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Kosovo: BPK and the KTA in trouble due to Credit Bank assets

Prishtinë, Apr 26, 2006 - The Credit Bank liquidation has caused trouble between the Banking and Payment Authority of Kosovo (BPK) and the Kosovo Trust Agency (KTA). The Credit Bank Liquidator Michael Rousell has begun negotiations with several commercial banks working in Kosovo in order to ensure means for Credit Bank clients, through the sale of 800 square meters premise located at the headquarters of the bank. This property was stated as being owned by this Bank, without knowing who manages the property, reported Kosovar daily Lajm.

The liquidator is already looking for purchasers. The Head of Kasabank Milazim Abazi told Lajm that he is in negotiation with the liquidator regarding the purchase of the annex, currently used by the OSCE. According to Abazi, the Credit Bank owes "Kasabank" € 1 million, a sum that is being returned in smaller amounts and with which the premises will be purchased.

Meanwhile, former heads of the Credit Bank inform that other banks such as Banka e Re e Kosoves (New Bank of Kosovo), are being contacted regarding the sale of this premise. "Bids for the premises have been sent to all commercial banks. Credit Bank Director of the Client Relations Department Hakif Selmani said that the premise has been bought from Belgrade’s SOE "Inter Export" in 2004, through a tender published at the time, in Serbia. The money was paid, however the contract was not registered at court due to the problems arisen. The issue is related to an annex of the building, known as Ljubljana Bank, currently the location of the OSCE mission. "Through tender procedure, we have bought the premises for € 1.5 million, " stated Selmani.

Nonetheless, due to KTA managing social properties, the KTA opposes the sale of this annex regardless of a party having bought it before. KTA Deputy Director Ahmet Shala said that the KTA deals with SOE properties, and according to the regulation, it is entitled to sell these properties through privatisation or bankruptcy.

"If an asset in Kosovo is registered as SOE, or evidenced somewhere out of the territory, but located in Kosovo, the asset is under the responsibility of the KTA", stated Shala.

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