Moldova’s central bank confiscates major stakes in two more banks

Moldova’s central bank confiscates major stakes in two more banks
FinComBank's new office in Nisporeni.
By bne IntelliNews January 14, 2019

Moldova’s central bank announced on January 11 that it has suspended the exercise of certain rights of shareholders holding 36.15% in Banca de Finante si Comert (Fincombank) and 52.77% in Energbank. The respective shareholders shall, according to the law, dispose of shares held in the share capital of the two banks.

The central bank explained that it found that groups of shareholders are acting in concert in relation to the two banks. The National Bank of Moldova said that it is continuing to increase the transparency of banking ownership in order to protect the interests of depositors and banks’ customers and to ensure the continued compliance with legal requirements by shareholders.

The move comes after Moldova’s central bank previously took similar steps against country’s three largest banks: Agroindbank (MAIB), Moldindconbank (MICB) and Victoria bank. The majority stake in MICB is still for sale after being confiscated from the group of coordinated shareholders.

In the total assets of the banking sector in Moldova, Banca de Finante şi Comert holds a share of 3.7%, while Energbank holds 3.2%.

While in the case of the first three banks, the shareholders were coordinated by corporate raider Veaceslav Platon, it remains unclear who is behind the groups at the two smaller banks. Mold-Street identified the son of former president Vladimir Voronin, Oleg Voronin, behind several shareholders at Fincombank. But in the case of Energbank the situation is more unclear.

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