Newspaper advert to sell bank director's post!

Sanaullah Sakib | Update:

A newspaper advertisement to 'sell' the post of a director along with 2 per cent shares of Shahjalal Islami Bank Ltd (SJIBL) has stunned stakeholders in the banking sector.

The advertisement, published in several newspapers on Wednesday, the day the 16th annual general meeting of the bank was held, did not disclose the identity of the 'seller'.

It only asked interested persons to communicate by 13 July.

However, SJIBL director Mohammed Younus, who is also a former vice-chairman of the bank, admitted to Prothom Alo on Wednesday night that he had placed the advertisement.

“I have decided to leave the bank for personal reasons,” said Younus, also the chairman of Younus Group, and director of NTV.

As per the law, none can hand over the post of a director in such a manner. This is said to be a violation of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Act as SJIBL is a listed bank with the share market.

The market price of 2 per cent shares of the bank stands about Tk 260 million, informed sources said.

Bangladesh Bank’s executive director and spokesperson Subhankar Saha told Prothom Alo, “One cannot become a director by buying shares. This requires the approval of the board of directors and the central bank. Such advertisement from any director is uncalled for.”

Responding to a question on why he has decided to sell the shares outside the share market, Younus said, "I have some problems. This is a personal matter."

"It's okay. I shall sell through the share market. I don’t have any problem," he added.

Younus took part in the AGM on Wednesday, but no discussion on the advertisement was held at the event.

Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) chairman Nazrul Islam Majumder told Prothom Alo that they are embarrassed at the incident.

Terming the announcement to sell shares by a director a ‘price sensitive information’, BSEC officials said placing such advertisement without any announcement at the stock exchange is suspicious.

Former FBCCI president AK Azad, who is the chairman of Ha-Meem Group, plays the most important role in the affairs of SJIBL.

The bank commenced its commercial operation in accordance with Islamic Shariah law in 2001. Currently, it has 103 branches around the world.

*This piece originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza.

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