Qatari Royal Dumps Syrian Stocks Pre-Ramadan 2011
Published Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Emails from the “Syria Files” released by WikiLeaks and obtained by Al-Akhbar show that a Qatari royal and founder of the Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah al-Thani, began to rapidly sell off Syrian International Islamic Bank (SIIB) shares in the final weeks of July 2011.
Four months into the Syrian uprising and a few weeks before the start of Ramadan, when the violence by the Syrian military began to escalate, email exchanges between Karam Dabbagh, an equity broker for Cham Capital, QIIB's First Manager Mohammed Ghiyath Sheikhah and Sofian Haikal, the CEO of Cham Capital, clearly show a request for the dump and the transactions taking place. At least 100 thousand shares of Sheikh al-Thani were sold in one go and the profits placed in the Qatari royal's account at SIIB. (doc-id 1791179)
Two emails in particular, sent on July 20 and July 24 with attached PDF documents, reveal Sheikh al-Thani's account details. They show that 25,000 SIIB shares were sold on July 18, followed by another 21,145 SIIB shares on July 20, and finally 103,850 shares dumped on July 21. The revenue from the sold shares was deposited in his account at SIIB. (doc-id 878210, doc-id 931161)
Recently, on 31 May 2012, QIIB announced that it was resigning its seat on SIIB’s board of directors and withdrawing its representatives from the board, following a decision by the US treasury department to impose sanctions against the bank.
Cham Capital Holdings, the largest holding company in Syria, was added to an EU sanctions list of companies and individuals in September 2011 under the pretext that it was “controlled by Rami Makhlouf...[and] benefit[ed] from and support[ed] the regime.”
Indeed, in one email correspondence between Haikal and a potential client, the CEO explained that Cham Capital was owned by Ramak Group, whose CEO and Chairman was Rami Makhlouf; Al Ramz Security, a UAE-based limited liability company; as well as Murtada al-Dandashi, partner and managing director of Al Ramz Security. (doc-id 981633)