CNVM accidentally involved in battle for SIFs

Publish date: 24-04-2009
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The quarrel between administrators of financial investment companies (SIF) and investors demanding a change in the current management yesterday reached a climax, one day before the General Meeting of Shareholders, when SIF Oltenia accused shareholders who own up to 16 percent of the share capital of concerted action. These shareholders include ones who requested that dividends be paid, and those of the group of companies controlled by investor Catalin Chelu.

The fate of four of the five SIFs for the coming four years will be decided in the next 48 hours, considering that all SIF chairmen have accused several investor groups of concerted action.

The regulatory authority of the capital market, the National Securities Commission (CNVM) got in the middle of the battle between SIF managers and investors, after mistakenly recommending to SIF5 that it declare concerted the group of shareholders who requested dividends.

Investors who demanded the changing of the SIF's management cited a lack of transparency towards shareholders and the regulatory authority, the investment policy, the weak negotiation positions within companies in which they are minority shareholders, and even the high salaries of the SIF's staff compared to returns obtained on the Stock Exchange.

This year's SIF elections prompted an unprecedented battle between shareholders of the five investment companies and their current management teams. For the first time, the five SIFs acted concertedly to cancel the voting rights of several shareholder groups.

"This is an interesting time. It is difficult to say what will happen. What we do know is that nobody is irreplaceable. There will be changes on the boards of directors, but it remains to be seen how significant these changes will be. Candidates must know that the SIF business is a different kind of business," said Mihai Fercala, Chairman of SIF Transilvania. Fercala added that the SIFs will not survive for long if they do not change their strategy fast. "There could be complicated moments and some may be dissatisfied with the results. I continue to be very calm and if I am not reelected, I will not contest the result," said Ioan Cuzman, Chairman of SIF Banat-Crisana. "We are looking forward to tomorrow's meetings. This is a state of responsibility to the situation, which has turned into a state of irritation for some of our colleagues," said Costel Ceocea, Chairman of SIF Moldova.

Business Standard

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