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Fimbank directors resign ahead of takeover deal

Fimbank announces resignation of two directors ahead of 38% takeover deal with Burgan Bank.

Matthew Vella
7 April 2012, 12:00am
Najeb al Saleh addressing a Fimbank AGM.
Fimbank has announced the resignation of two directors Gérard Lohier, and Pierre-Olivier Fragnière, as the investment bank is in the middle of possible takeover talks by Burgan Bank of Kuwait.

Gérard Lohier is an advisor of Watamar S.A. & Partners, a financial institution incorporated in Geneva, Switzerland. He began his career as senior bank executive in Asia, Africa and Europe. A director of Fimbank since 2009, he also serves as a director of Hinduja Bank (Switzerland).

Fragnière was a member of the supervisory board of Fimbank. In 2000, he joined the Banque Cantonale of Geneva, setting up and developing a specialised international trade financing unit.

Fimbank has informed the market of a possible transfer of shares amounting to 38.8% of the total issued share capital from the largest shareholder Massaleh Investments of Kuwait, to Burgan Bank.

Massaleh's chairman Najeb al Saleh also owns a controlling interest in Gemxija Crown Ltd through his Dutch firm Marem BV, together with construction firm JPM Brothers. Gemxija constructed the unfinished Mistra Heights complex, which was rudely interrupted when Austrian-owned Bawag Bank served them with a court notice to pay up €42.2 million and €1.3 million in interest on a defaulting loan.

Burgan Bank intends to inject new equity which will increase its potential holding to over 50%, initiating a mandatory bid for the remaining shares.

Following this announcementin mid-March, Fimbank share price surged by 20%.

Fumbank also issued its 2011 full-year results showing a 33.1% increase in pre-tax profits to USD8.3 million and recommended a final net dividend of USD0.02 per share and a 1 for 25 bonus share issue to all shareholders as at close of trading on 3 April.

Matthew Vella is editor MaltaToday.com.mt and MaltaToday on Sunday.

He joined Mediat...
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