The Bank of Sharjah

The Bank of Sharjah was founded on 22 December 1973 with authorised capital of 15 million dirhams, which was immediately 100 percent issued and distributed in the form of 150,000 ordinary shares. The bank s shareholders at the time were the Government of Sharjah (20 percent), Paribas (19.4 percent), the Alhasawi Industrial Group (30 percent) plus several Emiratis, for the most part from Sharjah. Paribas was entrusted with the management of the bank.

The bank s official inauguration took place on 24 May 1974, under the patronage of the Emir of Sharjah, its Honorary President. In 1979, and again in 1981, its capital was increased by 5 million dirhams by issuing reserve capital, taking its total capital to 25 million dirhams.

The central bank introduced new measures in 1982, fixing the minimum capital for banks operating in the UAE to 40 million dirhams and restricting foreign shareholdings to 20 percent. In order to bring the bank back into compliance, in agreement with the Emir of Sharjah, Paribas stake was lowered to 15 percent and that of Mubarak Al-Hassawi, a Kuwait national, to five percent. The bank s capital was also doubled to 50 million dirhams through the issue of new equity priced at 175 dirhams per share.

In 1982, the bank moved into new premises in Al-Burj Avenue.

In 1986 and 1989, the bank s capital was again increased by issuing reserve capital, taking it to 70 million dirhams.

Under Paribas management of the bank, Rachid Naceur was initially appointed General Manager. He was succeeded in 1992 by Varouj Nerguizian. From the beginning the bank proved highly profitable and, by the end of 1991, it was ranked 27th among the 47 banks operating in the UAE and had opened branches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

The Bank of Sharjah, with base capital today of US$1 billion, is a commercial bank highly active in documentary credit for oil, gas and petroleum derivatives. It also finances imports and exports of heavy equipment and participates in financing major infrastructure projects

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