Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New CEO at Unicorn Investment Bank Bahrain (Delayed News)

I'm catching up on some old news.  

In case you missed it on 2 August, Unicorn appointed Mr. Ikbal Daredia as Interim CEO of the Bank with immediate effect replacing the former MD and CEO, Mr. Majid Al Refai.   Mr. Al Refai remains a member of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Daredia is the Global Head of the Bank’s Capital Markets, Institutional Banking and Treasury units. 

While no reason was given for the abrupt change, rumor (and note that word) is that the Board had differences over "strategy" with Mr. Al Refai - similar to those he had with the Arcapita Board earlier.  Mr. Al Refai is known in part for his keen interest in developing Islamic banking business in Asia.  The Board reportedly wanted to concentrate on Saudi Arabia.  As with Arcapita, he was one of the drivers of the foundation of Unicorn.

Those who read Unicorn's 1H10 financials will also note a loss of US$160 million for the first six months of the year due to provisions of US$97 million and fair value negative adjustments of US$51 million.   This resulted in an approximate 40% decrease in shareholders' equity to US$253 million.  In 2009 the Bank had a modest net income of US$2.2 million.


Chapter 11 said...

Interesting. I saw Al-Refai at the Euromoney conference in Riyadh in May earlier this year. He seemed quite vocal in his dissatisfaction with how groups in KSA, public sector included - conduct business, i.e. claim to be open to foreign capital, but then rebuff serious approaches when made.

Abu 'Arqala said...



I guess you can tell just how xenophobic the Saudi market is. when a firm whose Chairman was Attorney General of the Kingdom, is Chairman of Dar Al Arkan and whose board members include an AlJarallah from Kuwait (former senior officer at KIA), an Abudawood from the Saudi family conglomerate of the same name as well as a Board member of Oryx Capital, an AlHelthloul from Saudi Arabia, a Boodai (Kuwait) and a Kanoo - a member of Saudi based YBA Kanoo business group - a very successful trans GCC business enterprise - can't get a fair shake.

Laocowboy2 said...

Any idea where the provisions and fair value "adjustments" came from?

I am not surprised that the Board would want to focus on KSA - DAAR/family is a large shareholder.

Abu 'Arqala said...


At this point no.

Like my post, UIB's posting of its 2Q report is delayed for some reason. All that's up on their website is the newspaper summary with no notes.