NRB to roll back curb, hand over mgt to BoK

KATHMANDU: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) will handover the management of Bank of Kathmandu (BoK) back to the bank’s new Board of Directors (BoD) tomorrow after BoK’s special AGM today formed the new board.

“The present management committee appointed by NRB for using the authority of BoD — led by Laxmi Prapanna Niroula as co-ordinator and Ramesh Kumar Pokharel, Prem Prasad Pandey, Murari Basnet as members — will hand over the management to the new BoK board tomorrow,” said an NRB source. “NRB will recall its team,” the source said. BoK today elected four directors from public shareholders — Govinda Regmi, Bishnu Banjade, Narendra Basnyat and Dr Hem Subedi — and unnanimously selected three directors Ramesh Nath Dhungel, Bijaya Krishna Shrestha and Satya Narayan Manandhar from the promoters.

Five contestants from the public — along with former director Balaram Neupane — had filed their candidacy for the four positions as a majority of BoK’s shares is with the public. The promoters hold 42 per cent.

On May 19, NRB had taken over the bank’s management suspending its board and sent a four-member team led by NRB executive director Niroula. This was after the BoK board’s controversial decision to ‘call back’ Radhesh Pant as managing director.

The crisis precipitated after the 313th board meeting of BoK on March 22, which decided to recall Pant from the post of MD. Though the decision was taken by a majority of the board members, Pant was not given a chance to furnish his explanation. Four directors voted against him while two — Sitaram Thapaliya and Sudarshan Poudel — supported him.

The NRB action was a strong signal that the regulatory authority of the monetary market was keeping a hawk’s eye on financial institutions. It is empowered to take over the management of any financial institution under NRB Act 2063 (Section 54) after giving it a seven-day chance to furnish an explanation.

However, NRB revoked its earlier decision to suspend the directors on June 25 and allowed them to contest in the special AGM after the suspended board agreed to work together for the good of the bank, investors and promoters.

Suspended board members, who had moved the Supreme Court against NRB also withdrew the case.

NRB had published a Due Deligence Audit report on June 27 and called BoK’s special AGM for today.