S Alam Group: 'Govt looking into fund sources'
The government has been looking into the sources of money of S Alam Group across the country, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
“I think it [the Group's fund] is mostly debt from other banks,” Muhith told reporters, replying to a query at his secretariat office.
The government's next course of action depends on findings of the enquiry, he added.
In recent years, Chittagong-based S Alam Group drew huge attention, especially in the financial market, after taking over several banks through buying shares from the stock market.
The latest was the takeover of Social Islami Bank on October 31 this year. The Group bought around 50 percent stakes in the Shariah-based bank.
It had to spend over Tk 1,000 crore to buy around 37 crore shares of the bank at the market price.
Earlier in January this year, S Alam Group strengthened its grip on Islami Bank Bangladesh, the largest private bank in the country, by purchasing significant portion of its shares.
It has allegedly bought shares of the bank in the name of seven companies. Some of those companies exist only on papers.
In addition, the Group has direct investments in five other banks -- First Security Islami Bank, Bangladesh Commerce Bank, Union Bank, NRB Global and Al-Arafah Islami Bank.
Saiful Alam Masud, chairman of S Alam Group, himself is the chairman of First Security Islami Bank, and Abdus Samad, one of his brothers, is the chairman of Al-Arafah Islami Bank.
Masud's daughter and a son-in-law are also on the board of directors of the two banks.
S Alam Group, which also has exposure in non-bank financial institutions, solely owns Reliance Finance. There are talks that the Group has bought stakes in four other NBFIs in recent years.