articles | 13 April 2016

BoC mulls new holding company in UK

Bank of Cyprus said it is considering the incorporation of a new holding company in the UK, to make its share eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK index of the London Stock Exchange.

“The bank has been in discussions with our regulators and has considered a range of options,” Cyprus’ largest lender said in an emailed statement on Monday. “There is no intention of changing the residency of the bank’s headquarters, while the group’s tax and banking regulatory status are expected to remain unchanged”.

The bank, which announced on March 31 2016 its intention to pursue a listing at the London Stock Exchange said that it will make further announcements in due course.

DIKO chairman Nicholas Papadopoulos said earlier on Monday that Bank of Cyprus was planning to decide in June to set up the holding company in Jersey and added that the move would negatively impact the bank’s credibility.

A source familiar with the situation said that “London, not Jersey, is the likeliest scenario”.

While the materialisation of the plan would bring the bank under the supervision of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, it would not alter in any way the bank’s supervision by the Central Bank of Cyprus, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission while the Single Supervisory Mechanism would remain “the final supervisory authority”.

The source added that the establishment of a holding company will not affect the bank’s shares nor the composition of its board of directors, while annual shareholder and board of directors’ meetings will continue to take place on the island.

“There is no intention - and there has never been any - to relocate the bank’s or group’s headquarters,” the source said.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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