Friday 23 October 2020
I wrote – Shaima Hefzy:
The Commercial International Bank has closed the curtain on the great controversy over the fate of the bank’s position, and revealed in an official statement today the scenes and reasons for the departure of the Chairman and Managing Director Hisham Ezz Al-Arab from his position, and the appointment of a non-executive board member, Sherif Sami, as his successor.
Stop trading on the bank’s shares
The controversy over what is happening in the Commercial International Bank began when the Egyptian Stock Exchange announced, before the start of trading yesterday, Thursday, the suspension of trading on the shares of the Commercial Bank, which has the largest relative weight in the main index, at the request of the Financial Supervision Authority.
The stock exchange did not announce the reasons for halting trading, nor did it re-trade the bank’s shares, until the end of trading, which caused a significant decline in the main index by 1%, and a collapse in market indices, and the seventieth index fell by 4.5%.
The Commercial International Bank, the largest listed bank in Egypt, has large holdings by foreign investors, and its Chairman Hisham Ezz Al-Arab is among the country’s top bankers and is widely recognized in the financial world in the Middle East.
This state of confusion led to a decline in the bank’s GDRs on the London Stock Exchange by up to 41 percent on Friday morning, before recovering to be traded higher during the session. GDRs fell 17 percent on Thursday.
Sites and individuals circulated, a leak of a letter from the Central Bank, by the end of Thursday, that includes a decision to remove the bank’s president from his post, and a directive to appoint a non-executive member to the position, but this was only confirmed by the Commercial International Bank’s statement today.
The letter, circulated, included that the field inspection of the bank resulted in grave breaches of the provisions of the Central Bank and Banking System Law, regulatory instructions, decisions issued by the Central Bank of Egypt and sound banking norms and practices.
In its statement today, the Commercial Bank confirmed that it had received a letter from the Central Bank, on October 22, 2020, which included the decision of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Egypt to remove the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank.
According to the statement, the letter reads: “In accordance with Clause (i) of Article (144) of the Central Bank of Egypt Law and the Banking System promulgated by Law No. 194 of 2020, the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Egypt decided, in its session on October 20, 2020, to disqualify the Chairman and Managing Director of the Commercial Bank. International “.
This article is one of the articles of the new banking law, which President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified last September, which gives the Central Bank the power to dismiss bank officials if the violations are serious.
Decisions and realizations
In light of what the CIB’s statement described as “the joint responsibility of the board of directors, and a commitment to pay due diligence to all supervisory notes received from the Central Bank of Egypt,” the Commercial Bank announced a number of decisions.
According to a statement from the Commercial International Bank, today, Hisham Ezz Al-Arab has left his position as Chairman and Managing Director as of his date, and the Board decided unanimously to appoint Sherif Sami as his successor.
The statement also indicated that the contents of the notes of the central bank’s letter will be verified as soon as they are received by the bank, in coordination with the bank’s auditors. And take the necessary action in accordance with the provisions of legislation and banking norms.
At the same time, Hisham Ezz Al-Arab announced, on his Facebook page, that it was time to end his journey with the Commercial International Bank, saying, “Given the current situation with the Central Bank of Egypt, I decided that the time has come to end my journey with the CIB. I have made wonderful friends over these years – and I will cherish them as much as I do the love my colleagues have shown me. “
Meeting with Tariq Amer
The Commercial International Bank statement revealed that non-executive board members were invited to attend a meeting with the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, during which Amer confirmed his full support for the bank and the board of directors.
The bank’s statement affirmed that the Board of Directors believes that the bank has many distinguished cadres and an able management team that works to apply the highest professional standards and adopt best practices in risk and compliance management.
Sherif Sami, the new president of the bank, said that CIB will continue its commitment to continue consolidating the bank’s position, emphasizing the implementation of sound and effective governance practices, and working to support the country’s initiatives and continuing to adopt the best international banking practices.
Hussein Abaza – Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors – emphasized the bank’s commitment to providing the highest level of customer service and supporting its investment plans.
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