articles | 02 June 2013

Cyprus issues injunction to freeze ex-Laiki execs assets

Cypriot courts have issued an international injunction that aims to temporarily freeze assets of three former executives of the island's second largest bank that has been forced into bankruptcy as part of the Eurogroup-orchestrated bailout deal.

The Central Bank of Cyprus said the administrator it appointed for Laiki Popular Bank secured an interim court order freezing assets of Greek businessman Andreas Vgenopoulos, his lieutenant Efthymios Bouloutas, other executives and the Marfin Investment Group in Greece.

Laiki was effectively nationalised in 2012 and kept on a European Central Bank liquidity lifeline until March, when a decision was taken to shut it down. Vgenopoulos was non executive chairman before he left in late 2011. The three bankers together had nearly 5.3 billion euros in assets frozen, according to the central bank. A hearing on the issue is set for June 11 in Nicosia.

"The issue of an interim (freezing) order, without even notifying or enabling fair hearing for defendants, lacks any seriousness," Vgenopoulos said in an emailed statement. However, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said Cyprus was within its right to issue the interim order and would seek international assistance for it to be served. MIG has said it would seek compensation via an international arbitrationtribunal after its 9.5% stake in Laiki in 2006 whittled down to less than 1.5% as part of the bank's nationalisation last year.

Source: Financial Mirror

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