Regulators blamed for chaos

AN AFGHAN government commission blamed regulators for financial mismanagement at the nation's largest private bank, saying they should have kept Kabul Bank from making massive questionable loans that forced the bank into receivership.

The bank has been in turmoil since last autumn, when it was discovered that shareholders - some of them relatives or backers of president Hamid Karzai - had lent themselves millions of dollars to invest in luxurious mansions in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and risky prestige projects such as an airline and shopping malls in Kabul.

About $467 million of outstanding loans were made without appropriate documentation or collateral, said Azizullah Lodin, head of Afghanistan's anti-corruption office and one of four commissioners investigating the Kabul Bank misconduct.