Governor State Bank of Pakistan Yasin Anwar in a meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.—APP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Yasin Anwar was appointed governor of the State Bank for three years on Wednesday, within two weeks of his decision as the acting governor to relax policy discount rate by 150 basis points in a go.

“On a summary moved by the ministry of finance and on the advice of the prime minister, President Asif Ali Zardari today approved the appointment of Mr Anwar as SBP Governor,” presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

According to sources, the president approved the appointment of Mr Anwar as the 17th governor of the SBP after consulting the quarters concerned, including the finance ministry and a couple of prospective candidates for the constitutional post.

They said the president had also held meetings with former governor Shamshad Akhtar and a former National Bank chief but Mr Anwar’s personal rapport with him perhaps played the decisive role in his appointment.

Mr Anwar assumed the charge of acting governor on July 19 when Shahid H. Kardar resigned after just 10 months in the office over differences with the government.

A deputy governor of the SBP since 2007, Mr Anwar also served as acting governor before Mr Kardar’s appointment in September last year.

Under the law, the president is required to appoint a full-time governor within three months after the post falls vacant.

Mr Anwar has 33 years of international banking experience.

Before joining the SBP he had been associated with the Kraken Financial Group of London as executive vice president since 2003.

According to the SBP, he has worked closely with various financial institutions and brokerage firms in the country and has had corporate business relationships in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

Mr Anwar also served as a non-executive director on the board of the United National Bank of the United Kingdom. He was director, private banking, Riggs & Co, London, from 2001 to 2003 and vice president with Merrill Lynch & Co from 1992 to 2001. He worked for the Bank of America from 1976 to 1991 and was trained at J.P. Morgan Chase, New York, from 1973 to 1975.

AFP adds: Mr Anwar is the fourth governor of State Bank in the three-and-a-half years of the current government. Earlier this month he announced an unexpected 1.5 per cent cut in the interest rate to 12 per cent.

The business community hailed the decision and the stock market registered a boom, but economists were critical, warning it could exacerbate inflation as the rupee has shown weakness against the US dollar.

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