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Yacht leak plugged

After a long investigation, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) said in early September that no information concerning the revaluation of the Slovak crown had been leaked earlier this year, even though Finance Minister Ján Počiatek (above, left) was spotted on a Monaco yacht with a partner in the J&T financial group shortly before the currency was revalued.

(Source: SME - Žakovič)

After a long investigation, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) said in early September that no information concerning the revaluation of the Slovak crown had been leaked earlier this year, even though Finance Minister Ján Počiatek (above, left) was spotted on a Monaco yacht with a partner in the J&T financial group shortly before the currency was revalued.

The meeting occurred shortly before the parity change, from 35.442 crowns to the euro to 30.126, was announced in late May. J&T subsequently acknowledged making significant profits from trading in Slovak crowns just prior to the change, during which the currency strengthened by 15%. The NBS, however, concluded that there was no evidence of an information leak from any of the actors, including the Finance Ministry, which had prior knowledge of the new rate.

J&T and Istrokapitál, another financial group, claimed that they had based their dealing in the crown on public statements by the prime minister and the governor of the NBS in support of a strong exchange rate for the Slovak crown with respect to the euro.

Počiatek was publicly criticized by Prime Minister Robert Fico after a daily newspaper, Plus Jeden Deň, revealed that he had met J&T representatives in Monaco.

Fico called Počiatek’s behavior “unethical,” said he was giving him “a yellow card,” and promised to sack him if there was a repeat. Počiatek himself had trouble explaining why he had met the financiers, or recalling exactly how he had traveled to Monaco.

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