Archbishop Chrysostomos II last night led an irregular meeting of old and new Bank of Cyprus shareholders demanding the bank’s September 10 General Meeting is postponed.
They also challenged old shareholders’ reduced status and demanded better representation on the bank’s to be appointed new board.
Hundreds of shareholders attended the meeting at Nicosia’s Hilton Park hotel which Antenna TV President Loukis Papaphilippou, lawyer Christos Triandafyllides and politician Kypros Chrystomides on its panel.
Chrysostomos said it was not right that the Bank of Cyprus’ old shares were reduced in value from 100 to one cent each as part of the efforts to support the bank itself. He said he was not convinced by the Central Bank’s explanation on why the share value was reduced by so much and went so far as to accuse Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades and former Finance Minister Michalis Sarris of manipulating the situation.
He called on the gathered shareholders to send a strong message to the state and the Central Bank, indicating that he planned to visit the Presidential Palace after the meeting.
Shareholders expressed the opinion that a September 10 Bank of Cyprus general meeting should be postponed.
Also addressing the event, Triandafyllides acknowledged that postponing the general meeting entirely would be difficult but suggested that ‘bad’ Laiki’s administrator’s right to vote could be delayed by a court order which may in turn lead to the full postponing of the meeting.
Archbishop Chrysostomos said that the Church was considering legal action to ensure the general meeting did not go ahead, noting four major law firms were already handling similar efforts for other shareholders.
The House yesterday diluted the Central Bank Governor’s power to reform banking institutions under the Resolution Law.
In a majority vote of 35 in favour, none opposed and 17 abstentions, MPs voted to include both the Finance Minister and Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the decision-making process.
Following a marathon discussion during an extraordinary Plenum meeting, the vote saw Akel’s representation and Evroko MP Demetris Syllouris abstaining from the vote.
The change, which will see decisions approved by majority vote, comes just days before the Bank of Cyprus showdown and may affect the management of the ‘bad’ Laiki Bank which holds 18% of the Bank of Cyprus’ shares.