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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cyprus Supreme Court to rule on USB vote freeze ]

Cyprus Supreme Court to rule on USB vote freeze



-- Aspis/Commercial appeal against CB decision




 



The Supreme Court will be called to rule next week whether or not Central Bank Governor Athanasios Orphanides’ decision to strip Aspis Holdings – Commercial Value of their voting rights in Universal Bank Pcl (USB.CY) is justified.



Commercial Value, the insurance company with a presence in Greece and Cyprus, itself subject of a takeover bid from Aspis Holdings Pcl (ASP.CY) appealed to the Supreme Court asking for a temporary injunction order to overturn the Governor’s decision.



The Financial Mirror has learned that the Supreme Court will hear the case on May 2 for a final ruling. Aspis/Commercial Value have rejected the way the Central Bank decided to strip them of 19.55% of their voting rights in Universal Bank until December 31, 2008, because their purchases of controlling shares in USB without its permission were in violation of the Banking Law.



Commercial Value insists that the Banking Law states that once a permit is given, then the permission is in place unless it is recalled in writing, something that the Central Bank admits it has never done. On the other hand, the Central Bank insists that although it initially gave CV/Aspis the go-ahead to purchase the majority shares of USB, after the latter sold the shares, the new buyers should have applied again to secure permission before buying the shares at EUR 5 a share, which gave them effective control of 51%.



CV/Aspis now want to secure an interim order to overturn the Central Bank decision and allow them to exercise their full rights until the whole case is tried, a process that may take up to 8-9 months. CV/Aspis also want to have control of their voting rights in order to proceed with changes at board level of the bank at the forthcoming annual general meeting of shareholders.



Meanwhile, Aspis Holdings CEO Lambros Christophi told the Financial Mirror that his group has received at least three serious offers from third parties seeking to buy the Aspis/CV shares, which he has turned down.



“We are ready to defend at all cost our rights in securing the voting rights in Universal Bank and we are in no mood to sell our stake in the bank to others,” a determined Christophi told the Financial Mirror.





(Source: Financial Mirror)



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