Cyprus to probe bank’s Rus­sian ac­qui­si­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

NI­COSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s most se­nior le­gal of­fi­cial will in­ves­ti­gate the cir­cum­stances of trou­bled lender Bank of Cyprus’s ac­qui­si­tion of a small Rus­sian bank in 2008, au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day. Bank of Cyprus was one of two sys­temic Cypriot banks taken over by the state un­der an in­ter­na­tional bailout agreed for Cyprus in March that also raided cus­tomers’ de­posits to pay for re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion. Cypriot Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades has asked the is­land’s at­tor­ney gen­eral to in­ves­ti­gate the cir­cum­stances of Bank of Cyprus’s pur­chase of Uni­as­trum Bank, a govern­ment spokesman said. The probe is one of sev­eral un­der way by Cyprus, left reel­ing by a chaotic fi­nan­cial melt­down which has sent the Mediter­ranean is­land hurtling into re­ces­sion and forced thou­sands to give up part of their sav­ings. A Cen­tral Bankcom­mis­sioned in­ves­ti­ga­tion made pub­lic in April found the bank went ahead with the pur­chase de­spite mis­giv­ings in due dili­gence re­ports and a le­gal opin­ion that judged it could with­draw from the deal or rene­go­ti­ate the ac­qui­si­tion price. The re­port would be as­sessed by the at­tor­ney gen­eral, deputy govern­ment spokesman Vic­toras Pa­padopou­los said in a state­ment. The same probe said it found no ev­i­dence of cor­rup­tion.

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