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Thu 22 May 2008 02:38 PM

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Interpol issues warrant for CEO of ADCB

UPDATE 3: Warrant for Eirvin Knox issued in Philippines, related to divorce case.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank said an Interpol arrest warrant issued for its chief executive on Thursday was "a personal matter" relating to his divorce and not connected to the bank's operations.

The emirate's third-largest bank by market value said it supported Eirvin Knox, a 59-year-old American, who has headed ADCB since 2003.

"This is a personal matter linked to his personal divorce case and is not linked in any way to the bank's activities," the bank said in a statement.

The warrant was issued in the Philippines, where Knox once worked as the head of a major bank, and relates to "a violation of an early 2004 [Philippine] act pertaining to violence against women and their children," Interpol sources told newswire Reuters.

The Interpol warrant is classified as a "red notice" which seeks the arrest of a wanted person with a view to extradition, they said.

"He was married to a Filipina and she is a very well connected person," a senior official at ADCB told Reuters, declining to be identified.

ADCB said Abu Dhabi courts had already ruled in favour of Knox and the "current matter is linked to the implementation of a sentence between him and his divorcee".

Knox did not respond immediately to calls for comment. The UAE Interior Ministry and police officials declined comment.

"I don't know the extent of what the legal difficulties are but there certainly seems to be a possibility that it will require some management adjustment," said Raj Madha, director of equities research at EFG-Hermes.

"If so, that would be disappointing particularly as it follows the departure of the CFO in August 2007."

Knox joined ADCB having come from Ahli Bank of Kuwait, according to a biography on Global Real Estate website.

Knox was a country chief executive for 24 years with Standard Chartered Bank and Continental Bank of Chicago, having started his career in the United States with earlier assignments including Wells Fargo Bank and Continental Bank, the website said.

According to World Trade Markets country guide, which contains information provided by the US Department of Commerce, Knox was previously the chief executive of Standard Chartered in the Philippines.

Knox graduated from the University of California.

The Government of Abu Dhabi, through Abu Dhabi Investment Council, holds 65 percent of ADCB's capital while the rest is held by various UAE institutions and nationals, according to a company statement.

ADCB, which agreed to buy Malaysia's fourth-largest lender RHB Capital last month, plans to double profit during the next two years by making acquisitions in countries such as Malaysia and entering the Islamic finance industry, Knox said in April.

Shares in ADCB closed up 0.95% on Thursday and are down 1.48% this year. In contrast, National bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank are up 11.01% and 18.18% this year. (Reuters)

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JR 12 years ago

If interpol are involved in this dispute it must be quite a serious matter - however it appears that Eirvin Knox was quite open and honest about the complexities of his divorce when arriving here. Whatever the case maybe - wether he is truely a rotten rogue or his ex wife is incredibly manipulative & bitter; I hope that this personal dispute is concludes on a more private and dignified manner than is currently being played out.

Sneha 12 years ago

Clearly it is none of our business & none of us need to speculate over this. If anything, it should feature in the tabloids & not on arabianbusiness!