Former shareholders of Shamil Bank will be able to trade their Ithmaar Bank shares on the Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE) effective 28 January, 2008, following the successful completion of Ithmaar’s acquisition of Shamil. Shamil Bank, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Bank, will retain its current brand name but is no longer listed as a public shareholding company on the BSE. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and other authorities recently approved the acquisition through a share swap, in which every 10 shares held by minority shareholders in Shamil Bank were exchanged for 12 shares in Ithmaar Bank.
At a milestone Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held on 29 November, 2007, Ithmaar shareholders approved the issuance of 734,499,970 new shares, including 288,000,000 bonus shares that went to existing Ithmaar shareholders, with the remainder swapped for Shamil Bank shares. Both institutions are members of the Ithmaar banking group, one of the fastest growing and most diversified financial services groups of its kind in the region.
“Operating under the Ithmaar umbrella, Shamil Bank will be able to further strengthen its presence in the market and make new inroads into the region’s booming Islamic banking and finance industry,” said Shamil Bank Chief Executive & Member of the Board, Mohammed Hussain.
“This is an important step in consolidating the group and improving the synergy among its various members. Ithmaar Bank’s acquisition of Shamil Bank, one of the Kingdom’s most profitable and reputed Islamic banking institutions, will strengthen the Ithmaar banking group as a whole and enable it to continue to deliver consistent, positive returns to shareholders,” he added.
The share swap also makes Shamil Bank’s Swiss subsidiary Faisal Private Bank (FPB) wholly owned by Ithmaar Bank, while Ithmaar’s effective stake in Pakistan-based Faysal Bank Limited (FBL) increases from 51 per cent to 65.72 per cent.
With a paid-up capital of US$230 million, Shamil Bank operates a strong local branch and ATM network across the Kingdom of Bahrain. It has an established reputation as an innovator of Sharia-compliant financial products. Ithmaar Bank owned 60 per cent of Shamil Bank prior to the completion of this acquisition.
Ithmaar Bank, Shamil Bank, FPB, FBL, Solidarity (Islamic insurance and assurance company), First Leasing Bank and Ithmaar Development Company (IDC) together form the Ithmaar banking group.