Search

 

Cablegate: Bahraini Next Steps On Future Bank

VZCZCXRO1292
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMK #1016 3121018
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 081018Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7392
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
RUEATRS/TREASURY WASHDC IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 001016

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/RA, EEB
STATE FOR T, ISN, EEB, NEA
TREASURY FOR U/S LEVEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/2017
TAGS: PARM PREL MNUC KNNP EFIN ECON IR BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAINI NEXT STEPS ON FUTURE BANK
REF: A. MANAMA 1011
B. LEVEY - ERELI 11/06/07 TELCON
C. STATE 148605

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

1.(C) Following up on Ref. B telcon, Ambassador briefed Minister of Finance Sheikh Ahmed Al Khalifa and Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Governor Rashid Al Miraj on November 7 regarding actions the USG believes are necessary in order to make Bahraini oversight of Future Bank consistent with the letter and spirit of relevant U.S. Executive Orders. Ambassador explained it was essential that the Government of Bahrain (GOB) take strong measures to ensure that the bank was neither controlled by Iranian entities or involved in transactions with Iran.

2.(C) Al Miraj said Bahrain shared U.S. concerns and would act swiftly. Future Bank is enjoined from engaging in any new business with Iran. It must report weekly to the CBB on all payments in and out of Future Bank. The CBB will appoint two independent members to Future Bank's Board of Directors, whose job it will be to oversee the bank's operations.

3.(C) Asked why they couldn't replace the entire Board with new Directors, as mentioned by the Minister of Finance (Ref. A), Al Miraj replied that the addition of the two new Directors accomplished the same purpose: it will mean that the CBB has control of the Board of Directors and it will effectively prevent Future Bank from having any dealings with Iran. As for decreasing Iranian ownership to below 50%, Al Miraj said it would be difficult to find investors, given the cloud Future Bank is under. He noted that Ahli United Bank, which holds a one-third stake in Future Bank, has had to create a blind trust since they could find no one interested in buying their shares. Ambassador told Al Miraj that we appreciated their prompt action and would check with Washington to see if these measures go far enough to satisfy U.S. concerns.

4.(C) Ahli United Bank CEO Adel El-Labban confirmed to Econoff November 7 that he had presented to the CBB a proposal to place his bank's Future Bank shares in blind trust. He was awaiting CBB approval, which Al Miraj had told him would soon be forthcoming. El-Labban also said he had presented Al Miraj with a report confirming that Ahli United had undertaken no new Iranian business. Ahli United's only exposure was loans that were being paid down. Once these were satisfied, his bank would have no Iranian business outstanding.

5.(C) Comment: While not as robust as the measures outlined earlier by the Finance Minister, Al Miraj was emphatic that these steps will give the CBB effective control over Future Bank and prevent any dealings with Iran or its agents. End comment. ********************************************* ******** Visit Embassy Manama's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX********************************************* ******** ERELI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>