The government is reportedly moving closer to bailing out Kabul Bank, the country’s largest banking institution. The Wall Street Journal says the Afghan government has set aside millions of dollars from its foreign exchange service to be diverted to the bank in a bid to keep it afloat. The move came as Kabul Bank depositors continued to pull out their money, with some branches of the bank even being mobbed. WSJ notes that information on how much the government has set aside for the bank is conflicting, with a central bank official saying the bailout is likely within the USD200 million range while the finance ministry puts the amount at “closer to double that.”
News of Kabul Bank’s problems became public last week after world leaked that the central bank dismissed two of the lender’s biggest shareholders amid allegations that they secured “sometimes-clandestine loans” for themselves and several Afghan government ministers, the WSJ says.