Excel Dyeing rushes to buy 3.20cr shares of Islami Bank

Little-known Chittagong-based Excel Dyeing and Printing has completed its purchase of 3.20 crore shares of Islami Bank worth about Tk 100 crore over the past two days, well ahead of its announced timeframe.

Earlier on Tuesday, Excel, which already had 3.23 crore shares, announced its intent to complete the transaction in 30 days.

With the latest acquisition, Excel's total holdings stand at slightly over 4 percent -- enough to secure two seats on the IBBL board.

The rushed approach has thickened the air of intrigue surrounding the little-known company, with many calling it a ruse for the much-talked about S Alam Group of Chittagong.

Talking to The Daily Star, a number of IBBL directors and senior officials confirmed that Excel Dyeing has a direct link to the business giant: Excel's chairman Badrun Nessa Alam is a close relative of Saiful Alam Masud, chairman of S Alam Group.

Badrun Nessa's husband Wahidul Alam Sheth is the managing director of Excel.

The Daily Star spoke to Sirajul Karim, Excel Dyeing's representative to the Islami Bank board, who said Badrun Nessa is Masud's sister.

Asked about the company's source of funds, he said: “I am an adviser here and I don't know anything in detail about the company.”

Excel Dyeing is one of the seven companies that bought Islami Bank shares last year in bulk to become corporate directors of the bank.

The companies collectively hold over 14 percent shares in the bank, with the holdings rising to over 16 percent with the latest share transaction.

The six other companies are: Armada Spinning Mills, ABC Venture, Blue International, Grand Business, Paradise International and Platinum Endeavors.

Arastoo Khan, Islami Bank's chairman, represents another little-known company Armada Spinning Mills in the board.

Islami Bank, the largest private bank in the country, has recently plunged into a bout of infighting five months after going through a wholesale restructuring of the board and the top management. Syed Ahsanul Alam, vice-chairman of the bank, was removed from his executive post on Tuesday, a move considered by many as an attempt to muffle dissent.

Earlier, Khan had alleged that Alam violated his oath of office by spreading propaganda about the bank.

Islami Bank was set up in 1983 with nearly 70 percent of its sponsorship coming from the Middle Eastern countries.

Since its inception, it has grown threefold every five years. It has around Tk 70,000 crore deposits and over one crore accountholders. The bank also channels over one-fourth of the inflow of Bangladesh's remittances.

Islamic Development Bank, a sponsor shareholder of IBBL, announced on Tuesday that it wanted to sell 8.69 crore shares out of its total holding of 12.07 crore in IBBL.

According to an update on the Dhaka Stock Exchange, the IDB finished the sales of the shares yesterday.


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