National Bank of Pakistan’s Ashgabat Branch Begins Liquidation

An official announcement of the start of the liquidation procedure has appeared on the website of the Ashgabat branch of the National Bank of Pakistan. The voluntary liquidation of the branch is based on a decision of the board of directors of the main office in Pakistan, the announcement says. The decision was taken “in pursuance of international business strategy for NBP’s international operations.”

In early November learnt of the plan to liquidate the branch from Turkmen government sources involved in the economy. The head of the branch, Sarfraz Ahmad, did not reply to our written questions, and a few days later the bank told by phone that there would be an official announcement.

The branch’s financial position is stable, the bank says in its announcement, and it “has enough liquid funds to fully respond to its all obligations and to settle accounts with all its depositors/customers.”

The NBP branch opened in Ashgabat in 1997 in order to give an impetus to construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and to strengthen economic and trade links between Turkmenistan and Pakistan.

In November last year the source on the imminent liquidation of the bank said he believed the reason for the closure was the failure to deliver the TAPI gas pipeline.

“Evidently the Pakistani side has given up on the gas pipeline project,” the source said at the time.

The NBP was the only wholly foreign-owned bank to serve residents of Turkmenistan.