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Friday, February 24, 2006 

Bulgaria's foreign debt rose to $17 billion

FEB. 24 6:50 A.M. ET Bulgaria's gross foreign debt last year rose 14.4 percent to euro14.3 billion (US$17 billion), the central bank said Friday.

By the end of December, the country's debt had increased euro1.8 billion (US$2.1 billion) from December 2004.

Long-term debt accounted for 74.4 percent of the total, the Bulgarian National Bank said in a statement.

The debt amounted to 67.6 percent of the annual gross domestic product, compared with 64.4 percent of GDP in December 2004.

The state foreign debt stood at euro4.4 billion (US$5.2 billion) at the end of 2005, or 20.8 percent of annual GDP. It was down from 30 percent of GDP in December 2004, due mainly to last year's buyback of Bulgaria's Brady bonds.

Source: Business Week

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