BML Chairman grilled by shareholders

Bank of Maldives (BML) Chairman Adam Manik was grilled by irate shareholders at a general meeting held last night to elect two new members to the national bank’s board of directors.

New BML CEO and Managing Director Peter Horton and Adam Azim, M. Seenukarakaage, were elected to the board.

According to newspaper Haveeru, Adam Manik declined to reveal the amount of dollars released to BML daily by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) in response to a query by a shareholder.

The Chairman said however that the bank has undertaken efforts to increase the supply of US dollars, including issuing loans in rufiyaa to be paid back in dollars.

Adam also told the 21 shareholders in attendance that efforts to collect outstanding loans dating back to 2008 were proceeding slowly due to legal obstacles.

A damning audit report published in January 2009 by the country’s first independent auditor general revealed that BML had granted loans in 2008 in excess of 40 per cent of the bank’s reserve of unimpaired capital – above the ceiling advised by the MMA.

The BML audit report alleged financial fraud and corrupt practices on a large scale, including issuing loans on the basis of political influence.

The report noted that the two largest loans, Rf577 million (US$45 million) and Rf459 million (US$36 million), were issued to Sultans of the Seas and Fonadhoo Tuna Products respectively.

The two loans amounts to 13 per cent of the total loans given by the bank in 2008. Neither loan has been paid back to date.

While the latter company is owned by opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, Sultans of the Seas is reportedly a family business of the opposition leader.


One thought on “BML Chairman grilled by shareholders”

  1. Who owns Fonadhoo Tuna Products?? Does MMA advice on credit limits, or do they set the ceilings? What are the terms of repayment and why is non payment being tolerated? What is the inside story?


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