KABUL): The Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the central bank, on Tuesday re-launched the process of privatising the New Kabul Bank to improve the banking system and attract investors.
A senior official of the ministry told reporters they had been trying for a year to develop New Kabul Bank’s financial and commercial system. “We are hopeful national and international investors will take part in this new bidding.”
Muhammad Aqa Kohistani, director of treasury at the ministry, promised the bidding process would be transparent. The bids will be published in local and International newspapers.
Beginning today, calls for registration (CFR) would close at the end of the current month. The bids will be opened in the presence of media outlets.
On March 6, the ministry rejected the only bid offered by a local consortium to buy the bank and said it would submit new recommendations to the president.
Following an international marketing effort, five bidders had been approved through the Expression of Interest (EoI) stage. The bid had been received from an Afghan company known as MTZ.
According to Kohistani, the MTZ bid had been thrown out because the firm’s plan was not consistent with the current banking system.
Also in March, a special tribunal convicted 20 accused in the bank’s big-time loan scandal in 2010 and handed down prison sentences to former executives and ordered them to return hundreds of millions of dollars they had stolen.
Ex-chairman of Kabul Bank Sher Khan Farnoud and former chief executive officer Khalilullah Ferozi were found guilty of pinching $278 million and $530 million respectively.