Published On: Tue, Sep 21st, 2021

Central Bank shoots down Parman’s objections against the sale of Banco di Caribe

WILLEMSTAD — Ennia Caribe Holding (ECH) is not authorized to sell Banco di Caribe (BdC), its shareholder Parman International said in a press release, but this claim was quickly neutralized by the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten (CBCS).

Parman, whose main shareholder is the 94-year old Iranian-American business tycoon Hushang Ansary, stated in a press release that ECH needs its permission for the sale, but the Central Bank denied this in a press release of its own.

On May 25, the CBCS hosted a shareholders’ meeting about the intention to sell Banco di Caribe. “Parman was provided with a written explanation of the agenda together with the invitation to that meeting,” the bank states.

Parman claims in its press release that it had requested “relevant information” after receiving the invitation to attend this meeting. “No such information has been received from ECH or the Central Bank.”

As a result, Parman did not attend the meeting. “Consequently, no resolutions could be adopted,” the Central Bank stated. “In such cases, the CBCS, as the competent authority under the emergency regulation, is authorized by law to make the necessary decisions on its own and has made use of this provision for the purpose of selling BdC’s shares.”

The Central Bank refers to Parman’s earlier attempt to bar it from selling Ennia Group’s assets. The court in Curacao ruled on May 28, 2021, against Parman and stipulated that the CBCS’ authority under the emergency regulation also extends to the sale of assets.

On July 6, 2018, the court imposed the emergency regulation on the Ennia Group. This measure gave the Central Bank the authority to take all relevant decisions about the companies that fall under the group. These decisions are primarily focused on the restructuring of Ennia.

Parman claims in its press statement that the Ennia Group was “in excellent financial condition” when the emergency rule came down. “It enjoyed a high degree of liquidity and had absolutely no third-party creditors other than in the ordinary course of business.”

The Central Bank disagrees. “These comments are far removed from reality. This is evident from the mere fact that the emergency regulation was issued by the Court.”

“An in-depth investigation conducted by the CBCS revealed the deficits to be larger than originally believed. These deficits had been the result of large-scale, unlawful withdrawals of funds that should have been invested profitably for the benefit of the policyholders.”

Legal procedures to obtain compensation for these withdrawals against several individuals, Ansary among them, are underway. The case is set for plea on October 14 and 15.

The Central Bank notes that Ansary has “failed to acknowledge both the problem and its magnitude” and that he has “failed to show any regard for the interests of the policyholders and thus for the interests of Curaçao and Sint Maarten.”

The bank emphasized that it carries the sole responsibility for the implementation of the emergency regulation at Ennia and that it has “followed a most meticulous and professional approach, seeking the assistance of various external experts. The same applies to the steps that have led to BdC’s sale.”