Egypt's central bank sacks leading private bank chief over suspected "financial crimes"

CAIRO, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) dismissed on Thursday chairman of the Commercial International Bank (CIB), a leading private sector bank in the country, over what CBE sees as "financial crimes."

In a letter sent to the CIB, the central bank informed its CEO Hussein Abaza of the decision to sack CIB's chairman and managing director Hisham Ezz Al-Arab over major deficiencies in the internal supervision of CIB and other financial malpractices "which caused huge financial losses to the bank."

A copy of the letter with the stamp of the CBE went viral online and was circulated by social media and news websites in Egypt.

Ezz Al-Arab had been serving as CIB's chairman since 2002.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Exchange suspended trading on CIB shares on Thursday, saying in a statement that the decision is based on a request from the Financial Regulatory Authority.

Established in 1975, the CBI started as a joint venture between the National Bank of Egypt and the Chase Manhattan Bank of the United States, until it gradually became a leading private bank whose shares are owned by a group of shareholders.

At least 93.45 percent of the CIB shares are freely floating, with the rest owned by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

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