MINISTRY OF PUBLIC FINANCES (MFP):
BURSA 08.07.2017

A.A., A.S. (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
 
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     *  MFP: "CEC Bank has decided to terminate the loan agreements of Romcab, after the company refused to allow the bank access to its raw materials warehouses"
     *  MFP: "The decisions to lend the money as well as the allocation of the exposure limits by Romanian insurers and international insurers were done based on the financial statements made available by the company"
       "Romcab", which filed for insolvency in February, had inventories of 493 million lei at the end of 2016, according to the certification report received by EximBank, according to a response of the Ministry of Public Finances to an enquiry by BURSA. The employees of CEC Bank have also verified the inventories of "Romcab", up until the point when the company's representatives refused to allow the bank to access its raw materials warehouses, at the end of 2016, the Ministry of Public Finances further said.
     Some investors and creditors have expressed suspicions concerning the actual existence of the inventories reported by the company, which were used as collateral for bank loans, as the company has been accused of using the same collateral for several loans from separate banks.
     The Ministry of Finance is the sole shareholder of CEC Bank and a majority shareholder in EximBank, with both banks being among the creditors of "Romcab", whose insolvency generated a huge row, as the company reported a loss of 39 million Euros in 2016, even though it had posted a profit of 9 million Euros in the first nine months of the year.
     "Romcab" subsequently reported that it set up a provision for inventories of 178 million lei at the end of 2016, and explained the loss as being the result of an accounting error.
     EximBank is the biggest creditor of "Romcab", having to recoup about 210 million lei, on its own behalf and on that of the state, according to the preliminary body of creditors, published by RTZ & Partners, the company's bankruptcy trustee. State-owned CEC Bank also has receivable of 34.6 million lei against the company.
     The responses of the Ministry of Finance to the questions addressed by "BURSA" bring clarifications in the "Romcab" case.
     According to the Ministry of Public Finances, EximBank SA has required the quarterly audit of the inventories by a certified third party, with the expertise and resources for that kind of operations.
     The Ministry states: "According to EximBank, the last available report is dated December 23rd 2016 and certifies the existence of inventories amounting to approximately 493 million lei, confirming the physical and monetary availability of the inventories put up as collateral with the banks.
     According to CEC Bank, the auditing of the stocks has been made periodically by the employees of the Bank, according to its internal regulations, until the time when the officials of Romcab refused to allow the Bank to access the raw materials warehouses (the end of 2016), a situation which resulted in the cancellation of the loan agreements at the request of CEC Bank. In order to allow the monitoring of the inventories, reports drawn up periodically by an independent company specializing in the auditing of inventories have also been presented to CEC Bank, according to the Ministry of Public Finances.
     SGS România, a company which provides certification and inspection services, confirmed in February, at the request of "BURSA", that it has concluded a service agreement with "Romcab" Târgu Mureș.
     Sebastian Vlădescu, former "Romcab" CEO, told us, in an interview, that "Swiss firm SGS was hired by Romcab to certify the existence of the inventories to the banks", as there were rumors making the rounds in the market that the inventories that Romcab had used as collateral for its loans did not exist.
     In response to the question on the situation of loans granted by state owned banks EximBank and CEC Bank to "Romcab", the Ministry of Public Finances said that on behalf of the state, it is the sole shareholder of CEC Bank and majority shareholder of EximBank, in the General Shreholder Meeting, according to the law of companies no. 31/1990 republished, with its subsequent amendments and completions, of the existing banking legislation as well as of the bylaws of the bank.
     According to the legislation in effect, the approval of granting a loan is not among the prerogatives of the General Shareholder Meeting, the Ministry of Public Finances said. Thus, the Ministry has requested the position of the executive management of the lenders in question, who sent the following answers, with the clarification that the lenders need to comply with the provisions of professional secrecy and the relationship with their customers, according to art. 111 of the Emergency Ordinance no. 99/2006 concerning the lenders and the capital adequacy, with its subsequent changes and additions:
     " The collaboration between EximBank - Romcab has taken place according to the general objectives of EximBank set through the law no. 96/2000, concerning the organization and functioning of the Bank of Export and Import of Romania Eximbank, with its subsequent changes and additions, respectively: «the financing of the production of goods and services meant for exportation, as well as of foreign trade operations, through the granting of loans, in lei and in foreign currencies, out of internal or external sources» and «the guaranteeing of loans, in lei and in foreign currencies, for output to be exported, for exportation and importation of goods and services and/or investments in facilities meant for the production of goods and services meant for exportation»;
     All of the actions taken by EximBank have been based on prudent policies and processes for the identification, measurement, evaluation, monitoring, reporting and auditing or reduction of the credit risk;
      The collaboration between EximBank and Romcab had as its main goal, in 2011, the financing of a project using European grants for the making of a new manufacturing facility in Acățari, county of Mureș, completed in 2014, which contributed to the creation of a number of 452 jobs, which also led to the gradual increase of the exports made by Romcab, which exceeded 105 million Euros in 2016 compared to 17 million Euros in the previous year, with the company entering the top 100 exporters;
      As far as CEC Bank is concerned, the loan applications have been completed and granted in compliance with the internal regulations of the Bank in effect at the time of the loan applications in question and communicated to the National Bank of Romania".
     According to the answer of the Ministry of Public Finance, the analyses of EximBank and of the departments habilitated for presentation to the Interministry Committee for Financing, Guarantees and Securities in for the purpose of the issuing of state guarantees have been made based on the public data and available to the concerned creditors and shareholders, with Romcab being a public company, listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange: "The financial reports of the company have been audited by a certified auditor, according to the legal requirements, those of the BSE and of the bank. Also, the decision to lend to all the financing banks as well as t he allocation of the exposure limits by Romanian and international insurers have been done based on the same financial statements made available".
     The Finance Ministry also shows that the financing of the company was done not only by Eximbank and CEC Bank (the two banks with a majority/fully state owned capital), but also by banking institutions such as Banca Transilvania, Piraeus Bank, International Investment Bank, BCR, BRD, Credit Europe Bank, Banca Feroviara, Volksbank.
     "As far as the involvement of the Romanian state is concerned, through the two lenders, we want to make the clarification that there has never been/there is not any policy of the Romanian state, through t he Ministry of Public Finances, to lend to Romcab, as the decisions to approve the loans were made separately by the two banks", the MFP further writes. "Also, according to Eximbank, this bank's exposure represents approximately 5.74% of the body of creditors, and the exposure of the Romanian government is approximately 8.2%. This can be explained by the fact that the main lenders of the company are its partner companies and not the banks".
     According to the Ministry of Public Finances, submitting the request for the receivables to be included in the chart of creditors of Romcab has represented, given the insolvency, the only legal instrument meant to ensure the protection of exploitation of the banks' interests as creditors of the company: "Currently, the procedural steps stipulated by the law of insolvency which precedes the judicial reorganization are under way, and they include, among other things, the completion of the body of creditors the inventorying and the evaluation of the assets of Romcab".
     Should elements appear which would justify the sending of the Auditing Body of the Ministry of Public Finances at the two banks in question, the officials of the Ministry of Public Finances may decide whether to do so, the representatives of the Ministry said.
     They added that the analysis of the activity of the executives of Eximbank/CEC Bank is done according to a number of indicators, as the General Shareholder Meeting is going to analyze to what extent the performance of the two lenders has been affected by the non-performing loans.
     The chart of the Romcab creditors includes debts amounting to 1 billion lei.
     "Sadalbari" SRL, which owns 69% of "Romcab" wants to recoup from the cable maker 101 million lei, of which 88.54 million lei represent a receivable recorded under a suspensive condition.
     "Sadalbari" SRL filed for insolvency on March 31st, upon its own request, according to the ruling of the County Court of Mureș. In March, the audit activity of "Sadalbari" was taken over by SC Motoplus Paneuro SRL, after the stake of Zoltan Prosszer, former majority shareholder, gradually diminished. Zoltan Prosszer is currently the special administrator of Romcab.
     The Financial Oversight Authority (ASF) notified the DIICOT concerning the difference in the financial statements of "Romcab" of two consecutive quarters, namely between the profit of 9 million Euros reported at the end of the first nine months of 2016, and the loss of 39 million Euros reported for the entire year 2016, sources from the stock market told us in March. 
 

 
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