The day in 3 news: Fitch affirms Fibank’s B rating, Prices in industry up 10%, US Army picks wrong target for exercise

The day in 3 news: Fitch affirms Fibank’s B rating, Prices in industry up 10%, US Army picks wrong target for exercise

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© Nadezhda Chipeva


Over the weekend, former prime minister Boyko Borissov finally reacted to the storm surrounding wiretapping politicians. Acting Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov had threatened to refer Borissov to the prosecutor's office over alleged aggressive threats. The former prime minister responded as per his custom - through a Facebook Live video: "It's been a week and they haven't said who has been wiretapped, whether he talked with criminals and whether that was the reason he was being targeted. They're frantic to find someone like that businessman in the committee who, it turned out, didn't know me and nothing of what he said was true," said Borissov. "At most, they'll arrest me," he added.

Yet Rashkov was doubtful that referring Borissov to the prosecutor's office would do any good: "Mr Borissov has no reason to worry that someone will take him into custody. He doesn't need the immunity of an MP - he has absolute immunity because he has the Attorney General ... The Attorney General addresses the Prime Minister as 'boss'. What's that about?"

Fitch keeps Fibank's rating and negative outlook

Over the weekend, Fitch published its latest report on Fibank which showed that the rating agency kept the bank's B-rating and negative outlook. "FIBank's asset quality is a rating weakness reflecting high stock of impaired loans, with modest coverage by provisions and a sizable portfolio of repossessed properties,", reported Fitch Ratings. At end-2020, the bank's consolidated impaired loans accounted for 22% of gross loans, and another 15% could be considered risky.

Industrial inflation up 10% compared to April 2020

According to data from the National Statistical Institute, prices in the industrial sector have been going up over the past few months. In April, industrial inflation reached 9.8% on an annualized basis. In mining, the increase is 20% (stemming primarily from metal ores, likely copper ones), and in manufacturing production of base metals, foods, and chemicals has driven prices up 10.9% compared to the same period last year. In energy, prices are up 5.5% compared to April 2020.

US Army accidentally storms into private warehouse

The American Ministry of Defense and the US Army has apologized for an incident in Cheshnegirovo village (Plovdiv district). On May 11, American soldiers, armed with machine guns, participating in a military exercise, mistakenly burst into a private warehouse where employees were busy working. President Rumen Radev said that it was completely unacceptable for military formations to threaten Bulgarian civilians, and he expects a thorough investigation. Nobody was harmed during the incident but the employees involved are threatening to sue those responsible.

Over the weekend, former prime minister Boyko Borissov finally reacted to the storm surrounding wiretapping politicians. Acting Interior Minister Boyko Rashkov had threatened to refer Borissov to the prosecutor's office over alleged aggressive threats. The former prime minister responded as per his custom - through a Facebook Live video: "It's been a week and they haven't said who has been wiretapped, whether he talked with criminals and whether that was the reason he was being targeted. They're frantic to find someone like that businessman in the committee who, it turned out, didn't know me and nothing of what he said was true," said Borissov. "At most, they'll arrest me," he added.

Yet Rashkov was doubtful that referring Borissov to the prosecutor's office would do any good: "Mr Borissov has no reason to worry that someone will take him into custody. He doesn't need the immunity of an MP - he has absolute immunity because he has the Attorney General ... The Attorney General addresses the Prime Minister as 'boss'. What's that about?"

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