Major international banks have submitted notifications of intent to work in Bulgaria to the Bulgarian National Bank.
A total of 190 credit institutions have expressed interest in entering the Bulgarian market, according to the 24 Chasa daily; 18 of them, including 16 banks, have already notified the BNB that they want to operate in Bulgaria.
The list of major international credit institutions considering the Bulgarian market includes JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs Europe, Barclays Bank, Commerzbank, Saxo Bank, Merill Lynch International, Morgan Stanley International, Erste Group Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse, and the London branch of China Construction Bank.
The Turkish Isbank will be opening its first Bulgarian branch in the first half of 2011, the BNB announced.
For the time being, the central bank in Sofia has not received any requests to approve foreign acquisitions of Bulgarian banks or branches even though there are unconfirmed reports that three or four Bulgarian banks might be offered for sale.