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Official: Azizi Bank not going to collapse

Official: Azizi Bank not going to collapse

Jul 16, 2011 - 17:36

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The acting chief of the Afghanistaninfo-icon Central Bank on Sunday rejected as baseless the assertion that Azizi Bank was on the verge of collapse.

Some lawmakers on Monday claimed they had credible information that Azizi Bank was near collapse due to mismanagement.

The bank has operated in Afghanistan for the past five years.

Muhibullah Sapi, acting Central Bank president and first deputy executive, who was summoned to Parliament, told the lower house that Azizi Bank would not collapse.

"Using the word collapse is something unjust. The bank is not going to collapse; there is no such thing going to happen," Sapi insisted.

He said the MPs should have provided proof and that unfounded accusations could hurt the bank's image.

"When something wrong happens in a bank, people rush to take out their deposits. Such statements can alarm the bank's customers," he said.

He said that Aziz Bank had $588 million in investments and $310 million in cash, and had loaned out $9 million.

A few days ago, another Central Bank official, Mir Firdon Muhtashmi, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the bank had $500 million invested and had loaned out $200 million.

Sapi said the debtors included 1400 people who had taken out loans to build houses.

He admitted that getting money back from powerful individuals was a tough job.

Some MPs claimed Azizi Bank had sent $500 million abroad and owned 150 fuel stations.

But the acting head of the Afghanistan Central Bank said the fuel stations had nothing to do with Azizi Bank. The stations belonged to the Azizi Group and the group and the bank were two separate institutions, he said.


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