Iran's pivotal moment

Iran's pivotal moment

Tehran is at a crossroads…

Middle East: Special focus

Middle East: Special focus

Exploring the challenges and opportunities

Why Farnood was flushed out of Kabulbank

In the battle to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan, Kabulbank inserted itself as a key player, building the country’s largest deposit base and becoming the payment agent for many government enterprises. But a run on the bank in August led to the ousting of colourful poker-playing bank owner Sherkhan Farnood. What does this mean for the country’s banking sector? Eric Ellis reports.


The chips are down: poker-playing Sherkhan Farnood (right) has taken Kabulbank to the brink. It is now in the hands of the central bank

IN THESE CONNECTED days of social networking, the Linked-ins, Facebooks and Zoominfos are as good places as any for a preliminary check on the credentials of a far-flung banker or business partner.

Except, it seems, if that person is Sherkhan Farnood, the erstwhile chairman/owner/founder of Kabulbank, the troubled Afghan bank that is now in the intensive care of the country’s central bank after a crippling run on it in August.

To check out Farnood, and perhaps explain how the wayward Kabulbank came close to derailing the world’s $50 billion post-9/11 nation-building adventure in Afghanistan, a revealing place to look would be the websites of the world’s poker-playing community, where his exploits are legion.

Here’s what the colourful Farnood...


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Final days of Ricardo Salgado and Banco Espírito Santo

Euromoney Pulse Survey: Renminbi’s internationalization continues apace
When BES collapsed earlier this year, markets briefly feared a return of the crisis to Portugal and to Europe. Even after the bank's bailout, investigators still pore over bank documents, transfers and deals, trying to make sense of Salgado’s last days battling to keep his empire afloat. The backstory is of an extraordinary decades-long rivalry between the country's two pre-eminent business families.