Three Iranian banks to open branches in Germany

Business Materials 29 April 2018 13:46 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 29

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Three Iranian banks plan to open branches in Germany to facilitate trade ties with foreign parties, in particular with the European partners, Ali Majedi, the Islamic Republic’s Ambassador to Germany said.

Iran’s Middle East Bank, Sina and Saman banks intend to open their branches in the European country, Majedi told the official IRNA news agency April 29.

According to the plan, the Middle East and Saman Bank branches will be opened in Munich and Frankfurt, respectively but the Sina Bank has not yet decided about the city, he added.

Following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA aka nuclear deal) Bank Melli Iran started its activity in Hamburg, Majedi said, adding that the Iranian Sepah Bank is also rendering services in foreign trade and currency exchange operations in Frankfurt.

Majedi further said that the Hamburg-based Iranian-European Bank (Europaisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG), affiliated with Iran’s Bank of Industry and Mine, is also active in this regard as a significant part of the Iranian currency exchange transactions has been carried out by Bank Melli Iran and the Iranian-European Bank.

Iranian-European Bank has a German license, but it is owned by the Iranian state. Iran’s Bank of Industry and Mine is the biggest shareholder with Bank Mellat and Tejarat Bank also owning stakes. Iranian merchants had founded the bank in the early 1970s to support trade between Europe and Iran. The bank’s activities had been frozen for five years, as the lender was hit with nuclear-related sanctions but resumed activities after the lifting of sanctions in 2016.

According to Majedi, $3.4 billion accounted for Iran-Germany trade turnover in 2017.

According to the Iranian customs administration statistics, Germany was fifth biggest exporter of goods to Iran last fiscal year, ended March 20, exporting over $3 billion worth of commodities to the Islamic Republic.

Before intensifying international sanctions against the Islamic Republic in 2012, Germany was among Iran’s major partners.

Although the nuclear related sanctions were officially removed in January 2016, most of the leading banks appear reluctant to work with Iran being worried about running afoul of the US regulations.