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Cyprus

BoC to appeal €120,000 fine imposed by the court last week

Bank of Cyprus (BoC) said on Monday it would file an appeal against the €120,000 fine imposed by the Nicosia criminal court last week after the bank was found guilty of market manipulation through misleading statements to investors about the bank’s capital shortfall in June 2012.

In a brief announcement, the bank said it was convicted and sentenced on account of misleading statements as to its capital position made on 19 June 2012 at the Bank’s Annual General Meeting by its then Chief Executive Officer, “namely its liability is by attribution and identification”.

“The Bank will file an appeal against both conviction and sentence,” it added.

Former BoC CEO Andreas Eliades was sentenced the same day to 2.5 years in prison.

Eliades and the bank as a legal entity were found guilty of providing misleading information to investors during the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders. The misleading statements related to the bank’s capital shortfall at the time.

At the AGM in question, it was claimed the bank was close to full recapitalisation and that the capital shortfall was at €200 million.

But in a letter to then central bank chief Panicos Demetriades, dated June 20, 2012 – one day after its AGM – the bank raised its capital needs to approximately €400m.

In its 250-page verdict, the court said in December that Eliades knowingly misled the bank’s shareholders at the AGM.

The criminal court president, Lena Demetriadou, said on Friday that if Eliades had wanted to inform the bank’s shareholders and investors he could simply have explained the real situation and unknown factors, just as he did the next day in his letter to the then central bank chief.

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