BCCI group gives ultimatum

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A GROUP of prominent creditors to Bank of Credit and Commerce International, representing claims of more than dollars 2bn, issued an ultimatum in Cairo yesterday to the bank's majority shareholders, Abu Dhabi, demanding half their money back by 10 February or they will sue, writes John Willcock.

A spokesman for the State of Abu Dhabi, which owns 77 per cent of the disgraced bank, said: 'No comment.' The emirate is in talks with BCCI's liquidators, Touche Ross, over paying for a new compensation plan for the bank's quarter of a million creditors worldwide.

The original dollars 1.7bn compensation plan funded by Abu Dhabi was overturned in Luxembourg last year by the same group of creditors. They include Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, a Saudi-connected bank which has lost dollars 700m in BCCI, and Bank of Egypt, which has claims of dollars 400m.

The group's spokesman is Adil Elias, a Sudan-born businessman now based in Florida. He said yesterday: 'This is our last warning to the majority shareholders. They must settle with us or face legal action. They have a full legal responsibility to all of us. Now we have the big guns (the banks) with us, our legal advisers are ready for action.'