Wargam­ing trims HB stake, Ross ups BOCY

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Online gam­ing gi­ant Wargam­ing.net, one of Hel­lenic Bank’s three ma­jor share­hold­ers, has trimmed its stake in the len­der from 26.2% to 24.8%, ac­cord­ing to a stock ex­change fil­ing.

The an­nounce­ment said that Wargam­ing sold 49,213,490 or­di­nary shares to an un­spec­i­fied buyer, but re­mains the sec­ond big­gest in­vestor af­ter New York-based fund Third Point. Lo­cal in­vest­ment fund Deme­tra is the third largest, while the Euro­pean Bank of Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment (EBRD) re­cently ac­quired a 5.38% stake by pur­chas­ing Hel­lenic’s out­stand­ing stock for EUR 20 mln. The EBRD is al­ready a 5% in­vestor in Bank of Cyprus hav­ing pumped in EUR 120 mln last year.

On the other hand, BOCY’s vice chair­man Wil­bur Ross has bought 6,363,050 of the len­der’s share via the WLR Re­cov­ery Fund V.L.P., at a cost of 16.62c a share, the bank dis­closed in stock ex­change fil­ing.

The bil­lion­aire in­vestors is prob­a­bly av­er­ag­ing up his stake, hav­ing pumped in EUR 400 mln of his own money and that of clients last year at 24c a share, for a 19% con­trol.

The Ross pur­chase will only im­prove the Vice Chair­man’s per­sonal stake by 0.1 per­cent­age point, still be­low the 5 per cent bench­mark.

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