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Bulgaria: Financial Advisers Sought For Privatizations

Sofia, 1 April 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The Bulgarian Privatization Agency says it is seeking foreign financial advisers for the planned sale of 22 state companies.

The "Wall Street Journal Europe" today quotes Privatization Agency officials as saying that bids for the companies will be opened from April 21. The deadline for banks and consultancies to apply is 1 April 1998. The actual selloffs will be conducted by the new government elected on 1 April 1999.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made real progress on privatization a pre-condition for disbursement of hundreds of millions of dollars in new loans to Bulgaria. The previous Socialist administration in Sofia has been accused of moving too slowly on privatization.

Last week, the board of directors for the Privatization Agency sacked Socialist-appointed executive director Vesselin Blagoev. Board member Yosif Iliev said a replacement would be named for Blagoev as soon as this week.