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Mario Saradar quits Bank Audi directors’ board

  • File - A man walks past Bank Audi offices under construction in downtown Beirut, Monday, March 10, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Mario Saradar, one of Bank Audi’s shareholders, resigned from the bank’s board of directors to focus more on his family’s growing business in Lebanon.

According to the National Gazette, the Saradar family, which owned around 6 percent of Bank Audi, is no longer part of the financial institution.

The name of the establishment will now change to Audi Bank Group from Audi Saradar Group.

But it is still not clear if Saradar sold the shares or has just retained them under a different name.

Saradar is currently the chairman of Near East Commercial Bank after Saradar Group acquired 51 percent of the Swiss-owned bank’s shares.

Sources told The Daily Star that he would seek to expand the bank’s capital in order to strengthen his presence in the market.

Before assuming his new position, Saradar resigned from the Bank Audi board of directors, in accordance with financial law.

NECB was originally established in 1978 as part of the SNA insurance group. It was acquired by a Swiss group in 2010. Shareholder equity stood at $25 million at end-2012.

NECB’s assets totaled around $379 million at end-2012.

The bank reported a Capital Adequacy Ratio of 13 percent in 2011, more than the 12 percent required by Basel III.

It has 5 branches and 100 employees. It registered net profits of $1.4 million in 2012.

Saradar Group has also acquired a majority interest in CashUnited SAL, of which it now owns 75 percent shares.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 11, 2014, on page 5.
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