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$47m loans of Kabul Bank recovered: Fitrat

$47m loans of Kabul Bank recovered: Fitrat

Apr 20, 2011 - 21:21

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Loans of about $47 million (2.153 billion afghanis) issued by Kabul Bank have been recovered and its property worth $110 million in Kabul and the United Arab Emirates identified last week, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The troubled bank paid $579 million in loans, according to an investigation, and a process of clearance has been set in motion, Da Afghanistaninfo-icon Bank chief, Abdul Qadir Fitrat, told reporters.

The safe part of the nation's biggest lender, taken over by the Department of Treasury at the Ministry of Finance, would be put up for sale to international institutions after three months, he said.

Initially, international banks will be offered to buy the secure portion. If they fail, the offer would be held out to strong national banks. And the third option envisages the involvement of big stakeholders in the bidding, according to Fitrat.

He revealed 19 cases of fraud and questionable lending had been referred to prosecutors for investigation and two big corruption cases sent to the High Office of Oversight, an anti-corruption commission set up by the government.

The central bank chief warned all loanees to return their debts in a month; otherwise they would be referred to the Attorney General's Office.

Fitrat rejected as illegal Senator Zalmay Zabuli's demand for his prosecution over printing of banknotes of one, two and five afghanis denominations. The notes were printed in 2003 when he was not the central bank chief, he said.

Including tax and interest for six years, the amount of the loans comes to $990 million, the governor said. Of that, $47 million has been repaid since September.

"A high-level commission has been set up and empowered to collect the loans. If somebody doesn't cooperate, we will seize their property."



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