projects worth up to one billion euro. The main areas of interest for Deutsche Bank were highways, energy, water and sewerage, refuse processing projects, Ivanov said.

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