Shoman’s sudden resignation came on 16 August following alleged disagreements with CEO Nemah al-Sabbagh, who accused the then Chairman of interfering with the running of the bank.
Masri announced at a news conference that he had been unanimously elected by the board of Arab Bank to take over as Chairman. Reuters quoted the newly appointed Chairman as saying that he would help to maintain the bank’s steady growth. "All the financial ratios point to a solid financial position and to continued growth in every aspect of the balance sheet," Masri said.
Masri also denied media reports that the family of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik al-Hariri – who are the largest single shareholder in the bank – were looking to sell their 20 per cent stake.
Mohammad Hariri, present at the board meeting, told Reuters that the rumours were “untrue and baseless.”
Masri was serving as Director to Arab Bank prior to his promotion. He is the Founder of Palestine Securities Exchange (PSE), among other investment companies and financial economic institutions active in Palestine and throughout the region. He serves as Chairman of Arab Supply and Trading Corporation, Paltel Corporation (formerly, Palestinian Telecommunications Co.), Zara Investment Holding, Astra Industrial Group Company and a Director at VTEL Holdings.
Masri has been the Vice Chairman of Palestine Investment Fund since 2002. He also served as the Deputy Chairman at Arab Bank prior to his appointment as Chairman. He has been a Director of Arab Bank since 1998. He also serves as a Director of Palestine Development & Investment Co, Director of Cairo Amman Bank, Al Masira Investment Company, Ayla Oasis Development Co, Rum Agricultural Company and Palestine Investment and Development Company.
Masri graduated in 1961 with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, Texas, US and holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas, Austin.
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