Cyprus Mail

BoC board likely to discuss Ross’s departure on Tuesday

New BoC chairman Josef Ackermann (r) with investor and deputy board chairman Wilbur Ross

The Bank of Cyprus board of directors may have to decide on the succession of its vice-chairman Wilbur Ross when it convenes next Tuesday, four days after the billionaire nominated by US president-elect Donald Trump as commerce secretary assumes office, the Business Mail has learned.

“The bank has not been notified yet of his intentions,” a Bank of Cyprus source said on condition of anonymity citing the lack of authorisation to talk to the media about the matter. “A decision may be taken at the board meeting on Tuesday.”

Reuters reported that the US businessman, who led a group of investors into Cyprus’s largest bank when it carried out a €1bn capital increase in the second half of 2014, was intending to resign from his post in various companies, including Bank of Cyprus, and sell his stake.

The timing of the departure of the billionaire, who made profit by investing, restructuring, and reselling his stake in Bank of Ireland months before engaging in Bank of Cyprus, almost coincides with the launch of trading of the bank’s share on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday. Since August 2014, when Ross arrived at Bank of Cyprus, his investment lost roughly one-third of its value.

A press officer working for the US businessman was not immediately available for comment.

Citing an ethics agreement published on Tuesday, Reuters reported that Ross’s stake in Invesco Ltd., the parent company of W.L. Ross & Co. is valued at $50m (€47m). The billionaire, whose wealth is estimated by Forbes at $2.5bn, also pledged to sell other assets worth up to $209m to prevent possible conflicts of interest.

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