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Nasser al-Shaikh Resigns from Dubai Islamic Bank - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DUBAI, (Reuters) – Former Dubai Department of Finance director-general Nasser al-Shaikh resigned from three more companies on Monday linked to Dubai’s government, including Dubai Islamic Bank, a day after leaving its affiliate Deyaar.

Officials and statements from Dubai Islamic, National Bonds, and education provider Taaleem confirmed Shaikh’s resignations just a month after he was replaced as head of Dubai’s Department of Finance. Shaikh declined to comment.

The move will likely add to investor confusion as Shaikh had spearheaded the launch of the emirate’s $20 billion bond programme in February, a move aimed at easing worries that state-linked companies could default on debts.

He was removed from his post in May without explanation.

None of the companies gave a reason for the resignations, which initially sent Dubai Islamic shares lower, before closing 1.2 percent higher.

Shares in Deyaar, in which Dubai Islamic holds around a 41 percent stake, rallied on Monday after falling 1.7 percent on Sunday.

Dubai Islamic and Deyaar said in statements they would meet shortly to consider the ratification of Al Shaikh’s resignation. A spokeswoman for Shaikh confirmed he had also stepped down from National Bonds and Taaleem.

Two spokeswomen said he would stay on as chairman of troubled mortgage lender Amlak AMLK.DU, in which Emaar Properties holds a 45 percent stake, according to Reuters data.

Deyaar chief executive Markus Giebel told Reuters late on Sunday Deyaar was a stable company with the backing of Dubai Islamic Bank, and Shaikh’s resignation would not have a big impact on the company.

CONFUSION

The resignations have fuelled speculation and rumours after investors were left bewildered following Shaikh’s dismissal a day after outlining the emirate’s handling of the financial crisis and its recovery plan at the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

Executives and officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said Shaikh was considered to not be towing the official line, developing ties too close to media and disclosing information without the consent of government heads.

During his second tenure as the head of Dubai’s finances, Shaikh earned respect from investors and analysts for efforts to navigate difficulties in the former boom-town and help bring much-needed transparency.

The government has yet to reveal why it replaced Shaikh, but Mohammed al-Shaibani, an aide to Dubai’s ruler, has backed Shaikh’s replacement Abdul-Rahman al-Saleh, as “the right man to lead the next stage of managing the economic situation”.

Saleh has yet to publicly speak on his appointment or the emirate’s future strategy.

Shaibani, who is chairman of the board of directors of Dubai Islamic Bank, is director of the office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, the seven-member federation to which Dubai belongs.

Shaibani was not available to comment.

Mona al-Marri, who heads up a new government entity “Brand Dubai” aimed at providing accurate information to media on subjects related to Dubai including its economy, was also not available for comment.

Shaikh has now been moved to a new role as assistant to the director of the ruler’s court for foreign affairs.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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