Ithmaar elects new Chairman

After electing a new chairman, the bank plans to replan its future strategies.

Bahrain based Islamic lender Ithmaar said on Sunday that its board has elected a new chairman, amid its restructuring and shortly before a planned rights issue to repair its balance sheet.

Ithmaar said its board has elected Amr Mohammed al Faisal as the new chairman, while previous chairman Khalid Abdulla Janahi will become executive vice chairman.

It said Faisal is a board member at the Geneva based Dar Al Maal Al Islami Trust, which according to Thomson Reuters data owns a 39.96 percent stake in Ithmaar.

In its statement on Sunday, Ithmaar did not provide a reason for the change, saying it was "in line with updated international corporate governance best practice".

The bank said in October it would raise $400 to $500 million through a mixture of a rights issue of about $200 million, which it plans to implement in January, a convertible Islamic bond and a credit call option to shore up its balance sheet.

It is also turning itself into a retail bank by integrating its fully owned retail unit Shamil Bank after it posted losses for much of 2009 on provisions against bad loans and lower asset valuations.

Documents seen by Reuters have shown that the company’s Geneva based unit Faisal Private Bank, has warned it could face foreclosures on parts of its property portfolio unless investors provide more money to keep lenders at bay.

(REUTERS)

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