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Borissov’s Government Canceled Bulgarian Stock Exchange Sale

Bulgaria’s previous administration of Boyko Borissov canceled the sale of the government’s stake in the Bulgarian Stock Exchange on Feb. 20, the day it resigned amid protests against poverty that turned violent.

Former Finance Minister Simeon Djankov sent a letter to the Privatization Agency saying too much time has elapsed since the government’s decision to sell the bourse and “the investment situation in the country has changed,” the Finance Ministry in Sofia said in an e-mailed statement today. Djankov was succeeded by Kalin Hristov, who took office as member of the interim Cabinet on March 13.

Borissov’s government asked the Privatization Agency in a letter to sell the bourse on March 13, 2012, according to the statement. The Finance Ministry holds 50.05 percent of the Sofia-based bourse and 42.7 percent in the Central Depository, which serves as a stock clearing house.

Since 2008, the stock exchange has traded on the Deutsche Boerse (DB1)’s Xetra platform. Bulgaria has discussed ways to sell its stake over the past decade with Austria’s Wiener Boerse, Sweden’s OMX AG and exchanges in Greece and Poland to boost interest in local stocks and make trading more transparent.

Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member in terms of per-capita output, has endured five weeks of rallies against poverty and demands for a change in the political system.

Anti-austerity protests have toppled prime ministers across Europe and forced out Borissov, whose government focused on budget cuts to ward off bailouts and turbulent bond markets, boosting unemployment to the highest in eight years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Konstantinova in Sofia at ekonstantino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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