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Society

Bank of Cyprus Former CEO Eliades Gets Jail Sentence

January 5, 2018

NICOSIA – The former chief executive of the Bank of Cyprus, Andreas Eliades, was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison on Jan. 5 after being convicted of misleading investors about a capital shortfall in 2012, just before the country’s banks were nearly brought to ruin because of big holdings in devalued Greek bonds and bad loans to Greek businesses who didn’t pay back.

A criminal court said he was guilty of market manipulation, the Cyprus Mail reported, but it wasn’t said when he would begin serving the sentence or if an appeal was being lodged. The bank was fined 120,000 euros ($144,576), a pittance compared to its assets of 22.087 billion euros ($26.61 billion) and operating profits.

Eliades and the bank as a legal entity provided misleading information to investors during the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders on June 19, 2012 about a capital shortfall, the court said, when it was reported the bank was close to full recapitalization and the shortfall was only 200 million euros, about $240.96 million.

A day later, in a letter to then-central bank chief Panicos Demetriades,  the bank raised its capital needs to approximately 400 million euros ($481.92 million), twice the original estimate.
It was reported in 2012 that Eliades had in 2009 also instructed his treasury department to keep buying Greek bonds, acquiring 400 million euros ($481.92 million) by the end of that year.

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