The First Leasing Bank (FLB) Chairman, Khalid Kanoo, said that the recently completed merger with Ithmaar Bank gives former FLB shareholders immediate access to liquidity.
Thanking former FLB shareholders for their support during the Bank’s operations, Kanoo said the process to issuing Ithmaar Bank shares to former FLB shareholders had now started and is expected to be completed shortly.
Kanoo’s statement follows a day after Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board, Mohammed Bucheerei, announced on Saturday that the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Bahrain Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOIC) had given final approval on the merger and that the three-month and the sixty-day notice periods required by the CBB and the MOIC respectively had been completed.
Ithmaar Bank and FLB shareholders had earlier approved the merger during separate Extraordinary General Meetings that were held in Bahrain on 21 October 2012.
The merger increased Ithmaar Bank’s issued and paid-up capital by $56.7million to $758million after the Bank issued 226.7 shares to all First Leasing Bank shareholders, except those held by and on behalf of Ithmaar Bank, at a nominal value of 25 cents per share. The Ithmaar Bank-First Leasing Bank merger involved a swap of four Ithmaar Bank shares for each FLB share.
“I am pleased to announce that the merger is, following all necessary regulatory approvals, now complete and that the process of merging the registrar of FLB shareholders to the registrar of Ithmaar shareholders is underway,” Kanoo, said. “This translates to access to liquidity for former FLB shareholders who will soon hold tradable Ithmaar shares instead,” he said.
A recent report, published by the Bahrain Bourse, indicates that Ithmaar Bank shares saw more than 160percent growth in 2012, despite a 6.83 decline in the Bahrain All Share Index that year. The same report also ranked Ithmaar shares as the most traded (number of transactions) shares among the 41 local listed companies in 2012, and the second highest in terms of both Value of Shares Traded and volume of Shares Traded.
“Following the successful merger with Ithmaar Bank, the technical and logistical considerations are now being implemented as agreed earlier,” Kanoo, added. “This includes, for example, the issuing the shares by Ithmaar Bank to FLB shareholders,” he said.