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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 September 2018

Second bounced cheque case against Abraaj founder adjourned

The new case adjourned on Tuesday is the latest blow in a six-month saga involving Abraaj

Proceedings against Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj Group, have been dropped. Bloomberg
Proceedings against Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj Group, have been dropped. Bloomberg

A Sharjah court adjourned a hearing on a second criminal case over a bounced cheque brought against Arif Naqvi, the founder of Dubai-based Abraaj Group.

The value of the bounced cheque is Dh798 million, The National reported last month, and the case on Tuesday was adjourned until August 26 to issue judgment.

Mr Naqvi did not attend Tuesday's hearing, according to lawyers from Tamimi and Co, who represent Hamid Jafar. One of the founding shareholders in Abraaj, Mr Jafar brought the case against Mr Naqvi after a Sharjah court last month dismissed a previous bounced cheque case he had filed against him.

A lawyer for Arif Naqvi was not immediately available to comment.

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The new case adjourned on Tuesday is the latest blow in the six-month saga involving Abraaj, which is accused of mismanaging investors’ money in a $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) healthcare fund. Abraaj has denied the allegations.

Once the biggest private equity firm in the Middle East and North Africa region with about $14bn in assets under management, Abraaj is undergoing a court-supervised restructure in the Cayman Islands as it seeks a resolution with creditors.

In June Abraaj agreed to sell a chunk of its businesses including its investment management unit to Colony Capital in the US. Though the sale is yet to complete.

Separately, The National reported on Sunday that Mr Naqvi resigned from the board of Air Arabia.

The low-cost airline, which announced the resignation in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market where its shares are traded, did not say when Mr Naqvi resigned or the reason behind his move. Air Arabia said it will nominate a replacement in the coming weeks.

Abraaj, which has filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands, owns an undisclosed stake in Air Arabia, according to the private equity company’s website. At the height of the Middle East's aviation boom in 2007 and high oil prices, Abraaj had a 17 per cent stake in Air Arabia.

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