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BisB plans $143m rights issue

MANAMA: Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) is planning to raise up to $143 million in a rights issue at a 37 per cent discount, the first time a major Bahraini retail bank has sought fresh capital since the financial crisis.

BisB's shares, which rarely trade on Bahrain's stock exchange, closed at 159 fils on Monday.

The issue was priced at 100 fils and will be offered on the basis of up to three new shares for every four held.

"We plan to raise up to 75pc of our paid-up capital which is about BD72m ($191m)," chief executive Mohammed Ebrahim Mohammed said.

Analysts say Bahrain regulations oblige companies to offer new shares at the nominal price of the stock.

The bank, the fifth-largest retail bank in Bahrain, did not say what the money was for.

BisB posted a full-year net loss of BD19.4m for last year and a BD6.9m loss for the second quarter of this year.

The lender, in which the Kuwait government holds a controlling stake, has a market capitalisation of about $307m.

The bank earlier said the shares would be offered to existing shareholders only.



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