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Moldovan regulator orders shareholders to off-load stakes in 2 local lenders

Moldova's central bank introduced regulatory measures against shareholders holding a 36.15% stake in Banca de Finanţe şi Comerţ SA and a 52.77% stake in Banca Comercială Energbank SA.

Banca Naţională a Moldovei said Jan. 11 that it took this action because the shareholders acquired qualifying stakes in the lenders without the prior permission.

In both cases, the central bank requested that the shareholders to dispose of their stakes in the banks and suspended some of their rights, including the right to vote, convene shareholders meetings, propose candidates to executive boards and receive dividends.

The regulator also appointed temporary administrators for Energbank, in which the size of the stake unlawfully held by its shareholders exceeds 50%. The appointed administrators will join the lender's executive team and council, which will remain in place.

Both banks are operating as usual, providing the full range of services, the central bank said, noting that the lenders are "well capitalized, stable and solvent."

Banca de Finanţe şi Comerţ accounts for 3.7% of the total assets of Moldova's banking sector, while Energbank's share is 3.2%.