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Mon 22 Mar 2010 11:07 AM

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Damas says it will learn lessons from scandal

Jewellery firm pledges to uphold transparency after scandal involving Abdullah brothers.

Damas has learnt its lesson from the Abdullah brothers scandal and will continue to work closely with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to uphold corporate transparency, the company has said.  “The company undertakes to apply the learnings from these historical incidents, and wishes to assure its shareholders and employees that the company is currently focused on ensuring its long-term stability and growth, based on a sound, strategic business plan,” an unnamed Damas spokesperson said, according to a statement published on the Nasdaq Dubai website on Monday.  On Sunday, the DFSA announced that it had banned the Abdullah Brothers from the board of any DIFC company for 10 years and fined them a total of $3m after they were found to have withdrawn Damas funds for their own personal use without disclosing it to the board.

Criticising the brothers for their "failure to exercise appropriate corporate governance over the company", it said they owed "approximately AED365 million ($99.4m) plus the value of approximately two tonnes of gold" to Damas. The firm was also fined a total of $700,000. Damas also promised to comply with the terms of the undertaking, and to keep the market informed of any further relevant developments.

“More than a century after the company’s first operational milestone and 50 years after the opening of the first Damas-branded retail outlet, the company will continue to make the greatest efforts to meet the needs of its customers across the world, while also maximising value for the company’s shareholders,” the spokesperson added.

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