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LSE welcomes BOCH

20/01/2017 09:35
Bank of Cyprus Holdings started trading on the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) Main Market on Thursday morning, with a €1.4 billion market capitalisation, after successfully completing its London listing.

The event was marked with a special welcoming ceremony at the premises of the LSE, at the presence of the Bank of Cyprus group Chairman Dr Josef Ackermann, the CEO John Hourican, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to the UK Euripides Evriviades, other senior officials from the bank and the LSE, as well as the consultants that helped conclude the London listing.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency Mr Hourican said: “We made a promise to our shareholders when we raised the additional equity in the late summer of 2014, that we would try to move the listing of the company out of Athens to a major European liquid index driven Exchange. And that’s what we’ve done. So today is the delivery on a promise to our shareholders; but even more importantly than that, it is the first time a Cyprus company of size has been able to list on a major market. We are doing this with the country’s name in our title and we are taking this responsibility very seriously. So, let’s hope it is the beginning of good trading and hopefully the beginning of discovering the value for the stock in this market.”

Asked whether he has set specific targets for what should be the gain from the London listing, the bank’s CEO said that his job is to keep running the company properly, keep making sure that the discussion about quality of the Bank of Cyprus’s balance sheet “is left behind us” and keep the earnings power of the bank intact. “That should express itself in the value of the company at some point when investors realise that that’s what happened,” added Mr Hourican.

Dr. Ackermann expressed his satisfaction with the LSE listing, describing it as “another significant step in the Group’s transformation.” As he added, “we expect this listing, on one of the world’s leading international capital markets, to facilitate greater profile, liquidity and access to capital.”

Nikhil Rathi, CEO of the London Stock Exchange plc said: “BOC Holdings’ listing is a milestone for the company and for Cyprus. It demonstrates the Bank’s strong recovery since the financial crisis and underlines London’s ability to help the banking sector recapitalise itself for growth. Its choice of London highlights the City’s ability to support access to funding for companies from around the world, reinforcing its status as a leading global listing venue and dynamic place to do business.”

The fact that the Cypriot bank has picked London at a time when other financial institutions are weighing up their choices ahead of Brexit, has been noted by the UK financial press as a vote of confidence for the British capital.

“I am a believer in the City of London. This is where global capital providers meet those that require capital. It’s where the trading infrastructure is; it’s where all the currencies are. It sits above the UK. The fact that the UK is choosing to exit the EU is one important consideration, but I think London will prevail and we are backing it with our action,” John Hourican told CNA.