Ludwik Sobolewski announced, on Monday night, that he has decided not to exercise his mandate as CEO of the Bucharest Stock Exchange, "even though he could", invoking an alleged difference between "mandate" and "the mandate contract", a distinction which does not exist in the Romanian Civil Code.
With this press release, Ludwik Sobolewski has fudged the internal procedures of the BSE.
Even though "he has decided not to pursue his mandate", Ludwik Sobolewski has not announced an interim CEO for his position. He has not announced whether he has delegated his responsibilities, whether he has handed in his phone, car and home, and whether his access to information concerning the activity of the BSE has been revoked.
The BSE hasn't made that kind of announcement either.
The BSE hasn't sent any answer to the request by "BURSA" to clarify these matters.
After two days of confusion, representatives of the BSE have told Agerpres, that Alin Barbu, CEO of the Bucharest Stock Exchange will coordinate the activity of the institution.
"Since 2009, Alin Barbu has served as one of the two executives of the BSE authorized by the ASF, and is one of the individuals who, according to the Articles of Incorporation and the decisions of the Board of the Exchange, is empowered to coordinate the activity of the BSE and has the right to take responsibility", the source quoted by the press agency explained.
The BSE has not notified the market, instead it has notified a press agency, which is an unnatural order for a listed company.
By the time the newspaper had left for the printers, the BSE had not yet published a current report.
Lucian Anghel, the president of the BSE, has disappeared, precisely during this period of torment. When asked via e-mail to answer our unresolved questions, we have received the following automated response: "Thanks for your message! I will be out of office until August 28th, 2017".
Lucian Anghel is ignoring the emails he gets, instead it would appear he's working, because he has summoned the Board of the Exchange yesterday, for an ad-hoc meeting.
More specifically, the board members have been summoned to approve the current reports illegally issued by Ludwik Sobolewski, by which he claims, in contradiction with the Civil Code, that his term is still in effect, even though his mandate contract has expired, and that he has decided not to exercise his term.
For the emergency summoning, Anghel needs all the members of the Board to agree, which seems impossible.
Ironically, even though he says that the meeting of the Board of Directors of Friday, summoned for the extension of the mandate of the CEO, did not meet the quorum, in Monday's night press release, Sobolewski stated that all the implications of the "unusual legal situation", which is what he calls the illegality he has committed, "have been presented in the meeting of the Board of August 18th, 2017, and the current report published on August 21st, 2017 was approved by the Audit Committee of the BSE".
The opinions of the BSE committees have an advisory role for the Board of the Exchange.
The Board of the Exchange did not approve Sobolewski's reports, because it hasn't met.
The situation once again proves Sobolewski's imposture.
Lucian Anghel is also busy with diversions, even though he's on holiday.
Yesterday, the BSE sent a press release quoted by Agerpres, according to which the shareholders of the BSE have doubled their investment in four years out of the increase in the stock price and out of dividends.
Investors who bought shares in the BSE four years ago, had a gain of 78.7%, just from the price increases alone, without taking into account the dividends the company paid out during that period, it is stated in a press release of the market operator sent on Tuesday to the press agency. Thus, at the end of June 2013, the price of a BSE share was approximately 18.3 lei, and on June 30, 2017 it stood at 32.7 lei, according to the press release.
Lucian Anghel is quoted in the press release: "It is a significant gain for the shareholders of the BSE. The market capitalization of the BSE has increased from 140 million lei at the end of 2013, to over 250 million lei at the end of June 2017, which means a gain of 110 million lei. On top of that increase, of almost 80%, if we take into account the yield of the dividends paid out by the company during those years, then we are talking about a doubling of the shareholders' investment".
The press release has not been posted on the website of the BSE.
When faced with questions about the functioning of the BSE, about illegalities committed by Ludwik Sobolewski in which he is also involved, Lucian Anghel speaks about Sobolewski's performances. Nobody asked him about that. Since he has started doing analyses, he should have at least done them according to the objectives set for the CEO at the beginning of the mandate.
The "BURSA" newspaper published that analysis on August 11th. Sobolewski met his criteria in 2014 and 2017 but also for three months of 2013, when the goals had already been reached before his appointment.
In 2014, the performances have been compared to 2012.
In 2017, the performances have been compared by semesters, with 2016, starting from a low benchmark.
In 2015 and 2016, Sobolewski didn't meet his criteria, seeing drops all over the place.
That is his term in a nutshell.
Anghel's diversion doesn't hold water because he omits speaking precisely about the most important thing: liquidity. Ratings firms have asked for it in order to promote us to the emerging market status, and Sobolewski himself has acknowledged that it remains a challenge. The average daily turnover is 10.45 million Euros, this year, below the level of 2014.
Anghel only says what he wants.
But that wasn't the issue.
To Anghel the illegalities committed by Sobolewski don't matter, because he was his accomplice.
At this time, the eyes are turning to Lucian Anghel because Sobolewski has compromised himself. People are starting to talk about how the BSE deserves a true president, rather than a puppet. Lucian Anghel's only escape is to bring Sobolewski back and to restore the harmful formula that has been in place, an objective for which he is willing to do anything.
For instance, while everybody expects the situation at the BSE to get resolved and him to publish a current report by which to announce Alin Barbu as interim CEO, he all of a sudden starts singing the praises of Alpha Giant Sobolewski.
ADINA ARDELEANU (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)