Turkish Halkbank to offer services to Iran just by year end

Business Materials 4 November 2013 14:55 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.4/ Trend F.Karimov/

Turkish Halkbank has announced it will offer financial services regarding imports of medicine by Iran by the end of the current year, ISNA quoted head of the Iranian medicine importers, Nasser Riyahi as saying.

The Turkish bank had previously declared that services will continue by October 14.

"We are not so optimistic about reaching agreement with Halkbank on extending the services because the bank has stipulated that Iran should import medicine through Turkish companies," he added.

Currently, Iran conducts 90 per cent of transactions related to medicine imports through Halkbank.

Halkbank's stance toward Iran has largely reflected the attitude of the Turkish government, which owns 75 per cent of the bank, towards international sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

U.S. Treasury officials have visited Turkey several times subsequently to advise banks that doing business with proscribed Iranian entities runs the risk of being frozen out of the U.S. financial system.

Turkey meets 30 per cent of its oil needs of 200,000 barrels per day at the expense of Iranian oil. The Reserve Bank of India has banned payment for oil supplied from Iran via the system of the Asian Clearing Union since December 2010.

This means the Indian companies failed to pay for oil imported from Iran, through the local banks. Finally, India transferred money for oil to Iran via the Turkish Halkbank in August last year.

Halkbank, little known outside Turkey, has gained a reputation in the oil market over the past 18 months for handling transactions that other banks fear to touch in trade deals with Iran.