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Ithmaar Bank to change group structure

said March 28that shareholders approved the same day plans for a new group structuredesigned to further develop growth in its core retail banking business.

The plans,which are subject to regulatory approvals, involve the creation of a newholding company that will be listed on the Bahraini and Kuwaiti stock exchangesand licensed and regulated by the Bahraini central bank.

Thenew holding company will retain 100% of all assets presently owned by IthmaarBank. The assets will be allocated into two wholly owned subsidiaries — anIslamic retail banking subsidiary that will hold the core retail bankingbusiness and an investment subsidiary that will hold the investment assets.Both subsidiaries will also be licensed and regulated by the Bahraini centralbank.

"Thenew structure will help lower the risk profile of the new banking entity andenhance shareholder value by showing the growth and improved performance achievedin the core business. In the current structure, this growth is being adverselyimpacted by investment valuations and impairment provisions," saidChairman Prince Amr Al Faisal.