The Daily Star

ACC sues Al-Arafah Islami Bank director

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case against an incumbent director of Al-Arafah Islami Bank for allegedly laundering Tk 1.68 crore in Singapore. ACC filed the case against Badiur Rahman, who was also chairman of the bank's board of directors between 2008 and 2016. Badiur set up the company Ariel Maritime in Singapore with three directors. Badiur's invested capital was SGD 25,000 in 2003 and he has been operating the company since then. His investment increased to SGD 0.5 million, equivalent to Tk 1,68,38,800. According to ACC, Badiur could not show any acceptable documents to prove legitimacy of the source of income that he invested in the company. To conceal the source of income, he misused his power as a director and secretly transferred the money.

Growing Islamic finance firms lobby British government for #tax relief

Islamic finance firms are lobbying the British government for tax reforms, arguing that the treatment of some shariah-compliant structures is hindering their growth. Islamic financial transactions often require multiple title transfers of underlying assets, which can trigger double or even triple tax charges. More than 20 firms offer Islamic financial products in Britain. According to Samir Alamad, head of product development at Al Rayan Bank, capital gains taxes are affecting Islamic banks and their customers. He added that taxes on investment property and commercial finance also need clarification. Islamic banks are expanding, but there are concerns that future changes could also have an impact on the sector. The government’s 2017 budget has proposed changes starting from 2019 to the tax status of nonresident investors and the way they are taxed on real estate disposals.

Ibn Sina washes its hands of Islami Bank

Ibn Sina Trust is set to sell off its entire 2.24% stake in Islami Bank Bangladesh (IBBL) within the next 30 days. Ibn Sina's exit from the country's biggest private lender comes a few days after the resignation of Chairman Arastoo Khan. The former secretary stepped down on April 17 and was replaced by Md Nazmul Hasan, a professor of the University of Dhaka. Ibn Sina left the bank's board on January 5 this year after a huge reshuffle. Last year, the Islamic Development Bank, one of the foreign investors of IBBL, sold two-thirds of its shares, bringing its stake in the bank down to 2% from 7.5%. In 2014, foreign sponsor-shareholder Bahrain Islamic Bank sold off all of its shares and Dubai Islamic Bank followed suit in 2015.

#Qatar bank #merger said to stall over price dispute

Talks to merge three Qatari banks have hit a roadblock as shareholders disagree on price. The three banks include Masraf Al Rayan, Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar. Discussions are currently on hold and it’s not clear if the deal will be revived. Qatar started talks in December 2016 to create the country’s largest Shariah-compliant bank and the Middle East’s third-biggest Islamic lender with more than 178 billion riyals ($49 billion) of assets. According to Sanyalak Manibhandu, equities analyst at FAB Securities, the delay is bad news because the three banks combined would be able to compete better in the Qatar market. The merger would also provide opportunities to extract synergies from saving overheads, direct costs and investing in digitization.

ICB Islamic Bank hit by fresh liquidity crisis

ICB Islamic Bank has sought restructuring of the repayment package for depositors of its predecessor Oriental Bank on grounds of a liquidity crunch. The bank still has to return Tk 444.34 crore of now-defunct Oriental Bank's clients, which it was supposed to do by November 2021. ICB Islamic was supposed to refund all clients that had deposits of up to Tk 20 lakh with the Oriental Bank within the next three years. Once returning those clients' funds, ICB Islamic would have to move to refunding those who had deposits of up to Tk 50 lakh. Their claims will have to be settled over the next one and a half years. ICB Islamic has so far repaid Tk 1,521 crore of its predecessor's deposits of Tk 1,946 crore.

New top brass for Shahjalal Islami Bank

Akkas Uddin Mollah has recently been elected chairman of Shahjalal Islami Bank. The election took place at the 259th meeting of the bank's board of directors in its head office in Dhaka. The meeting also reelected Khandoker Sakib Ahmed and Mohammed Golam Quddus as vice chairmen. Mollah is the chairman of Osman Memorial Hospital and Russel Spinning Mills. Ahmed is the managing director of Zuairia Group, while Quddus is a director of the bank representing Anwer Khan Modern Hospital.

#Workshop on #waqf management begins in Dhaka tomorrow

An international workshop on waqf management begins in Dhaka tomorrow. The event is jointly organized by the Islamic Research and Training Institute, Islami Bank Bangladesh and the Centre for Zakat Management. The workshop on the revival of waqf for socio-economic development will review the rules and regulations of waqf management in different countries. President Abdul Hamid is scheduled to inaugurate the event. Islami Bank Chairman Arastoo Khan stated that waqf could play a vital role in developing the country and there were many rich people in the country who want to donate for waqf. A total of 29,341 accountholders of Islami Bank has so far deposited Tk 104 crore under its waqf product called Cash Waqf.

Social Islami Bank buys into IDB's #realestate #fund

#Bangladesh-based Social Islami Bank (SIBL) is set to invest $2 million in a real estate-focused private equity fund managed by the Islamic Development Bank. The fund is called the Awqaf Properties Investment Fund (APIF) and aims to invest in Awqaf real estate property that is socially, economically and financially viable in member countries of the IDB. SIBL's managing director, Amm Farhad, said the bank was investing in the project not for commercial reasons but for social welfare. In Bangladesh, APIF will start off with the construction of two towers, a multipurpose building and a university in Chittagong, with a total investment of $100 million. The bank will represent Bangladesh in the managerial committee of APIF, which has 8 IDB member countries in the board: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Iran, Bahrain, Jordan, Palestine and Malaysia.

Shahjalal Bank director wants to sell holdings violating rules

Mohammed Younus, a director of Shahjalal Islami Bank, gave a newspaper advertisement to sell his holding in the bank violating securities laws. Directors of listed companies must give announcement on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website if they want to sell their shares, but Younus did not make any such announcement. The board of the bank felt embarrassment about the issue as the director has not informed it about his planned sale of shares. The bank's executive director Subhankar Saha said this type of advertisement was undesirable. The current market price of 2 percent shares of Shahjalal Islami Bank is about Tk 26 crore.

New CEO for Social Islami Bank

Shahid Hossain joined Social Islami Bank (SIBL) as chief executive officer. The bank also promoted Tarik Morshed as its additional managing director. Prior to joining SIBL, Hossain had been serving Southeast Bank as managing director. He started his banking career as a probationary officer with National Bank in 1983. He completed his MSS in political science from Dhaka University in 1980. Prior to the promotion, Tarik Morshed had been serving SIBL as deputy managing director. He has been with SIBL since its inception in 1995 and holds a master's degree in management from Rajshahi University.

IDB dismayed by 'abrupt' changes at Islami Bank

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) expressed dismay at the recent changes that took place at Islami Bank Bangladesh (IBBL). In a letter to Finance Minister Ama Muhith, IDB said the foreign shareholders feel that the governance of the bank has been taken away from them, although they own more than 52% of the shares, while IDB has a 7.5%. The IDB also criticised the way a board meeting at IBBL is convened. Furthermore, the IDB voiced its concern about the recent changes, about appointing the new managing director in an abrupt manner, not following the rigorous recruitment process. As a response to IDB's letter, Islami Bank said in a statement that all banking rules have been followed properly.

Islami Bank reappoints CEO for third term

Mohammad Abdul Mannan has been reappointed as the chief executive officer of Islami Bank Bangladesh for a third term. Mannan recently received 'The Asian Banker CEO Leadership Achievement Award-2016' and the bank was judged as 'The Best Managed Bank in Bangladesh' for the same year.

BB asks Al-Arafah not to sell stake to foreign investors

Bangladesh Bank did not allow Al-Arafah Islami Bank to sell 10% of its shares to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The deal was originally signed in March to invest about Tk 155 crore to acquire a 10% stake in Al-Arafah. Al-Arafah was supposed to issue around 11 crore fresh shares worth Tk 10 each with a premium of Tk 4, in a bid to raise its capital. The board of Al-Arafah is divided over the issue of selling a 10% stake, particularly on the issue of giving veto power to IDB. The aggrieved group had also taken the issue to court opposing the veto power.

Al-Arafah #Islami Bank elects chairman, vice chairman

In Bangladesh Abdus Samad has been elected as the chairman and Mohammed Abdus Salam as the vice chairman of Al-Arafah Islami Bank. Samad is one of the founder directors of the bank, and vice chairman of S Alam Group. Salam is a sponsor shareholder and ex-chairman of Al-Arafah Islami Bank, and the current managing director of Mir Group.

Al-Arafah bank sells 10pc stakes

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has announced investment of about Tk 155 crore to acquire 10 percent stakes in Bangladesh's Al-Arafah Islami Bank. Al-Arafah Islami Bank will issue around 11 crore fresh shares of Tk 10 each with Tk 4 as premium to the ICD. Khaled Al Aboodi, chief executive officer of the ICD, and Badiur Rahman, chairman of Al-Arafah Islami Bank, inked the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. The investment is, however, subject to shareholder consent and regulatory approvals from the central bank, the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission and other relevant authorities.

Shahjalal Islami Bank re-appoints MD

Shahjalal Islami Bank has reappointed Farman R Chowdhury as its managing director and chief executive, the bank said yesterday. Chowdhury will serve the bank for the next three years, it said in a statement. He joined Shahjalal Bank in 2013 as its managing director and chief executive. Prior to this assignment, he served ONE Bank as its managing director for six years. Chowdhury started his banking career in 1986 as a management trainee at American Express Bank and served there for 12 years. Later, he joined ONE Bank in 1999 as its first branch manager and served there until 2013.

JP Morgan clients buy into Islami Bank

JP Morgan's clients have bought around 3 % shares of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd or IBBL over the past several years, officials said. The US-based banking firm bought the shares for its institutional and indi-vidual investors. The shareholding empowers JP Morgan to hold a post in IBBL's board of directors as the law allows a shareholder to become a director in a publicly-listed company in Bangladesh with a stake of 2 %.
“The market plunge that began in December 2010 in Bangladesh has attracted foreign investors to buy IBBL shares,” MA Mannan, managing director of IBBL, told The Daily Star.
“JP Morgan's investment in IBBL shares reflects our strength.”
The current market price of IBBL's total shares stands at Tk 4,508 crore -- at over Tk 28 a share as of yesterday. Presently, IBBL has nearly 161 crore shares, with a face value of Tk 10 per share. If the current market price of IBBL shares is taken into account, JP Morgan's holding of 3 percent shares is valued at over Tk 137 crore. JP Morgan is one of the largest asset and wealth managers in the world with assets under its management worth $1.7 trillion (as of December 31, 2014).

Banks hit by crisis of cash dollars

Huge outflow of foreign currency during Hajj and Eid-ul-Azha has created a crisis of cash US dollar in Bangladesh, according to market players and the regulator. The crisis has now forced the central bank to request the National Board of Revenue to withdraw tax on import of US dollar notes by local banks. Hajj and the increase in the quota for cash when travelling outside the country have drained out the cash dollar reserves this year, said Nazneen Sultana, deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank. Generally, the demand for cash dollar rises ahead of Hajj every year. Spending for Puja and rising medical tourism have created further strain on the cash dollar reserves.

Bismillah Group scam: ACC okays charge sheet against 14

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) today approved a charge sheet against 14 people, including Bismillah Group’s Managing Director Khaza Solaiman Anwar Chowdhury, for embezzling Tk 110 crore from Shahjalal Islami Bank. Nine of them are employees of Bismillah Group, four of Shahjalal Islami Bank and one is Network Frame System Ltd’s Chairman Akhter Hossain. The accused include Soleman’s wife and group’s Chairman Nawrin Hasib, Solaiman’s mother Sarwar Jahan, former manager of Eskaton Branch of Shahjalal Islami Bank Aslamul Haq and former deputy manager ASM Hasanul Kabir. The controversial group swindled the money with the help of bank officials between June 2006 and October 2012.

Islami Bank to give Tk 1.39cr lifeline to Swan workers

Islami Bank Bangladesh, the financier of Swan Garments over the last 30 years, plans to donate Tk 1.39 crore to clear the workers' one-month salary, the bank's Managing Director Mohammad Abdul Mannan said. Mannan hopes the bank's Board of Directors will agree to give away the fund as a lifeline to the company. The bank cannot invest further in Swan Garments, which has 1,300 workers in two units, as the company does not have any legal owner now, he said. Islami Bank will need the central bank's permission to further bankroll the factory, the loans of which have already been classified, Mannan said. Disputes over Swan's ownership need to be settled first to resume its operations, he said.

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