Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest lender, said that it intends to pursue a premium listing at the London Stock Exchange, maintain its listing at the Cyprus Stock Exchange and have its stock delisted in Athens.
“A premium listing on the LSE fulfils one of the Bank’s objectives of listing on a major European stock exchange,” the lender said in an emailed statement on Thursday. “The listing and, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, potential inclusion in the FTSE UK Index series will enhance the group’s visibility and share liquidity”.
The bank, which during the March 2013 banking crisis converted almost half of its uninsured customer deposits into equity as part of Cyprus’s bailout terms and saw the trading of its shares at the CSE and Athens Stock Exchange suspended and had it re-listed in December 2014, said that making its share visible to the international investor community in London, will help it play a key role in support the recovery of Cyprus’s economy.
“Adherence to the high standards of corporate governance and transparency required for a premium listing on the LSE will further enhance the confidence of all stakeholders in the group,” Bank of Cyprus said. “The bank is currently working towards a listing in the second half of 2016, subject to relevant approvals, an assessment of various technical aspects and market conditions. HSBC Bank plc has been appointed as sole advisor and sponsor”.
Bank of Cyprus stock closed on Thursday at €0.15 at the CSE, up 2 per cent compared to Wednesday’s closing. The lender, with a total of 8,922,944,533 outstanding shares, tops the CSE’s capitalisation list with a total value of €1,338,441,680.