Kuwaitis want to sell off Islami Bank shares

Under tremendous international pressure, three Kuwaiti institutions have planned to sell off their stakes that are in Islami Bank, sponsored and controlled by Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.

Things have started to change after the recent protest held across the country centering Gono Jagaran Mancha, at Shahbag in the capital. Protestors here claimed ban against Jamaat and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, along with the Jamaat-Shibir operated and controlled goods and services.

War criminals during liberation war in 1971 later accumulated to form Jamaat-e-Islam, they claimed, and hence demanded capital punishment.

The representatives of three Kuwaiti institutions– The Public Institute of Social Security, Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation and Kuwait Finance House, sponsor shareholders in the bank, recently wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the procedure to offload stocks.

Altogether they hold 15 percent stakes. The ministry has already informed the share market regulator Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).

The SEC urged there no problem to selling off those shares if proper procedures were followed.

“In this connection we would like to inform you (the ministry) that aforesaid owners can sell their shares through the stock exchanges complying with the commission’s notifications,” SEC Executive Director Anowarul Islam wrote.

”Therefore the seller may be advised to contact the stock exchanges for the next course of action,” he added.

However, Islami Bank denied any issue about the letter of the Kuwati firms.

“We don’t know anything as such,” Ataur Rahman, spokesman for the bank, told the media on Sunday.

“If any director wants to sell shares, it has to be approved the meeting of the bank’s board of directors.”

“We’ve found nothing like this,” he added.

Earlier, the bank sought assistance from the Bangladesh Bank after it plunged into a massive crisis in the wake of calls by activists of the Shahbagh movement.

The government is monitoring the bank for its suspected militant funding. The central bank appointed a monitor on 2010 to check its transactions.

Source: UNBConnect

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