SIF Moldova requesting the cancellation of the share capital increase of BCR

Ramona Ungureanu(Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 6 iunie 2011

On Friday, SIF Moldova began the battle against the Austrians of BCR, filing a lawsuit requesting the cancellation of several decisions made in the General Shareholder Meeting held at the end of April. At the time, SIF Moldova (SIF 2) spoke out against this decision. Some of the decisions that are challenged include the share capital increase of BCR, with the amount of 55.42 million lei, by incorporating the net profit of 2010, the decision not to pay out dividends and the approval of the financial statements for the year 2010.

The move by SIF Moldova was to be expected, as it had already sent many messages along those lines ever since the talks held in the beginning of the year that it would not favor a new share capital increase, after the one of 2009, when the bank"s profit was used to increase its share capital. According to the privatization contract, 40% of the profit of BCR was supposed to be distributed in the form of dividends.

"Last year, we considered that the decision not to pay out dividends and to incorporate profits was an exception, but we saw that this seems to have become an ongoing trend", said for BURSA, Costel Ceocea, the president of SIF 2 - Moldova.

The management of SIF2 is unhappy with the provisions policy of BCR, which it considers overly prudent compared to the requirements of the Central Bank. The officials of SIF Moldova demanded explanations to the management of BCR on the difference between the preliminary results which were announced and the ones which were presented in the General Shareholder Meeting, explanations which they claim they haven"t received yet.

Costel Ceocea said: "Some of the materials made available during the General Shareholder Meeting, in favor of the decision to increase the bank"s share capital, included an address of the NBR, which was in fact a recommendation for the entire banking system to comply with the indicators of the central bank, particularly in this period of crisis. However, that address made no express mention of BCR. We noticed that and we recommended for the address of the NBR not to be used to increase as an argument against increasing the share capital, since the ratios of BCR are high above those of other banks.

Moreover, we also asked for explanations on the difference between the preliminary financial and those presented in the General Shareholder Meeting, but we did not receive sufficient details on this matter. Naturally, we do appreciate the availability of Erste"s Management to discuss these aspects. We are however awaiting additional explanations".

The press wrote about the fact that in February, BCR notified its shareholders that it made a net profit of 100-150 million lei in 2010, but the audit company later advised the bank to set up additional provisions, which caused the bank"s profit to decrease to 55.4 million lei.

Until the closing of the edition, the officials of BCR could not be contacted to comment on the situation.

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