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Sierra Leone News: 2 Directors resign from FiBank Board but …Who owns FiBank (SL)???

fibankTwo Directors of the Board of FiBank have resigned. The two (names withheld) have declined to make known their actual reasons for resigning from the Board but sources say it might not be unconnected with the seeming unclear status of ownership of the FiB group.
According to background checks done by Awoko, FiB is a group of companies registered in The Gambia, which owns FiBank Gambia, FiBank Guinea, FiBank DR Congo, FiBank Sierra Leone and until recently FiBank Liberia.
The FiB group of companies is itself owned by SLOK Holdings, which is owned by Nigerian businessman Chief Urji Uzor Kalu who according to Forbes list of top richest Nigerians in 2014 had a net worth of $1billion. He owns the Daily Sun and New Telegraph Newspapers in Nigeria, with interests in shipping, banking, oil trading and manufacturing.
However in January after a series of issues an apparent inability to recapitalise the Central Bank of Liberia took over FiBank Liberia, sacked the Managing Director and dismissed the Board. Subsequently the Ghana Growth Fund Company (GGFC) took over the Bank. This came in after the Central Bank of Liberia had just boosted FiBank Liberia with a $15 million Loan.
With FiBank Sierra Leone there are as yet no indications that the bank is in financial trouble. Infact a credible financial consultant has given them a clean bill of health. However reports say that early this year SLOK Holdings sold its 100% shares in the FiB group in Gambia to an American owned company “Lilium.” This effectively transferred ownership of all the FiBanks except the Liberian branch to Lilium.
Allegedly a counter sale was done or is about to be done between SLOK and other prospective buyers (who are deemed to be Politically Exposed Persons) for FiBank Sierra Leone.
For any sale to be done, the Bank of Sierra Leone has to approve. The Governor has not yet responded to awoko’s request for an explanation. However the Board Chairman of FiBank Sierra Leone has informed Awoko that both the Managing Director and her deputy are out of the country, but will respond to our request for an explanation when they return.
Meanwhile the question, who now owns FiBank Sierra Leone is still unanswered.
Monday December 19, 2016

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