The Bulgarian central bank said on Friday that there is an organised attack carried out through rumours and ill-intentioned statements against local banks, First Investment Bank [BUL:5F4] in particular, which jeopardizes the stability of the country's banking system.
"We appeal to the prosecuting magistracy, the Interior Ministry and the State Agency for National Security to apply the law in its full rigour against those who spread untrue and ill-intentioned rumours," the central bank said in a statement.
Such criminal acts put at risk the country's national security, of which financial stability is an essential part, the bank said, adding that it is appealing to parliament, the government and the president for support.
The shares of Bulgaria's First Investment Bank (Fibank) continued to plunge on Friday, for a second day in a row, trading at 2.9 levs ($2.0/1.5 euro), down 22.46%, by 1355 CET, bourse date showed.
A total of 209, 812 Fibank shares changed hands by that hour, according to Bulgarian Stock Exchange data.
Fibank’s capital consists of 110 million shares with a par value of 1.0 lev each.
Fibank has “sufficient money in cash and various instruments”, the bank said in a press release, adding that it would, however, stop servicing clients at 1400 CET on Friday and would continue operations as usual on Monday.
The bank also said clients withdrew over 800 million levs in total on Friday.