Revista BURSA Construcţiilor

Teodor Ancuţa: "Sibex is no longer a danger for the BSE"

ANCUŢA STANCIU (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 16 mai 2012

Teodor Ancuţa: "Sibex is no longer a danger for the BSE"

Interview with Mr. Teodor Ancuţa, former CEO of Sibex

Reporter: Dear Mr. Teodor Ancuţa, how would you describe the evolution of "Sibex", since your replacement by Mr. Cristian Sima, in May 2011?

Teodor Ancuţa: I think that "Sibex" is going down the wrong path, and this path will soon disappoint most of its shareholders, including the traitors.

The financial statements of "Sibex", which the management recently presented, as part of the general shareholder meeting, in my opinion show that they are the weakest of the last six years, and those of the Romanian Clearing House (CRC), are the weakest of the last 13 years.

In 2011, the operations of "Sibex" ended with a financial loss of 595,932 lei, compared to a profit of 237,723 in 2010 (the year when we had the biggest expenses - we launched the spot market, new products - the Dow Jones index, the carbon dioxide certificates, we implemented the Treyport platform).

The average net profit, recorded by Sibex over the last three years (2008-2010), was 2,640,000 lei, and the Romanian Clearing House paid out dividends of 2,200,000 lei, for the 41% stake which "Sibex" owns in it.

2011 was the first year in the history of the "Romanian Clearing House" that it booked a financial loss (of 408,659 lei).

My opinion is that the current management is interested in "eating" the 11 million Euros that the Sibex group had in its accounts ("Sibex", the CRC, and the Depository).

The expenses of hundreds of thousands of lei on travels, advertising, wage hikes have not translated into higher revenues, quite the contrary.

In the material sent to the General Shareholder Meeting, there was a mention of a trip to Switzerland which cost 35,000 lei, and I haven't spent that much money on all my travels over the course of 17 years.

I think that the three putsches which attempted to replace me - on December 15th, 2010, April 29th, 2011 and July 15th 2011, were intended first of all to spend all the money in the accounts of the group.

"Sibex" no longer has the credibility which it had until December 2010, when the first putsch happened, and I am saying this because at that time, 96.7% of the shareholders participated in the share capital increase by about 3,000 Euros; would anybody participate in the share capital increase today?!

Would the Warsaw Stock Exchange buy any shares today?!

With members of the Board who don't even own one share, maybe even the traitors will eventually feel sorry for what they did.

In my speech of the General Shareholder Meeting of 2011, I said that "Sibex" is a money making machine, but the management needs to work day and night to keep all the brokerage firms close (because there isn't even one stock exchange in the entire world where a single brokerage firm [ed. note: he means WBS] would account for 37% of the number of contracts traded).

In order to increase the volume of contracts and companies which want to get listed, you need credibility, among brokerages and customers as well.

An efficient management of the company means spending less than you earn, whereas what's happening now is precisely the opposite.

Reporter: Recently, "Sibex" has announced one record after another, when it comes to the volume of trades. How would you comment?

Teodor Ancuţa: The records are reflected in the number of contracts traded in 2011, compared to 2010, when the number of contracts was smaller by 11,220. In spite of all the desperate efforts of WBS, which accounted for more than 37% of the total volume of contracts, Sibex didn't even achieve the number of contracts it had in 2010. Perhaps if there had been two more brokerage firms like WBS, they would have exceeded the volume they had in 2010 (something never seen anywhere else in the world).

With all of the bragging and promises that they would take companies public, the current management failed to bring any new company to the spot market.

I can however tell you that the records were also felt in the operating revenues, which fell by 255,459 lei in 2011 compared to 2010, and the operating expenses increased in 2011 by 194,017 lei, compared to 2010.

The most relevant "record" would be to watch the price of the stock which, in May and June 2011, when I left Sibex, was trading at 1.65 lei, a price which has remained steady throughout 2010 and in 2011 until June, and this year, there have been days where it fell below 1,10 lei per share, so that's one third in 10 months.

Between April 1st, 2011 and June 21st, 2011 almost 6 million shares of Sibex were traded, at a price of 1.6 lei, and between January 17thh, 2012 - and March 16th, 03, 2012, only 1,154,000 shares were traded, at a price of 1.2 lei per share.

So, only 20% of the number of shares were traded in 2011 and at a price of lower by 25%.

There would be more "records" to see, if one looks at the report carefully - the dramatic drop in the number of brokerages which traded in 2011, the open positions, the margin amounts in the accounts etc.

You can't manage an institution like that between two plane flights ...

I also think that the days of the depository, right now, are numbered, because the goal is to return the stake of 3.3 million Euros which Sibex holds in the depository, back into the accounts of the exchange, to be spent. Because of that, I doubt that they are still interested in getting any company listed. They have a different goal.

Reporter: In March this year, Sibex announced the signing of an agreement to connect to the Central Depository in Poland - KDPW. Cristian Sima says: "The benefit of the companies which will get listed on both markets, that is on Sibex and on the Warsaw market, will be first of all that of attracting capital, and second of all, the company with a dual listing will be a model of transparency and confidence for all the investors. We want to mention that this connection will open the gateway to the most developed stock market in terms of the number of IPOs and listings in the European Union". How would you comment?

Teodor Ancuţa: The steps for the signing of the agreements with the Central Depository of Warsaw were first made in 2010, after the launch of the spot market. The Poles changed the trading platform and because of that, the signing of the agreement was delayed, when I was still in office.

With the current management of Sibex in place, (which leads the Romanian Clearing House and the Depository) nothing will happen, the number of contracts won't increase, to reach the volume of 3 million of the last 5 years, and they won't have any IPOs; instead they will just slowly enter a lethargy.

Reporter: Do you feel that the move of "Sibex" to a different building had a positive or a negative impact on its activity?

Teodor Ancuţa: It didn't matter where the headquarters of "Sibex" was located, at the railway station, in the Cibin Square or in Calea Dumbrăvii. I am convinced that the "Sibex" group had the best financial results when it was operating out of the building of the M. Kogălniceanu street, and it will never do any better than it did back then.

During my mandate, I have succeeded in getting "Sibex" licensed as a market operator, the first Romanian Exchange authorized by the CNVM, I have set up the Sibex depository, the spot market with the listing of the Sibex shares, the ATS with the listing of "Prodplast", we have succeeded in making Sibex a derivatives exchange which is among the top eight in Europe, and the earnings made our shareholders happy.

We are waiting to see the results of the new headquarters, where they moved just to spite me, because I wasn't a crook and did not betray the shareholders, not even for boatloads of money.

Reporter: As the CEO of Sibex, you have militated to have the stocks of the Romanian state-owned energy companies listed in Sibiu as well. Do you think that having those shares listed on "Sibex" would be an opportunity for it?

Teodor Ancuţa: I have fought for the listing of the shares of "Romgaz" on "Sibex", because the company's itself is from Sibiu, as was Sibex and the Ministry of the Economy (ed. note: Ion Ariton) and I said that it was a very good moment for "Sibex" to make this listing on Sibiu.

In spite of the Government's decision to have Romgaz listed on the BSE I would have continued to fight, to have it listed on "Sibex", including making the great effort to take the government to court.

Of course, Sibex" is now led by five people from Bucharest, some of them don't even hold one share, they are only interested in living the good life, and I don't expect them to get any state owned companies to be listed on Sibex.

Reporter: Why do you think that there are only two companies on the Sibex spot market - "Prodplast Imobiliare" and "Sibex", which were listed during your term?

Teodor Ancuţa: Personally, I think that there is no more confidence from the companies with which I talked about getting listed on "Sibex" (companies from Cluj, Hunedoara, Sibiu etc.).

No one could have done more than I did in 10 months from the launch of the spot market, because the first putsch intended to overthrow me was in December 2010.

Personally, I think that the market in Sibiu is no longer attractive even for SIF3, which promised it would get "Aro" and "Predeal Turism" listed on Sibex, nor for the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

In December 2010, when they wanted to replace me, Elian, Sima and Baloşan wanted a foreign manager, "Colombo" (ed. note: Dario Colombo), and when I brought them one of the best derivatives experts in the world, a man who is known in all of the major exchanges of the world (ed. note: Patrick Lyle Young), they suddenly became averse to the idea of a foreign manager.

"Sibex" would have been seriously better off today, had the General Shareholder Meeting approved the separation of positions and if a top CEO had been appointed.

Reporter: What is the current stage of your lawsuits against "Sibex"?

Teodor Ancuţa: There is just one lawsuit, because my contractual demands have been joined into one.

I hope that the courts will take the contractual terms into consideration. The contract is the law of the parties, and my average revenues of 1,800 Euros per month (including the bonus which I was awarded) should also be made whole with these demands of mine, which are legal and contractual.

The pressure of my last seven months at Sibex, was great, and it was visible that Sima (ed. note: Cristian Sima) came in just five days after the general shareholder meeting to take over the management, even though he had not yet been validated by the CNVM.

I regret that I did not hand over the position in the evening of April 29th, 2011, like Mr. Sima and his group wanted it".

Reporter: Do you feel that a potential merger with the BSE would be opportune for Sibex, under the current circumstances?

Teodor Ancuţa: I think that the merger between the BSE and Sibex will no longer take place, "Sibex" is no longer a threat for the BSE.

Reporter: Thank you!

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