Serbian Court Bans Bulgarian Corpbank’s Vassilev From Traveling

A Serbian court banned Tsvetan Vassilev, the majority owner of Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank AD that ran out of liquidity, from traveling amid mounting pressure from an international arrest warrant.

Vassilev appeared in a Belgrade court yesterday, hours after being detained by authorities, the prosecution office in the Bulgarian capital Sofia said in an e-mailed statement today. He was ordered remain at his current residence and to appear before local authorities every day, according to the statement. His passport has been seized, it said.

Vassilev, who is under indictment for misappropriation of funds as a majority shareholder of Corporate Bank, turned himself in the Serbian capital yesterday, according to local authorities.

Bulgaria’s central bank put the country’s fourth-largest lender, known as Corpbank, under supervision on June 20 after it ran out of liquidity amid reports about a feud between Vassilev and a large depositor, a member of parliament who withdrew his funds.

That led to the worst banking crisis in Bulgaria in 17 years and threatened the country’s economy. Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski resigned in July, triggering early elections to be held on Oct. 5.

The Bulgarian central bank said yesterday it extended Corpbank’s supervision by two months to Nov. 20. A final decision on the lender’s future will be made in November based on a clear estimate of the bank’s asset quality and capital adequacy due by Oct. 20 and the investment proposals of its shareholders and Epic Financial Consulting, it said in a statement on its website.

Corpbank’s key shareholders, advised by Vienna-based Epic, asked last week to gain access to the books of the lender and draft a rescue plan, possibly with new outside investors.

The biggest holders are Vassilev’s Bromak, Luxembourg-registered Bulgarian Acquisition Co., controlled by the State General Reserve Fund of Oman, and Russia’s VTB Group.

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