Partex Group chairman MA Hashem dies from COVID-19

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Dhaka, Dec 24: MA Hashem, the founding chairman of Partex Group, has died from COVID-19 in hospital care.

He passed away at the Evercare Hospital in Dhaka after Wednesday midnight, his son Showkat Aziz Russell said.

The 78-year-old was admitted to the Evercare Hospital in Dhaka on Dec 11 after testing positive for coronavirus. Doctors put him on life support on Dec 16 after his health deteriorated.

Russell said Hashem would be buried at the Banani Graveyard.

Russell also hinted that they do not prefer large gatherings for funeral prayers considering the coronavirus outbreak. “ We are not inviting someone specially,” he said.

The businessman was elected MP with the BNP’s ticket in Noakhali’s Begumganj constituency in the 2001 elections.

He was arrested on corruption along with many other businessmen and politicians during the 2007-08 military-controlled caretaker government. Later, he announced the severance of political ties with the party.

Having ventured into tobacco trade half a century ago, Hashem expanded his business from real estate to export-import, particle board, steel, plastics, consumer products, bank and insurance in five decades.

Hashem, chairman of the North South University Trust, had also worked as a director of City Bank Limited and United Commercial Bank. He founded the Janata Insurance Company.

Partex Group is one of the leading conglomerates of Bangladesh, but Hashem brought changes to his business empire in recent years by carving Amber Group out of Partex Group and Partex Star Group.

His sons now control the three groups boasting more than 60 companies. His wife Sultana Hashem and daughters-in-law also sit on the boards of the companies.

His eldest son Al Kaiser Tito is a vice-chairman of Partex Star Group and chairman of City Bank. Hashem’s second son Aziz Al Mahmood is managing director of Partex Star Group and chairman of IDLC Finance.

Hashem’s sons Aziz Al Masud and Ashfaq Aziz Rubel look after several Partex Group companies while their other brother, Russell, is in charge of Amber Group. Russell is also a director of Bangladesh Cricket Board.