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Bulgaria

Best bank
Bulbank Best equities house
Bulbrokers

Bulbank, the winner of the best bank in Bulgaria award, had a very good year in 2003, with its financials improving across the board. Net profit grew by 18%, net fee and commission income grew by 9%, operating income was up 12.8%, return on equity rose to 18%, while the non-performing loan ratio fell from 4.6% in 2002 to 3.1% in 2003.

Through a partnership with Pioneer Investments, which is also owned by UniCredit, Bulbank is the largest distributor of mutual funds in the country, with a 55% market share.

In 2004, the bank plans to expand its leasing business, which it bought in February 2004. It is also launching internet banking and a retail loan centre.

Bulbrokers, which takes Bulgaria?s best equities house award, is a leading brokerage. It has advised the government on a number of privatizations, including the sale of 32% of Novotel Plovidv and 30% of the Bulgarian river fleet, and it won a mandate together with United Bulgarian Bank to advise on the sale of minority stakes in BTC and Bulgartabac.

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