UPDATE 1-Bulgaria central bank nominates new deputy governor to oversee banks

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SOFIA, March 8 (Reuters) - Bulgaria’s central bank has nominated Radoslav Milenkov, chairman of the country’s deposit insurance fund, to be its deputy governor in charge of banking supervision, following the unexpected resignation of Dimitar Kostov.

Parliament is expected to vote on the nomination of the 46-year-old, who holds a degree in finances and was previously chief executive of a small local lender, for a six-year term in the next two weeks.

Bulgaria is rushing to fill the post as it prepares to join the European Union’s banking union later this year in anticipation of adopting the euro currency.

In his current role, Milenkov oversaw the payment of more than 3.7 billion levs ($2.1 billion) to guaranteed depositors at Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank), whose collapse in 2014 plunged Bulgaria into its biggest financial crisis since the 1990s.

“Radoslav Milenkov is a well-known and respected specialist in the banking sphere, who has proven his professional knowledge and good reputation,” the central bank said in a statement.

The collapse of Corpbank, the country’s fourth-largest lender five years ago, hurt the central bank’s reputation. One of Milenkov’s tasks will be to keep up the pace of reforms to ensure strict supervision of lenders.

Bulgaria’s banking sector, where about 70 percent of lenders are owned by EU banks, is well-capitalised with a CET 1 capital ratio of 19 percent at the end of 2018, central bank data showed. ($1 = 1.7433 leva) (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Hugh Lawson)