By Jean Christou
THE Bank of Cyprus (BoC) said on Thursday it was preparing to return to the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) next month.
“The bank has filed a draft prospectus with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to the listing of its unlisted ordinary shares on the CSE and ATHEX, and the retail offer,” BoC said in a statement.
“Subject to obtaining required regulatory approvals, the prospectus is expected to be issued within the next couple of weeks and the listing is expected to occur in December.”
Shareholders are required to have an active Investor Share Code and Securities account with the CSE or the Dematerialised Securities System (DSS) of the Hellenic Exchanges in order for ordinary shares to be credited to their account so that they will be able to trade these shares as soon as they are admitted to trading, BoC said.
The bank said it had on several occasions contacted its shareholders that hold ordinary shares as a result of the bail-in by post; the latest letter to these shareholders requested that the relevant information related to their Investor Share Code and Securities account on the CSE or the DSS be provided by November 24.
The bank urged all shareholders that do not have an account number with the CSE or the DSS to apply directly to an brokerage firm or custodian in Cyprus or Greece in order to proceed with the opening of these accounts and provide the relevant details to the Shares and Loan Stock Department of the bank (via fax no +357 22336258/+357 22336261 or via email at [email protected] ).
If shareholders do not have an account number or if the information provided by shareholders to the Shares and Loan Stock Department is incorrect or incomplete, the ordinary shares held by these shareholders will be credited in their name to an Investor Share Code with the CSE which will be inactive unless and until shareholders take appropriate action to activate this account and pay the relevant fees.
“This process may be difficult and time consuming and will cause delays in a shareholder’s ability to trade the shares on the CSE and ATHEX,” said the bank.
The bank said will cease to effect share transfers via its Shares and Loan Stock Department as of 3pm on November 21. Once the unlisted ordinary shares are admitted to listing and trading on the CSE and ATHEX, the procedure for the transfer of shares as per the bank’s announcement of January 20, 2014 will cease to apply.
The record date for the retail offer will also be 3pm on November 21.
BoC shares have been suspended since March 2013, after which the bank converted large deposits into stock to recapitalise as well as taking on the assets and liabilities of defunct Laiki Bank.
In August this year, BoC shareholders overwhelmingly approved a €1.0bn capital raise.
The pre-emptive move ensured that the bank absorbed the capital shortfall that emerged from the ECB comprehensive assessment carried out by the European Central Bank last month.