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 said about himself on the pokerpages.com site: "I belong to the most poor family of Afghanistan. I born in 1961 in Jamanchi village of Khanabad district of Kunduz province in Afghanistan. Due to my struggle and hard working, I become able to found a millions dollar and become chief director of Kabulbank."