Romanian Banca Transilvania’s president acquitted in capital market manipulation case

Romanian businessman Horia Ciorcila, the president of the board of Banca Transilvania, the third largest bank in Romania, was acquitted in the capital market manipulation trial in which he was indicted four years ago.

Romania’s Supreme Court ruled that Ciorcila and the other people who were indicted in this case are innocent. The decision, which was made on Wednesday, July 2, is final.

Ciorcila was indicted in 2010 along with another member of the Banca Transilvania board, Claudiu Silaghi, as well as two managers of Bank of Cyprus Romania and their brokers for alleged manipulation of the price of Banca Transilvania shares, trading on insider information as well as money laundering. These accusations were tied to transactions made at the end of 2009 which led to Bank of Cyprus taking a 9.6 percent stake in Banca Transilvania.

Ciorcila and Silaghi were accused of having some sort of deal with Bank of Cyprus, which had the intention to buy a larger stake in Banca Transilvania and that they acted on this without informing the market. The acquisition of the stake in Banca Transilvania by Bank of Cyprus was also investigated in Cyprus in the last two years, at the request of Cyprus’ central bank.

“I’m happy that I and the other persons in this case were acquitted of all charges. It took four years to demonstrate that the accusations were unfounded and absurd,” Ciorcila said in a statement.

He added that the prosecutors made an error by going to court with this case and that this was an attempt to destroy the companies he has built in the last 20 years, but also the families of those involved. Claudiu Silaghi, who was one of the founders of Banca Transilvania, died in March 2011 and Romanian media tied his death to this case he was indicted in.

Horia Ciorcila is one of the founders of Banca Transilvania and has been leading the bank as president of the administrative board since 2002. He also owns 5 percent of the bank’s shares.

Banca Transilvania is one of the few large scale success stories of Romanian entrepreneurship in the last 25 years. The bank, which is still headquartered in the city of Cluj-Napoca, developed as a bank for Romanian entrepreneurs and is currently number three on the market, by asset value, with a 9 percent share. The bank has 1.78 million customers and over 6,000 employees.

Banca Transilvania is also one of the few local private businesses that used the local capital market for financing. Currently, Banca Transilvania is one of the top 5 Romanian listed companies on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, with a market value of EUR 918 million, as of July 2,2014.

Andrei Chirileasa, [email protected]

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