Karzai Names Head of Afghan Central Bank

Posted November 24th, 2011 at 12:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Afghan President Hamid Karzai has named the new head of his country's central bank, which is struggling to recover millions of dollars following a massive scandal.

The president's spokesman said Thursday that Noorullah Delawari has been nominated as central bank governor.

The nomination ends a five-month vacancy that hampered the government's efforts to deal with the crisis at Afghanistan's biggest private lender, Kabul Bank.

Kabul Bank lost more than $900 million in funds and nearly collapsed last year due to mismanagement, cronyism and questionable lending. Afghanistan's central bank stepped in and took over Kabul Bank, which was later split into two.

If confirmed by parliament, Delawari would replace Abdul Qadir Fitrat who fled to the United States in June. Fitrat said he feared for his life after trying to prosecute those who stole millions from Kabul Bank.

Delawari served as governor of the central bank from 2004 to 2007. He worked for more than twenty years at banks in the United States, including serving as vice president of Lloyds Bank of California.

The International Monetary Fund last week approved a nearly $134 million loan for Afghanistan, more than a year after the Kabul Bank crisis prompted the group to suspend its credit program to the country.