The Egyptian banking sector is speculating over the next destination of Hisham Ramez, the resigned governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), after his tenure ends on 26 November.
Some believe Ramez is returning to the Commercial International Bank-Egypt (CIB-Egypt) after he left his position there in early 2013 to take the CBE governor position. However, this expectation is not widely supported in the financial market. Ramez was appointed vice-chairman of CIB-Egypt in December 2011.
According to sources in the banking market, it is expected that Ramez will take over the post of Chairman of the Arab International Bank (AIB), succeeding Gamal Negm, the present head of the bank, who is also Deputy Governor of the CBE.
The sources explained that it is expected that Negm will leave the CBE on 26 November, having reached retirement age. Moreover, it has been decided that the CBE’s board will be completely restructured.
With Negm leaving the CBE, it is expected that he will also lose his current position in the AIB; consequently, Ramez would be among the top nominees to take over the position.
Ramez had told people close to him that he did not wish to remain in his position as CBE Governor, and that he would prefer to leave at this time and not to take over a governmental position again.
With his departure from the CBE, Ramez will also lose his position as Governor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Development Bank, and Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) for Egypt.
According to a high-level legal worker, there is nothing in the law or in banking customs that prevents Ramez from becoming head of the AIB.
The bank’s Board of Directors now includes Gamal Negm, Chairman since 11 April, 2012; Mohamed Ibrahim Abduljawad, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director since 28 December 2005; and Mohamed Kamal El-Din Barakat, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director since 26 October 2014.
The source explained that the post of chairman of the bank was taken over by major political and economic figures on numerous occasions, noting that as such the resigned CBE governor deserves it more than others.
Abdel El-Moneim El-Qaysooni, the former minister of economy, and the founder of AIB, commissioned by President Anwar El-Sadat, is one of the most prominent figures to take over the post of the bank’s chairman, as well as Ahmed Nazmi, a former CBE governor, and Mostafa Khalil and Atef Ebeid, former Egyptian prime ministers.
The AIB was established in 1974 following an international treaty ratified by Egypt, Libya, Oman, Qatar, and UAE. The bank operates from its main office in Cairo.
Contributing to the AIB’s capital, CBE, representing Egypt, has a share of about 38.76%, the Libyan Foreign Bank, representing Libya, has 38.67%, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority owns 12.503%, while Qatar Holding, representing Qatar, has 4.984%, and Oman owns 2.49%, while International Capital Trading has 2.503%.
The bank was established to carry out the all the banking, financial, and commercial works related to the economic development and foreign trade projects, especially for member states, and other Arab countries.
On 22 March 2012, an extraordinary general assembly was held by the bank decided to amend some of the articles of the Bank Establishment Treaty and its statutes, whereby the bank was allowed to conduct transactions in all currencies; on top of which is the Egyptian pound, instead of being limited to the dollar only.
The bank’s general assembly also ensured that the bank and its branches are not subject to the laws regulating general organisations or the organisations of public utility, public sector companies and joint stock companies in member states where the bank or its branches operate.
The AIB falls under the supervision of the CBE, according to the law of the Central Bank, the Law of Banking, and the monetary system.
Egypt hosts the main office, while its branches in the other member states are subject to the supervision of the central banks in their respective countries, in accordance with provisions of laws regulating the banks and credit facilities there.