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August 4, 2021

BVB General Manager: Erste seeks arguments against listing BCR

Valentin Ionescu, general manager of the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB), told a capital market seminar yesterday that Erste Bank would not list the Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) on the stock exchange as the shares would be traded at a price below that paid by the Austrian bank for its majority shareholding in 2006, Mediafax reports. “I don’t know whether the state still has a leverage to press Erste to list the BCR. I believe the state has forgotten of the BCR listing mandatory clause in the privatization contract of the bank. Eventually, the decision is up to the majority shareholder, and I believe only the SIFs could demand the listing,” Ionescu said.

“With respect to the statement made by BVB General Manager Valentin Ionescu, we won’t express an opinion as of now, given that was only his personal opinion. When concrete data emerge, we will take an official stand on the issue,” Alina Costache, Group Press Officer Erste Bank, told “Nine O’Clock”
Last February, Dominic Bruynseels, CEO BCR, said that the rather insufficient liquidity of the Bucharest bourse would not “emphasize BCR’s value”, had the shares would be listed now. He also said that the listing process of the BCR is agreed with the SIFs, with no specific deadline advanced.

Under the privatization contract, Austria’s Erste Bank, majority shareholder of BCR, had to list the credit institution it controls in Romania in three years at the latest since the takeover process came to an end, namely by October 2009. In August of that year, Erste signed and agreement with the Financial Investment Funds (SIFs) stipulating the BCR listing being pushed back by at least two years, although it could happen earlier than that too, at the request of the five capital companies, if the capital market shows signs of rebound.. This means, listing talks should be resumed by August. The SIFs contemplate selling all or a portion of the shares held in BCR , if Erste won’t list the shares on the stock exchange.

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