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Cablegate: Bahrain's Central Bank Takes Action Against Future

VZCZCXRO6097
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMK #1029 3181526
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 141526Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7404
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEATRS/TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 001029

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR T, ISN, EUR, EAP, NEA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/14/2017
TAGS: PARM PREL MNUC KNNP EFIN ECON IR BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAIN'S CENTRAL BANK TAKES ACTION AGAINST FUTURE
BANK

REF: MANAMA 1016

Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli, reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

1.(C) In a meeting with the Ambassador on November 13, Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Governor Rashid Al-Miraj said that he was taking steps to prevent Future Bank from engaging in any illicit activity. He acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and said that Bahrain wanted to be proactive on its own so that US authorities would not have to take additional action.

2.(C) Al-Miraj said that the CBB has assigned independent auditors to Future Bank. Their job will be to review all bank transactions weekly and to ensure that they only include local, retail transactions. (Note: Future Bank's deposits currently total roughly USD 266 million. End Note.) The CBB will also appoint two independent members to the board of directors, ensuring strategic oversight and maintaining tight control over Future Bank's operations. "We are, in essence, taking control of the bank," he said.

3.(C) In coordination with the CBB, Future Bank's minority shareholder, Ahli United Bank (AUB), will place its shares in blind trust. Al-Miraj added that AUB would prefer to sell its stake in Future Bank and that he would like to make the Iranians minority shareholders, but that no investors wanted to participate in a tainted enterprise.

4.(C) Al-Miraj said he was confident that the measures taken by the CBB were sufficient to meet US concerns. He asked that if we have information about other Future Bank activity or holdings that the CBB has not sufficiently regulated, we share it with the CBB so he can take appropriate action. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** ERELI

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