POLITICS

Biggest loss sustained by one of Sima’s clients: EUR 1.4 M

Lawyers blame the National Securities Commission (CNVM) for lack of reaction. As WBS Holding is not registered in Romania, the plaintiffs have little chance to recover their money.

The case of stockbroker Cristian Sima, the former chief of Sibex, continues with a new episode that brings to light fresh developments. Continuing the interview with journalist Radu Soviani on Realitatea TV, Sima added that the biggest loss sustained by a client of WBS Holding is EUR 1.4 M and claimed that he could repay him if he sold all his assets, but he wants to grant equal treatments to all his clients. According to Sima, the initial investment of the client (whose name he did not disclose) was EUR 1.8 M, and the gain after six months is “little over 400,000.”He also mentioned that he could repay the respective sum if he sells part of his assets, but he must decide the order in which he compensates all his clients. However, he considers that things are more complicate and clients must be patient, “which is not the case.” Sima also read the losses of several clients, out of a list, varying between EUR 2,000 and EUR 16,000, which he said he could repay “soon enough.” Former Finance minister Daniel Daianu, one of those who invested money in the brokerage firm managed by Cristian Sima, believes that the only way he can recover the initial capital of EUR 220,000 is if Sima sells part of the assets which he did not provide as guarantees and compensate his losses.However, there is not too much clients can do in order to recover their money, because WBS Holding is not registered in Romania. The company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, but it is neither authorised, nor monitored by CNVM. “I believe that CNVM should have supervised Sima previously, given his extravagant statements. The CNVM should have got in touch with British authorities, launch a probe and learn the status of this company, WBS Holding,” lawyer Cristian Dutescu believes.  Lawyers also claim that, in such cases, investors are very exposed. “The problem is the Forex, where there is no protection, these transactions are exempted from CNVM control and one cannot monitor the broker,” lawyer Gheorghe Piperea says, quoted by zf.ro.One way or another, the capital market suffers a loss of prestige in this row, although neither CNVM, nor the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) and local brokers have any direct responsibility in the Sima affair. The case of fugitive broker Cristian Sima raises another important question related to investments on the international capital markets, as dozens of companies have appeared these years, which promote themselves as brokers and say they offer trading services on foreign markets.

Letter no. 4: Sima vs CTP and Chireac

Cristian Sima also made public a fourth letter, in which he also refers to his deals with analyst Bogdan Chireac, who actually appeared on TV and gave half an answer, without clearly specifying his business relation with the broker. “Bogdan Chireac was a shareholder in WBS Holding from ‘98 until 2001. I gave him 5 pc of the shares as a present. After I saw what he did in the year 2000 electoral campaign, I had to take them back, obviously at a price. In year 2000, through the account he had in WBS Holding at the bank BSI Chiasso Switzerland, he received over USD 1.5 M which he distributed to politicians,” Sima added in the letter.According to Sima, another media personality involved is journalist Cristian Tudor Popescu (CTP). “Cristian Tudor Popescu compares me to an aborted Vantu. It is true that I did not steal the money, I lost it, and only 4 million, rather than 300. (…) Actually, when he received his wage from Vantu, at Realitatea, and when he founded the Gandul newspaper his hands did not burn with the money of the FNI victims.” Sima added that CTP was aware about the shady dealings of his fellow journalists at Adevarul and turned a blind eye, although he did not participate directly. Cristian Tudor Popescu promptly answered the accusations in a phone call aired live on Romania TV, saying that he had nothing to do with the VIP’s broker and met Sima only once, purely by coincidence. He also declared himself upset by the fact that media believe the “nonsense” told by such a “person,” which he described as “human trash.”

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