Ithmaar, FLB to discuss possible merger
Manama, October 1, 2012
Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, has announced that negotiations on a proposed merger with one of its Bahrain-based associates, First Leasing Bank (FLB), had reached an advanced stage.
Ithmaar Bank chief executive officer and Member of the Board, Mohammed Bucheerei, said the Board of Directors of both Ithmaar Bank and First Leasing Bank had approved the merger plans and that Bahrain’s banking and financial services regulator, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), had also given its initial approval.
The proposed merger plans, said Bucheerei, will be presented to Ithmaar Bank and First Leasing Bank shareholders at Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) for discussion and possible approval.
The EGMs are expected to be held towards the end of October. If shareholders of both institutions approve, the merger plans will be subject to final approval from the CBB as well as the Bahrain Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
“Since Ithmaar Bank’s reorganisation in April 2010 with its then wholly-owned subsidiary, Shamil Bank, and its subsequent transformation from an investment bank into an Islamic retail Bank, Ithmaar has focused on developing its retail and commercial banking operations,” said Bucheerei.
“This is in line with the Ithmaar board-approved vision of becoming a premier Islamic retail bank,” he said.
“As part of the management’s strategy to efficiently realize this vision, Ithmaar has focused on developing its core banking operations,” said Bucheerei.
“In doing so, we allow for an exclusive focus on our retail banking operations. More importantly, this also creates a powerful synergy within the new, rationalised group structure,” he added.
The proposed merger plans will involve a share swap which will be discussed and approved by the shareholders at the EGMs.
First Leasing Bank is an associate of Ithmaar Bank which holds 21.32 per cent, the largest single block of shares in the Bank. The remaining thirty three shareholders are comprised of leading individuals and companies. – TradeArabia News Service
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