Bulgaria hopes to find an investor for its only stock exchange by the end of this year after failing to do so by the beginning of the summer as initially planned.
"In terms of timeline, the plan is to sell by the end of the year. Everything looks on track," BSE Chief Executive Ivan Takev told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges conference in Istanbul.
For sale is the government's stakes of just above 50% in the Bulgarian bourse and in the Central Depository, which clears and settles trades and also acts as a register of securities.
"Some paperwork is being done by the privatization agency and it will soon formally start the selection of a consultant which will execute the sales process," Takev said.
"We have spoken to many exchanges and they seem to be quite interested, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're potential acquirers," he said.
Takev said the bourse is worth about EUR 10 million, which means a sale of the stake would be worth around EUR 5 million. However, the depository is not a listed firm, so its valuation and sale price would have to be calculated by the consultants in charge of selling the assets.
At the end of last year insiders told local media that the government's hopes to sell the majority stake in the bourse by the end of 2011 have gone sour as no bidders have declared interest so far.
Shortly after the Bulgarian Stock Exchange launched the sale of its shares in January 2011, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov announced that there is a "huge" interest among investors. CEE Stock Exchange Group however was the only one to openly declare its interest, but no detailed talks have been held so far.