The ins and outs of a statementTeodor Ancuta won"t oppose Cristian Sima

MAKE (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 1 aprilie 2011

Teodor Ancuta won"t oppose Cristian Sima

The feisty president of the Sibiu Exchange, Teodor Ancuţa took everyone by surprise yesterday, with the following statement made at a seminar about the "Rasdaq" market, organized by the Bucharest Stock Exchange:

"I want to assure you that in Sibiu, me and the other shareholders will vote for the merger as part of the General Shareholder Meeting at the end of April. I am having a discussion with Cristian Sima and Daniel Tepeş concerning the merger..."

The statement is surprising in three ways.

SURPRISE No. 1: THEY ARE GETTING TOGETHER!

It is a surprise that Teodor Ancuţa "is having a discussion" with Cristian Sima, after last year"s failed "putsch".

On December 2nd, Cristian Sima, the head of "WBS România", and Alexandru Elian, of "Delta Valori Mobiliare" requested the revocation of the Board of Directors, with the obvious intention of replacing Teodor Ancuţa as president of the Sibiu Exchange, a position which he has held for sixteen years (while also being the founder), with Swiss banker Dario Colombo, known as a financier connected to Swiss bank "Sarazin".

"The putsch" failed in the meeting of the General Meeting of Shareholders of December 15th, when Ancuţa was reelected (and Sima was eliminated from the Board of Directors of Sibex), but it also sparked a state of hostility between the two, although, truth be said, they kept it concealed using civilized public statements (they deserve congratulations for it - it"s something that rarely happens!).

"It"s alright, I"ll keep going forward, maybe we will summon a new General Meeting of Shareholders in the near future...", Sima said at the time, alluding perhaps to his hope that he would be able to gather more votes before attempting a new coup.

So, his intention to overthrow Ancuţa still stands.

So a meeting to in order to "have a discussion" between Ancuţa and Sima is a surprise.

SURPRISE No. 2: THEY REACH AN UNDERSTANDING!

Cristian Sima will get the opportunity on the occasion of the new meeting of shareholders at the end of the current month.

The supporters of the merger between the Bucharest Stock Exchange and the Sibex, have copied the model of the union of the union between Ţara Românească and Moldova in the 19th century, by scheduling both General Shareholder Meetings on the same date (April 29th), in the same location (in Braşov) and with the same agenda (the merger), except that, at the end of the day, they didn"t expect that they would end up finding a single leader for both.

But this is the way things will be going eventually.

At any rate, the planned merger was almost foiled by the competitive gesture of the BSE, which, on March 17th announced, that (unlike Sibex) it would pay out interest on the amounts deposited as collateral for derivatives, which in turn made Ancuţa announce, that he had changed his mind and that the General Shareholder Meeting would be held in Sibiu, instead of Braşov.

A lot of people viewed this as a sign that the merger would not take place this year either (the idea of the merger has always been promoted by the BSE, whereas the Sibiu exchange has always been rather reluctant in that regard - naturally so, I would add).

So the statement of Ancuţa that he was having "a discussion" with Sima on the merger, means that they agree with each other, or that they have already reached a consensus.

Which is a surprise.

THE THIRD SURPRISE: THERE ARE THREE PEOPLE INVOLVED

Sima"s plans for Sibiu have always involved Daniel Ţepeş, the head of brokerage firm HTI, who became the "wheeler and dealer" (Ostap Bender) of the Bucharest Stock Exchange, in the nest of the of the Sibiu Exchange, where it has also pursued its training as leader of the shareholders.

The two - Sima and Ţepeş - seem to have acted independently, pursuing similar goals: the former wanted to control Sibex, the latter wanted to control the BSE (which is how I interpret the recent resignation of Ţepeş from the board of the BSE, as I suspect he has a sordid interest in the merger and only wants it because it serves his goals and nothing more).

The plans of Sima and Ţepeş seem to have recently converged as they have one thing in common: Teodor Ancuţa.

Ancuţa is the thorn in their sides, Ancuţa is the obstacle to the merger (in spite of the courteous statements made so far).

So Ancuţa"s statement that he was having "a discussion" on the merger with Sima and with Ţepeş at the same time, is far more than merely surprising: it is a way of announcing that Ţepeş is intermediating an understanding between Sima and Ancuţa and that Sima is promising Ţepeş, that in return he would accept the merger with the BSE, from his position as president of Sibex.

God only knows what the two are promising Ancuţa to go along with their plans... Perhaps they"re offering a guarantee that his Irishman, Patrick Lyle Young, would lead Sibex, one way or another, for at least a year, with his help.

Because Ancuţa can"t be removed from Sibiu without his cooperation (let"s remember the statement of Ancuţa: "... I doubt that a foreigner could handle leading Sibex...", and this also applies to Sima, who is Romanian, not just to Irishmen).

Perhaps they promised him something more, perhaps they didn"t.

After all, in terms of statements at leas, Ancuţa and Sima said that they had a shared interest - the growth of the Sibiu Exchange.

It"s only their paths that were complementary.

Ţepeş didn"t make any statement of his own.

THE CONSEQUENCES

On the Board Meeting of Sibiu of April 29th, the articles of incorporation was set to be amended, to allow the separation of the CEO and President positions, allowing Ancuţa to withdraw from the executive.

There were two ways the future General Shareholder Meeting could go:

One: Sima would overthrow Ancuţa by force and would block the amendment for separating the CEO and president positions, and he would become president and CEO himself; or:

Sima would reach an agreement with Ancuţa and he would become the CEO of Sibex, with Ancuţa serving as president (more likely in an honorary position).

Right now, due to Ţepeş entering the picture, it would seem the second alternative is more likely (in which case the Irishman would end up as the manager of the Settlement House), or perhaps a third alternative, with Ancuţa holding a fully honorary position, Sima taking over the real presidency and the Irishman receiving the executive position, until the merger with the BSE.

Who will rule over the two unified exchanges?

I am convinced that Ţepeş harbors no ambitions of the kind...

Pe scurt

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