Expected New Governor of State Bank of Pakistan

The much promised race for the coveted post of Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan has failed to materialise. By all indications so far, it is going to be a one-man run and the acting Governor Yaseen Anwar appears poised to become head of the central bank.

Most banking and financial market analysts believe that he has beaten whatever competition he had initially and emerged as the most viable replacement for Syed Salim Raza who resigned as governor of the bank on June 2, citing “personal” reasons. “Mr Anwar has now emerged as the strongest – and possibly the only – candidate for the top job in the bank,” a senior Lahore-based banker told Dawn last week. The financial markets have been speculating different names – including but not limiting to former SBP Governor Dr Shamshad Akhtar and former special finance secretary Dr Ashfaque Hasan Khan – for the governorship of the bank ever since Syed Raza quit.

Some finance ministry officials say that Dr Akhtar had already turned down the government’s offer while Dr Khan was never approached for the job. Others, whose names had popped up in the market for the job, either did not meet the criteria for the governorship or were not considered competent enough by the authorities.

The banker pointed out that the acting governor had accompanied President Asif Ali Zardari on his recent China visit, which indicated the presidential preference for him for the post. But not everyone agrees with him.


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