x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Damas gets new chairman

Ibrahim Belselah has been appointed as the new chairman of the board of directors at Damas International, the jewellery retailer that has been rocked by fines and corporate governance mandates from the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Ibrahim Belselah has been appointed as the new chairman of the board of directors at Damas International, the jewellery retailer that has been rocked by fines and corporate governance mandates from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). Mr Belselah, an adviser to the investment bank Rothschild and the former head of arbitration at the Dubai International Financial Centre, will lead the board that was elected this month.

"Mr Belselah has more than 25 years of experience in managing and advising various Middle Eastern and international corporations," Damas said. "His leadership as chairman will be of great value to the board of directors and to the company." A DFSA investigation found that the Abdullah brothers, Tawhid, Tawfique and Tamjid, had improperly used money and gold from the company to make unauthorised transactions. It fined them and specified new checks and controls to be instituted at Damas.

The three brothers, members of Damas's founding family, have resigned from their positions in the company and have committed to pay back the money owed to the company within 18 months. The DFSA banned them for between five and 10 years from any executive position at a DIFC company. Damas also announced the creation of several board committees, including groups focused on corporate governance, risk and auditing. George Rabahie, the head of legal and compliance at Damas, was appointed as the interim company secretary. Damas is also restructuring its debt and coming up with a new business plan as it struggles with a lack of cash.

Damas also announced yesterday that it had extended its standstill agreement with a majority of its banks by two months, Bloomberg reported. The agreement was due to expire on April 30 and the extension would give the company time to complete its restructuring plan, Damas said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai. business@thenational.ae