Bank Melli Iran rejects rumors on bankruptcy

Business Materials 29 January 2010 11:46 (UTC +04:00)

The financial manager of Bank Melli Iran (BMI) has refuted the rumors on declaring bankruptcy by the bank, saying BMI is the largest bank in Iran and across the Islamic world, considering its total assets of around $54 billion.

After a recent decision by Finance and Economic Affairs Ministry to ban the withdrawal of more than 150 million rials (roughly $15,000) per day, a rumor spread that two major Iranian banks (Melli and Mellat) were on the verge of declaring bankruptcy.

"The total assets of BMI by September 2009 have increased to $59 billion," Qasemi added, the ISNA news agency reported.

He noted that BMI has no debt to the Central Bank of Iran, adding that the bank has no delay in fulfilling its obligations at international level.

A report released in September, 2009 by Asian Banker showed that the world's top 100 Islamic banks increased their assets by 66% last year to more than $580 billion, compared to $350 billion in 2007, while rivals were trying to deal with the global financial downturn.

According to the survey, BMI was standing at the top of the world's top 100 Islamic banks list in terms of assets, while Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank came in second, Press TV reported.

"Iranian banks are still the predominant Islamic banking players, holding seven out of the top 10 ranks and 12 of the 100," the Asian Banker said in reporting its research.