Bank of Cyprus to be investigated over Athens bourse listing

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s Securities Commission has referred the Bank of Cyprus to the public prosecutor’s office for possible criminal violations surrounding its listing of shares in Greece in 2000, it said yesterday. The commission said it was referring its own inquiry into the bank, Cyprus’s largest, to the attorney-general’s office for advice. The commission launched the probe last April. «The commission notes that the inquiry is related to events in 2000 and the issue of 39 million shares of Bank of Cyprus Ltd in Greece,» it said. The legal statutes cited in the commission’s announcement refer to misleading comments to manipulate stock prices. They constitute a criminal offense under Cypriot law. The Bank of Cyprus did not immediately comment, but in the past has said it was assisting in the inquiry. Newspaper reports said bank executives had strongly denied anything untoward in transactions. Media reports have suggested the commission’s inquiry focused on allegations the bank lent institutional investors the cash to purchase blocks of shares in the placement, and connected that with a subsequent accumulation of bad debts. A source close to the investigation declined to be specific on the probe. «It will now leave our hands and go to the attorney-general’s office. It is up to them to decide if there is a case or not,» the source said. The Bank of Cyprus’s public placement of shares in Greece was oversubscribed 1.5 times. It raised about 200 million Cyprus pounds ($425.5 million) to fund its expansion in that country.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.