Aug 16, 2021 - Economy

Taliban won't have access to central bank reserves held in U.S.: official

Da Afghanistan Bank

The Da Afghanistan Bank on Aug. 6, 2013. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Taliban's declaration that it had taken control of Afghanistan on Monday put central bank watchers around the world on alert.

Driving the news: The nation's central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, held $9.4 billion in international reserves as of April, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Why it matters: International observers are concerned about what the Taliban would do with the funds if it got its hands on the central bank's assets.

Yes, but: "The vast majority of the Afghan Central Bank assets are not currently held in Afghanistan," a person familiar with the matter tells Axios.

  • "Any Central Bank assets the Afghan government have in the United States will not be made available to the Taliban," an administration official tells Axios.

Central banks usually hold reserves in gold or a widely held currency like the U.S. dollar. These reserves are used for transactions among central banks.

Catch up quick: Taliban leaders declared victory in Afghanistan on Monday, which follows the Biden administration's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country.

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