July 5, 2018 / 8:06 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-UAE court adjourns bounced cheque case of Abraaj founder

(Adds quote from Naqvi’s lawyer)

By Tom Arnold and Aziz El Yaakoubi

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates - July 5 (Reuters) - A Sharjah court has adjourned until July 11 a case involving the founder of private equity firm Abraaj, Arif Naqvi, and another executive for issuing a cheque without sufficient funds, a lawyer involved in the case said on Thursday.

The court case in Sharjah, one of the United Arab Emirates, relates to a cheque for 177.1 million dirhams ($48 million), signed by Naqvi and a fellow executive, and written to Hamid Jafar, another founding shareholder in Dubai-based Abraaj, according to a prosecution document.

Khalid al-Bannay, from Al Tamimi & Co, the law firm representing Jafar, said the court has adjourned the case until July 11.

Naqvi’s lawyer told Reuters that the adjournment was an opportunity for both sides to reach an understanding.

“The adjournment has given an opportunity to reach a deal,” Habib al-Mulla, the lawyer representing Naqvi, said.

“Before July 11 there could be a settlement agreed.”

Jafar’s lawyer al-Bannay said: “Until now there is no agreement and to have one, we need at least an initiative from the defendants.”

The court case in Sharjah is another challenge for the founder of Abraaj, which is battling allegations that it misused investor money in a healthcare fund. The firm has denied these allegations.

Naqvi is the single biggest shareholder of Abraaj Holdings which owns the investment management business, partly being sold to U.S. buyout firm Colony Capital.

Abraaj, the Middle East and North Africa’s biggest private equity firm, has filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands. (Reporting by Tom Arnold and Aziz El Yaakoubi; Writing by Saeed Azhar; editing by Ghaida Ghantous, Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)

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