Suphire saga drags CSE lower

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The fund management shortfall scandal now rocking the market continued to affect investor mood on the CSE, with equity prices continuing to decline for the second day in a row.

The Provident Fund of the Cyprus Forest Industries (CFI) staff has reported a CYP 220.000 shortfall in assets that were under the management of Suphire.

The revelation comes after it emerged that the provident funds of the EAC staff and the Pilots Union were also in shortfall to the tune of CYP 9.2 mln and CYP 800.000 respectively. Both funds were also managed by Suphire.

Authorities revealed that they are investigating all the provident funds and private accounts managed by Suphire ahead of the approach of the six-day suspension deadline imposed by the SEC and the CSE last Tuesday on Suphire.

The SEC will need hard evidence of major irregularities before it decides to extend the suspension ban for three-months. However, authorities denied that they had interrogated Yiannos Andronicou or frozen the assets of Suphire.

The Suphire saga meanwhile took its toll on the stock market on Thursday amid fears that many provident funds may refrain from investing in local stocks or deal with a local fund manager.

The CSE GENX closed 1.04% lower at 87.73 points, the FTSE/CySE large cap index fell 1.29% at 414.82 while the Main/Parallel index fell 1.25% to 1235.13 points.

Total volume amounted to CYP 532.285 on 809 shares according to AGFN, the CSE data provider, with 19 titles managing to end in positive territory, 117 unchanged while 40 ended in the red.

Bank of Cyprus (BOC, down 2.08% at CYP 1.88) was the most active on 80.000 shares volume, followed by Laiki Bank (CPB, unchanged at CYP 1.38) while SFS, in third place was also unchanged at 8 cent. Hellenic Bank (HB, unchanged at 42 cent) was the fourth most active, followed by Pierides Electrical (PGE, unchanged at 12.7 cent), CLL, down 1.89% at 5.2 cent and Louis Public Co. (LUI, down 0.93% at 21.4 cent)

By mid-day Cyprus time, the shares of BOC in Greece were down 1.8% at EUR 3.18 or CYP 1.85 in tandem with a declining Sophocleous, which was down 2% at 2985 points by 13.10hrs.