June 17 - Bankers in Kabul worry about impact of possible euro zone meltdown. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Kabul's Shahzada money market is a world away from Europe. But Eurozone worries and a meeting of rich nation leaders in Mexico is now hitting home. As polls open in Greece in an election that could decide whether the country remains in the euro zone, currency traders and bankers are trying to divine the single currency's future. As Western countries plan to pull out combat troops by the end of 2014 and wind down aid worth almost $16 billion a year, Afghans are worried. Khalil Sediq, is the chief executive of AIB bank: (SOUNDBITE) (English) KHALIL SEDIQ, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AIB BANK, SAYING: "For our bank, we are worried because we are 85 percent liquid. So it means that we have to place our liquidity overseas in foreign banks. Having said that, and considering that this crisis every month or every week, a major bank is downgraded, now we don't know where is a safe place, how to place your liquidity somewhere to not be damaged because of the crisis." Sediq, a former governor of Afghanistan's Central Bank, say the worsening economic outlook in Europe, is cause for concern. He is hoping the G20 meeting in Mexico will come up with a solution. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KHALIL SEDIQ, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AIB BANK, SAYING: "As soon as they do it, it will be much better for the system, and it will bring more trust and assurances to the people. And we are expecting that it G20 will come out with good policies and practical ways to solve the current crisis in Europe." While once isolated from events shaking markets elsewhere, Afghanistan, one of the poorest nations in the world, is finding that the global economy is not so far away. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters