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NICOSIA, November 20. /TASS/. The Bank of Cyprus, a major Cypriot financial institution, has come under foreigners’ governance, following elections to the bank’s board of directors on Thursday.
The elections reflect a new line-up of forces in the bank after it successfully placed 1 billion euros in new shares in summer.
The Bank of Cyprus’ new board of directors now includes two representatives from Russia — Norilsk Nickel ex-head Vladimir Strzhalkovsky and Renova Group Director for Strategic Projects Maxim Goldman.
US billionaire Wilbur Ross has become the Bank of Cyprus’ largest shareholder. Ross led a group of investors who acquired about 22% of the bank’s new equity worth 400 million euros.
Russia’s Renova Group owned by billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, Canada’s TD Asset Management investment company and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have become the bank’s leading shareholders with share packages of over 5%
Today’s annual shareholders’ meeting at the Bank of Cyprus voted on the list of candidates proposed by Ross. Bank of Cyprus Chief Executive Officer John Hourican and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors Strzhalkovsky were elected almost unanimously to the bank’s directors.
Deutsche Bank ex-head Joseph Ackermann, Wilbur Ross and Maxim Goldman have also gained seats in the Bank of Cyprus board of directors.
Overall, six out of ten Bank of Cyprus directors are foreigners and only four are Cypriots.
The Bank of Cyprus was plagued by a severe debt crisis in 2012, forcing the Cypriot government to request financial aid from the Intentional Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union to avoid a default.
Earlier on Thursday dozens of Bank of Cyprus defrauded bondholders staged riots near its headquarters where the bank’s shareholders were holding an annual meeting.
The demonstrators expressed their protest against the policies pursued by the bank and the local authorities, due to which they currently have no say in the bank’s decisions and have actually lost a possibility to return at least a part of their funds lost as a result of deposit restructuring.