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SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 27 (SeeNews) - A comprehensive assessment by the European Central Bank (ECB) of six Bulgarian banks found capital shortfalls of 262.9 million euro ($292.8 million) at First Investment Bank (Fibank) and 51.8 million euro at Investbank, the ECB said late on Friday.
"Four of the six banks covered by the comprehensive assessment – UniCredit Bulbank AD, DSK Bank EAD, United Bulgarian Bank AD and Central Cooperative Bank AD – do not face any capital shortfalls, as they did not fall below the relevant thresholds used in the AQR and the stress test," ECB said in a statement.
"First Investment Bank AD, on the other hand, fell below the 8% CET1 ratio threshold for both the AQR and the stress test’s baseline scenario, as well as falling below the 5.5% CET1 ratio threshold used in the stress test’s adverse scenario. Meanwhile, Investbank AD fell below both the 8% CET1 ratio threshold used in the stress test’s baseline scenario and the 5.5% CET1 ratio threshold used in the stress test’s adverse scenario," it added.
The comprehensive assessment was carried out on Bulgaria’s request as part of the country's efforts to join the banking union and the eurozone.
Reacting to the results of ECB's comprehensive assessment, Fibank said it has secured 130 million euro to back its capital.
"Fibank will address the remaining amount of 133 million euro with its operating profit, de-risking of its corporate portfolio, and any other eligible measures," it said in a statement late on Friday.
The AQR is a prudential exercise, rather than an accounting exercise, and provides the ECB with a point-in-time assessment of the carrying values of banks’ assets on a particular date - December 31, 2018 for the six Bulgarian banks. The AQR also determines whether there is a need to strengthen a bank’s capital base. The AQR was complemented by a stress test exercise, which looked at how the banks’ capital positions would evolve under hypothetical baseline and adverse scenarios over the next three years - by 2021. That stress test was conducted using the methodology applied in the European Banking Authority’s 2018 stress test.