Cyprus Mail

SEC stands behind Bouloutas fine

Now-defunct Laiki Bank

THE CHAIRWOMAN of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said the watchdog would continue investigations on a number of matters that should come to a close by the end of the year.

Demetra Kalogirou was defending to the public broadcaster a recently announced decision to fine Efthimios Bouloutas, the former CEO of the now-defunct Laiki bank, in relation to misleading investors.

SEC gave Bouloutas the maximum amount it could, €100,000, for a September 2011 media statement claiming the group was healthy and had adequate liquidity. The statement was published a day before the lender starting drawing emergency liquidity assistance, which SEC described as a “last resort”.

Bouloutas accused SEC of twisting his words for a “supposed statement” that was published to “just one magazine with a limited circulation”.

Kalogirou said yesterday the magazine was a specialist publication dealing with investor issues.

She said they had checked the statements and wrote down exactly what Bouloutas said.

SEC has recently issued a number of fines to the Bank of Cyprus as an entity and to former executives over the lender’s sizeable Greek sovereign bond investments in 2010.

And in July SEC said it would investigate potential law violations in relation to loan agreements between the former Laiki Bank and Marfin Investment Group (MIG) that were secured with MIG shares as collateral.

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