FFBBMMEE ssh­haar­ree­hhoolld­deerrss sseeeekk IICCCC aar­rb­bi­it­tr­raat­ti­ioonn oovveerr ddi­is­sp­pu­ut­tee

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The share­hold­ers of FBME Bank have re­sorted to the Ar­bi­tral Tri­bunal of the In­ter­na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce (ICC) in Paris over the Cen­tral Bank of Cyprus decision to take con­trol and try to sell the bank’s Cyprus branch, which the own­ers re­gard as a hos­tile and il­le­gal takeover.

The Cen­tral Bank took over and ef­fec­tively shut down the branch a few days after the US Depart­ment of the Trea­sury’s FinCEN bureau al­leged on July 15 that FBME Bank, whose par­ent is based in Tan­za­nia, was in­volved in money laun­der­ing and fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions, such as Hezbol­lah. FBME Bank was given un­til Septem­ber 22 to re­spond to the FinCEN al­le­ga­tions, which it duly did, the share­hold­ers said in an an­nounce­ment, adding that “FinCEN is study­ing FBME’s re­sponse and is ex­pected to is­sue fi­nal de­ci­sions.”

The arbitration, fi­nal doc­u­ments for which were filed on Oc­to­ber 29, in­vokes the Agree­ment on the re­cip­ro­cal pro­mo­tion and pro­tec­tion of in­vest­ments be­tween the Le­banese Repub­lic and the Cyprus Repub­lic of 5 June 2002 (law num­ber 399). Ar­ti­cle 6 of this Agree­ment pro­hibits any na­tion­al­i­sa­tion or ex­pro­pri­a­tion of the as­sets of the cit­i­zens of ei­ther coun­try, while ar­ti­cle 12 pro­vides for the ICC arbitration, among other reme­dies.

The main share­hold­ers of FBME Bank in Tan­za­nia is Beirut-based Fed­eral Bank of Le­banon, a fam­ily-owned bank with a 60-year his­tory. They also own IMSP, the only al­ter­na­tive credit card and clear­ing house with a 4% mar­ket share in Cyprus, that was sus­pended after in­ter­na­tional banks halted pay­ment fa­cil­i­ties, based on the Cen­tral Bank of Cyprus ac­tions. The is­land has now re­verted to a mo­nop­oly once again as the only credit card company now is owned by a con­sor­tium of lo­cal banks, leav­ing ques­tions about the abil­ity of the Com­pe­ti­tions Com­mis­sioner to re­view the sit­u­a­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.