BURSA 10.12.2014

ADINA ARDELEANU (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
 
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At the time this article was published, Dragoș Bîlteanu, Najib el Lakis, Nicolae Mergeani, Stere Gardan and Victor Prodan were detained with a recommendation for preventive detention.
     *  The management of SIF Moldova held an emergency meeting in Bucharest
     *  Mișu Negrițoiu: "We do not comment on the actions of the DIICOT"
       SIF Moldova has terminated the contractual relationship with lawyers Nicolae Mergeani and Victor Prodan, who were arrested, on Monday, in relation to the DIICOT case concerning the embezzlement from SIF1 Banat-Crișana and SIF4 Muntenia, according to some market sources, which claim that yesterday, the management of SIF2 held an emergency meeting.
     The two lawyers, who were members on the Board of Representatives of Shareholders of SIF Muntenia, are being prosecuted in the case of illegal retrocession of forests which led to the arrest of former deputy Viorel Hrebenciuc and his son Andrei Hrebenciuc, member on the Board of Directors of SIF Moldova.
     The prosecutors of the DNA wrote, in their report, that suspects Nicolae Mergeani and Victor Prodan, as well as Carmen Elisabeta Drăgoi have made statements revealing the network of Cypriot companies used by the Hrebeciuc family in the case.
     Costel Ceocea, the chairman of SIF Moldova, told us that the contract his company had with lawyers Mergeani and Prodan concerned only the representation in various lawsuits, similarly to the contracts it has with other law firms.
     He says that, in the context of the two lawyers being investigated by the prosecutors of the DIICOT and of the DNA, a reevaluation of the relationship with them is needed.
     "The legal advisors of the SIF do not have the right to represent the company in court", Mr. Ceocea explained, and he went on to say: "Thus, we have specific contracts for several particular cases with several law firms. They (ed. note: Mergeani and Prodan) did not represent us as administrators in the companies in our portfolio, they were not counselors with a «subscription»-type contract. Thus, we have an exclusive representation in the courts for some specific cases, just like we have with other law firms.
     The companies have designated a number of lawyers (others than the lawyers apparently involved in activities considered illegal by the competent authorities!) and are being declared as people «involved» in relation to SIF2 and thus are subject to the obligations imposed by this relationship. The representation has been described as effective, and professional, due to the superior percentage of lawsuits that they won for the SIF".
     Costel Ceocea confirmed the termination of the relationship with the two lawyers: "As soon as the first news concerning the possible involvement of the lawyers in question (ed. note: in criminal cases) broke, we took every required step pertaining to the reevaluation of our relationships with them order to avoid any threat to our reputation.
     Thus, the relationships we had have been in the process of reevaluation for a long time now (amicable termination)".
     Lawyers Mergeani and Prodan have also been involved in one of the first transactions conducted by Dragoș Bîlteanu while in charge of SIF1, specifically, the acquisition of Azuga Turism by SIF Banat Crișana.
     Romenergo Holding Limited, Bîlteanu and El Lakis' offshore, sold the business of Azuga in 2012 to a company owned by lawyers Nicolae Mergeani and Victor Prodan, from which it was acquired by SIF 1, according to Rise Project, which also writes: "At the time, Carmen Elisabeta Drăgoi was appointed as the company's CEO. She was an accomplice of Andrei Hrebenciuc in the acquisition of 12,000 hectares that were illegally retroceded, an affair for which he was arrested in October 2014".
     Azuga Turism has been temporarily closed.
     * Trading in shares of SIF1 and SIF4 was suspended yesterday
     Trading on the BSE in the shares of SIF1 Banat Crișana and SIF4 Muntenia was suspended yesterday as well, as Dragoș Bîlteanu, the president of SIF1, Najib el Lakis, a member on the Board of Directors of SIF1, lawyers Nicolae Mergeani and Victor Prodan and Stere Gardan, broker at Swiss Capital, were arrested by the DIICOT on Monday.
     Yesterday night, they were taken to the Bucharest Court of Appeal, and it was proposed that they be arrested for 30 days. No verdict has been given by the time the newspaper went to print.
     The representatives of the BSE told us that trading in the shares of the two companies has been halted, at the request of the Financial Oversight Authority (ASF) and that the BSE is waiting for more information from that Authority.
     The Authority has told us: "In the context of the events of December 8th and 9th, 2014, the Financial Oversight Authority has asked the two issuers to draft and publish reports, in order to provide adequate information to shareholders and potential investors concerning the manner in which the companies are managed.
     Also, the management of the companies is going to review and reveal to shareholders the impact that these events have in order to preserve an orderly market, and to allow trading in SIF1 and SIF4 shares to resume.
     After the publication of these reports and unless new items appear that would have to be revealed to the public, trading in SIF1 and SIF4 shares may resume".
     SIF Muntenia yesterday sent the communiqué requested by the ASF: "SAI Muntenia informs investors that the activity of SIF Muntenia is unfolding normally, and it is being managed by the Board of Directors of the management company, by the CEO and the managers mandated to perform the actual management of the ASF".
     Gabriel Filimon, the managing director of SAI Muntenia Invest, was also heard on Monday at the DIICOT.
     Mișu Negrițoiu, the president of the ASF, yesterday said that he is not habilitated to make comment about the actions of the DIICOT.
     "The information about the irregular market actions - acting in concert or manipulation, has been made public by the ASF when it has proved necessary", Negrițoiu said, and he added: "It is precisely out of this desire to enforce discipline upon these companies (ed. note: the SIFs), that we do have a number of ongoing lawsuits with them. We will refrain from making comments".
     SIF Banat-Crișana yesterday announced that Adrian Petreanu, administrator of the company, has resigned.
     On Monday, the prosecutors of the DIICOT have conducted searches and have seized documents at the headquarters of SIF Banat Crișana, of Arad and Bucharest, at SIF Muntenia and at Swiss Capital, in order to dismantle an organized criminal faction, specializing in the manipulation of the stock market, embezzlement and money laundering. The loss amounts to 15-16 million Euros, according to some sources.
     According to the DIICOT, between 2012-2014, the members of the faction have set up an organized crime group which sought to take steal money from SIF Banat Crișana SA and SIF Muntenia SA Bucuresti, by embezzling it (by misappropriation/trafficking). The money was later transferred through several offshore companies, which were also controlled by the members of the group directly or through proxies, in order to recycle the funds, to hide their source. 

     * The name of Ioannis Papalekas, in the prosecutors' report
     The name of businessman Ioannis Papalekas, one of the most active real estate investors in Romania over the last years, is mentioned in the report of the DIICOT prosecutors, in the event of the embezzlement of SIF1 Banat Crișana and SIF Muntenia, according to Realitatea TV.
     Recently Papalekas has conducted many acquisitions in Romania, through GlobalWorth (the company he controls), including Nusco Tower, the building which hosted the Volksbank headquarters. Papalekas is nicknamed "The faceless eagle", because he never appears in public. BURSA recently published his photograph in an impressive picture of him, on Greek island Mikonos, where he bought a club, according to the Greek press.
     The publication quotes Romanian sources which describe Papalekas as "ruthless" in business and capable of "smelling" the profitable opportunities. "In Romania, he is considered a leader of the real estate market", the publication in question says.

 
 

 
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Aceeasi sectiune (English Section)
AFTER BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE TAX ADMINISTRATION AND THE ANPC, BANKS GET INVESTIGATED BY THE COMPETITION COUNCIL
THE COURT RULED THAT SOME CONTRACTS CONCLUDED BY CELL PHONE COMPANIES INCLUDE ABUSIVE CLAUSES
AFTER THE TRANSACTION BETWEEN BANCA TRANSILVANIA AND BANCPOST
PATRICIA SUÁREZ RAMÍREZ, THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FINANCIAL CONSUMERS OF SPAIN:
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English Section
12.12.2017
AFTER BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE TAX ADMINISTRATION AND THE ANPC, BANKS GET INVESTIGATED BY THE COMPETITION COUNCIL
     * Chirițoiu: "We suspect an exchange of sensitive information on the banking market"
     * Dan Suciu, NBR: "The audits of the Competition Council can't be a reason for panic whatsoever"
     * Unannounced audit at Finmedia
     * The investigated institutions are at risk of being fined 10% of their turnover
     * Vasilescu: "The NBR has nothing to do with these investigations"
       The financial banking system seems to be the focus of most of the investigation entities. After being audited by the National Tax Administration Agency (ANAF) and by the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC), some of the banks which operate in Romania have also been investigated by the Competition Council (CC).  details
11.12.2017
THE COURT RULED THAT SOME CONTRACTS CONCLUDED BY CELL PHONE COMPANIES INCLUDE ABUSIVE CLAUSES
     * The Bucharest Court of Appeal Bucharest yesterday ruled that RCS&RDS has abusive clauses in its contracts
     * The ANPC has also won the initial lawsuit against Telekom România
     * Vodafone has lost the case in the court of last instance against the ANPC
       The Courts have decided that some contracts concluded by the telephony companies contain abusive clauses. The Court rulings were rendered last year, as well as in 2016, but the argumentations have been formulated relatively recently.  details
08.12.2017
     The hope of an accession as quick as possible by Romania to the Eurozone was dealt a heavy blow precisely on the National Day.  details
06.12.2017
AFTER THE DRAFT HAD BEEN PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER
     * Gheorghe Șimon: "The royalties law will be voted in the Parliament in February next year"
     * Ministry of the Economy: "We will establish royalties which are fair both for the state as well as for the business sector"
     * Daniel Cătălin Zamfir, PNL: "I found out that there are companies that have never, take note, never paid even one leu in royalties to the Romanian state, even though they have been exploiting resources for over 20 years"
     * Last year, the Court of Auditors announced that Romania lost 1.4 billion dollars, because the ANRM established the oil royalties in a flawed manner
       The entire legislative package concerning the regulation of the system for the regulation of the mineral, oil and hydromineral resources will be revised and will be voted in the Parliament in February next year, Economics minister, Gheorghe Șimon, announced yesterday, after the debates of the Economic, Industries and Services Commission of the Senate.  details
28.11.2017
AFTER THE TRANSACTION BETWEEN BANCA TRANSILVANIA AND BANCPOST
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       After moving to second spot last year in the domestic banking system, through the acquisition of Volksbank, Banca Transilvania (BT) ends up on equal footing with BCR, taking over Bancpost, from Greek group Eurobank.  details
27.11.2017
     * MAKE, BURSA: "I want the new CEO of the BSE to participate in the drafting of a new strategy for the development of capital market"
       On Thursday night, "BURSA" received the Award for the promoting of high standards of corporate governance on the capital market, as part of the 2017 Capital Market Awards Gala, organized by the Association of Brokers.  details
24.11.2017
     * Ciprian Păltineanu and Adrian Tănase, scheduled for meetings with the board
     * Both candidates seem to be closet o the group in the shareholder structure of the BSE
     * George Butunoiu is in charge of recruitment
     * The waiting list may include a few foreigners, including former BRD executive Jacek Panczyk
       According to some market sources, banker Ciprian Păltineanu and Adrian Tănase, Chief Investment Officer at NN Pensii România, will hold interviews in the beginning of next week with the Board of the BSE, after Ludwik Sobolewski's term expired in the summer.  details
23.11.2017
PATRICIA SUÁREZ RAMÍREZ, THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FINANCIAL CONSUMERS OF SPAIN:
     * The head of the ASUFIN: "The ruling of the Supreme Court of Spain in which the Andriciuc case has been invoked will be part of the Spanish case law and the lower courts will be required to apply the principle that underlies this decision"
       The ruling issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJUE) in the Andriciuc versus Banca Românească case represents a great advantage for Spanish debtors, said Patricia Suarez Ramírez, the president of the Association of Financial Consumers in Spain (ASUFIN), as part of a response recently sent to BURSA.  details
22.11.2017
     * Dragnea: "Those who are against me are hiding behind institutions"
       The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, leader of the PSD, thinks that his enemies are hiding behind some institutions, "they crucify people", and the real stake is "the blocking of the Laws concerning the Justice system".  details
21.11.2017
     The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have sent to the ECB, in the beginning of this year, a request concerning the sending of some proposals to revise the framework for managing crises.  details
20.11.2017
ANPC STRIKES AGAIN
     * BCR: "Ongoing contracts no longer contain the clauses that have been subjected to examination"
     * Sources: "ANPC has 6 lawsuits against BCR, which will lead to enormous losses for Erste Bank if BCR loses in court"
       After forcing Raiffeisen Bank to eliminate the unfair practices from the loan agreements, the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC) strikes again, this time the biggest bank in the system. BCR lost in the court of first instance, against the ANPC, in a class action lawsuit concerning abusive lending clauses.  details
16.11.2017
THE QUICK RISE OF THE INDEX WHICH SETS THE TREND FOR INTEREST RATES ON LOANS DENOMINATED IN LEI ISN'T STOPPING
     The 3-month ROBOR rate, which is used to calculate the interest rates, the majority of the loans denominated in lei, has jumped past the 2% psychological level, and yesterday reached 2.06%, up from Tuesday's 1.92%, according to data from the NBR.  details
16.11.2017
THE PARLIAMENT IS ASKING FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE INVESTIGATIONS WHICH OMV PETROM HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO
     * Minister Toma Petcu, former ministers Răzvan Nicolescu and Victor Grigorescu, the representatives of the state in the executive structure of OMV Petrom and Mihai Busuioc, the president of the Court of Auditors were heard today in the Investigation Commission
       The executives of OMV Petrom mentioned, in a letter addressed to the parliament, the existence of four lawsuits brought by the National Energy Regulation Authority (ANRE) and of seven audits by the Authority, between 2012-2017, as the recent request for information by the Commission for the Investigation of the activity of the ANRE targeted a period of 12 years, from 2015 to 2017.  details
14.11.2017
THE EURO AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH
     * Vasilescu: "We cannot say that the currency market has gone off the rails, the exchange rate has moved 4 bani in 4 days"
     * "Perhaps it is a simple coincidence the fact that on November 8th was approved the Emergency Ordinance of the Fiscal Code and it was also on that day that the Euro rose past 4.6 lei", said Mr. Vasilescu
       The leu yesterday reached a historic low against the Euro, 4.6495 lei/Euro, up 1.05 over the previous meeting, marking the fourth day where the exchange rate was above 4.6 lei.  details
13.11.2017
     In October, the Romanian Commercial Bank, through Schoenherr și Asociații, has submitted, with the County Court of Bihor, a request for the insolvency of the European Drinks group, owned by the Micula brothers. That group includes: European Drinks, Transilvania General Import-Export, European Food, Starmill SRL, Scandic Distilleries SA, Rieni Drinks.  details
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