Haji-Ioannou aborts plan to list shipping group in Cyprus

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet, the budget airline, yesterday aborted plans to list his shipping company on Cyprus's stock exchange and said he would deregister his tankers from his native island because of delays in getting the company's listing approved.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet, the budget airline, yesterday aborted plans to list his shipping company on Cyprus's stock exchange and said he would deregister his tankers from his native island because of delays in getting the company's listing approved.

Mr Haji-Ioannou's Stelmar Maritime Holdings said it would withdraw its 10 ships from the island's register. The move is likely be a setback to the island's shipping industry and to its struggling bourse, which has fallen 55 per cent so far this year.

The company said it would withdraw plans to list on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, launching a virulent attack on authorities who, it said, had dragged their feet on an application filed seven months ago.

The Cyprus exchange, concerned about what it considered to be the high risk nature of the shipping industry, had sought legal advice on how it should handle applications from ocean-faring companies.

Stelmar, which is based in Athens, said the bourse started its legal review only after Stelmar submitted its application in April, upon advice from the island's central bank.

In a statement, Stelmar accused the bourse of subjecting the company to derisory and prejudicial treatment. The central bank - which had the final say in approving exports of currency raised from Cypriot investors in the private placement - was "burying its head in the sand", Stelmar said.

Bourse and central bank officials were not available for comment yesterday.

Mr Haji-Ioannou this week published the pathfinder prospectus for the London flotation of easyJet in an initial public offering that will value the "no frills" airline at between £627m and £878m.

Comments