Pakistani Finance Minister Tarin resigns

Respected Pakistani Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Tuesday he was stepping down.

Pakistani Finance Minister Tarin resigns

Respected Pakistani Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Tuesday he was stepping down.

Tarin, a veteran banker, said he had resigned to focus on private business interests.

There had been speculation for weeks he was about to step down. His departure is not expected to destabilise the government, but international donors will be keen to see a respected minister appointed in his place.

"Pressure was on me not to quit but I told them that I want to go," Tarin told Dunya Television. "It is our duty, we should not mix up our official duties and personal business."

An official in the office of Prime Minister Yosuf Raza Gilani said Tarin's resignation had been accepted.

Government officials had earlier said Tarin was stepping down to focus on his banking interests.

In March 2008, a consortium comprising the International Finance Corporation, Bank Muscat, Nomura and Sinthos Capital, led by Tarin and another Pakistani banker, Sadeq Saeed, bought an 86.55 percent stake in Silk Bank for about $213 million. "He will be leaving soon, maybe as early as this week," said a government official, who declined to be identified. "He said he needs to focus on his business and that he can't do both things at the same time."

The News newspaper said new investors in Tarin's bank wanted him to step down and concentrate on the bank.

"Tarin knows and understands the market well and there's a bit of uncertainty about who will replace him," said Sajid Bhanji, a dealer at brokers Arif Habib Ltd.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index ended 1.30 percent, or 129.50 points, lower at 9,823.57.

Candidates

Dealers said Tarin, being a former KSE chairman, had a good grasp of the market and understood investor concerns.

Another government official said four candidates were in the running to replace Tarin.

One was former central bank governor Ishrat Husain, although another official said he had declined the offer.

Another candidate was Hafiz Pasha, an economist on a government panel, and a third was Nasim Beg, the chief executive of Arif Habib Investment Ltd.

Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Shahabuddin was also in the running for the job, the first official said.

Tarin was appointed the prime minister's top adviser on economic affairs in October 2008 and was later sworn in as finance minister.


Reuters

Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2010, 13:42
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