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CEC Bank needs funds, privatisation seen likely

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CEC Bank needs funding to be able to compete with other banks and therefore a possible privatisation is the main topic to be discussed over the next period, Public Finance Minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu said at a press conference on Monday.

‘The CEC privatization is not a topic on the agenda, but anything is possible over the next period. There are people eagerly talking about the CEC privatisation, but this problem was not raised on the Government level,’ the minister said. The Ministry of Public Finance is the main shareholder of CEC and its move to increase the CEC Bank’s share capital has not received the approval from the European Commission yet.

In the 2010 autumn, CEC Bank chairman Radu Gratian Ghetea stated the topic regarding the privatisation of the institution is a ‘ delicate’ one and the stakeholder, i.e.the Ministry of Finance, not the bank’s chairman should promote this issue. ‘If I am allowed a comment, only a few weeks ago the former finance minister was speaking about a Bucharest Stock Exchange trading,’ the CEC Bank chairman said.

The CEC Bank chairman also stressed that CEC Bank in 2010 was perhaps the sole lending institution having increased the credit amount, given that the entire bank system recorded a decrease of 3.6 percent regarding loans balance. The CEC saw a rise of 16 percent. In compliance with the Government Ordinance allowing CEC Bank to keep the whole profit for capitalisation for five years, Ghetea said that the share capital edged up about 500 million lei over the last three years.

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