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BMIO becomes Al Salam Bank Seychelles as Central Bank hands control to new shareholders

Victoria, Seychelles | May 20, 2016, Friday @ 19:59 in Business » FINANCE | By: Patsy Athanase and Sharon Uranie | Views: 26692
BMIO becomes Al Salam Bank Seychelles as Central Bank hands control to new shareholders

File Photo: The offices of the Bank of Muscat International Offshore (BMIO) are located in the Capital City Building in Victoria now the Al Salam Bank Seychelles Ltd. ( Seychelles News Agency)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - The Central Bank of Seychelles, CBS, has announced the termination of its seizure of the Bank of Muscat International Offshore, BMIO, on Friday.

CBS said in a press statement that the management, control and possession of the bank is back in the hands of the financial institution, which will also be trading under a new name and ownership. The former BMIO is now the Al Salam Bank Seychelles Ltd, ASBS.

CBS has said that this is “in line with the rebranding of the bank which is ongoing, in conformity with the wish of the new shareholders’ strategy, to allow the bank to trade under the Al Salam Bank group’s trademark in order to better position the bank both domestically and internationally.”

BMIO first registered in Seychelles in July 2008 as a joint venture between BMI Bank in Bahrain and Seychelles-based bank, Nouvobanq, each with 50 percent shareholdings.

Al Salam Bank came in as the new shareholder of BMIO after it acquired BMI Bahrain in 2014.

According to the CBS statement, Al Salam Bank Bahrain and the Seychelles Pension Fund, SPF, are now the new shareholders. They each hold 50 percent of the share capital.

“The SPF has purchased all the shares held by Nouvobanq. A new Board of Directors has also been appointed comprising of representatives from both shareholders.”

In November 2014, CBS took control of BMIO, following the breakdown of the latter’s foreign correspondent banking relationship the month before.

This entailed a restructuring process of the bank with the appointment of a foreign reorganizing agent for the job.

The reorganization plan, which was approved by Seychelles Supreme Court in June 2015, was due to be completed on Tuesday May 24.

The Seychelles reserve bank says the termination of its seizure of BMIO on Friday May 20, comes now that the reorganizing agent, Huns Biltoo of KPMG Mauritius, says the restructuring of the bank has been completed to his satisfaction.

The core issue addressed at the start of the restructuring was the restoration of the bank’s correspondent banking relationship.

It was announced earlier this year that the Bank of Baroda is the former BMIO’s new foreign correspondent bank, through its branches in New York, London and Frankfurt for dollar, pounds sterling and euro currency transfers.

CBS says Al Salam Bank Seychelles will maintain the current correspondent banking relationship while adding that securing alternative correspondent banking relationship will not be problematic.

While BMIO’s core function was that of an offshore bank, Al Salam Bank Bahrain and the Seychelles pension Fund are keen on venturing into onshore banking alongside its offshore market.

Issa Soormally, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mauritius has been appointed as the chief executive officer of Al Salam Bank Seychelles' by the Bahrain-based Al Salam Bank group.

Soormally served as the interim Managing Director of BMIO for the past year while the financial institution was under the control of the Central Bank.


Story updated on Saturday at 12.16pm

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Tags: BMIO, CBS, Al Salam, Bahrain, offshore, onshore, KPMG, Seychelles Pension Fund

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