The primary capital of the Eurab group was subscribed by EBIC founding members (45 percent), 11 Arab partners (45 percent)51 and FRAB Bank (10 percent). In order to ensure parity between Arab and European partners, it was decided that in the event of a disagreement, FRAB Bank would abstain from voting. Several financial institutions in the Gulf region quickly took shares in Eurab, among them the Abu Dhabi Fund for Arab Economic Development, the National Bank of Kuwait, National Commercial Bank (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and the Sultanate of Oman. Société Générale de Banque subscribed at the beginning for 4.84 percent of the capital.

The growth potential of Eurab was constrained by its large number of shareholders and the range of economies they represented, which made it difficult at times to find common ground.

On the suggestion of Deutsche Bank, Abdel Moneim El Kaissouni, former Economy Minister of the United Arab Republic (Egypt), was appointed Chairman of Eurab. He was known for having arranged the financing for the Aswan Dam and chairing in 1964 the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Société Générale de Banque and Deutsche Bank were tasked with selecting the staff that would be sent out to start up the business, and recruited many from their own teams. One of the Belgian managers at Société Générale de Banque, Raoul Roland, was appointed head of the Eurab Brussels subsidiary.

Meanwhile, Midland Bank and MAIBL had set up their own consortium of Arab banks UBAF. In October 1972, the banking world learned of a third consortium that would soon be set up to do business in the Middle East, this time on the initiative of BNP the Banque Arabe et Internationale d Investissement (Arab and International Investment Bank). It was reported that the consortium would not only include European and Arab partners, but also interests from Japan and the United States. Various Arab partners in Eurab then insisted that stakes in Eurab should also be offered to Japanese and US entities. Shares in Eurab were accordingly offered to Fuji Bank and the Industrial Bank of Japan.

Eurab Bank was only a year old when the oil crisis struck. This had an immediate impact on its activities, since all roll-over credits were temporarily suspended.

In 1974, the EBIC board acknowledged that after two years Eurab s growth was not meeting expectations. This instrument was certainly a good idea, but the way we have used Eurab up to now has not allowed it to reach its full capabilities, read the minutes from one board meeting. They looked at several ways to drum up more business. One idea was to persuade the Arab League to recommend to its members that they support

51. The 11 primary Arab partners were: Banque Nationale d Algérie, National Bank of Egypt, National Commercial Bank (Libya), Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur, Bank of Sudan, the Central Bank of Syria, Banque Libanaise pour le Commerce, Banque Misr Liban, Crédit Libanais and Société Générale Libano-Européenne de Banque. The last was set up by Société Générale de Banque in 1953, and in 1970 Société Générale (France) took a stake.

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