Business And Markets

New CEOs at State, Privatized Banks

New CEOs at State, Privatized Banks
New CEOs at State, Privatized Banks

New executives have taken charge at several state-owned and privatized banks, including the two largest banks Bank Melli Iran and Bank Sepah.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ehsan Khandouzi, who chairs the general meetings of state-owned banks, appointed Mohammad Reza Farzin, a former head of Karafarin Bank, as CEO of Bank Melli Iran, replacing Mohammad Reza Hosseinzadeh.
Farzin has served as head of the National Development Fund of Iran and is a former deputy minister of economy. Reducing Karafarin Bank's NPL ratio from 25% to 4.5% and increasing the bank's profitability are among his achievements in his last post.  
Khandouzi appointed Ayatollah Ebrahimi as head of Bank Sepah, the country' largest bank, replacing Mohammad Kazem Choghazardi.
Ebrahimi is a former CEO of Ansar Bank, one of the five military banks that were merged with the Bank Sepah last year.
Khandouzi has urged the new executives to enhance the banks’ capital adequacy ratio in accord with supervisory standards and requirements. The new CEOs are expected to double their banks' forex transactions by the end of the next Iranian fiscal year (March 2023), and curb banks' involvement in non-banking businesses by cutting investment in subsidiary companies and selling excess assets.
Farzin and Ebrahimi have been told to help lift the struggling production sector by boosting loans, raising the transparency of contracts and avoid the closure of production units that have been unable to meet their financial commitments to the lenders.
Earlier this month Ali Hosseini, the former head of Iran Energy Exchange, was appointed CEO of the Export Development Bank of Iran, a state-owned bank specializing in promoting non-oil exports. He replaced Ali Salehabadi who was named governor of the Central Bank of Iran last month.
Changes are also expected in other state banks, namely Bank Keshavarzi, Bank of Industry and Mine and Post Bank Iran.

Privatized Banks

Board members of three major privatized banks, namely Bank Mellat, Tejarat Bank and Bank Saderat Iran, also appointed new directors.
As per a press release, Hamid Tajik, a former managing director of Bank Saderat Iran, was appointed as the bank's CEO. He  served as a board member of Mellat Insurance Company, Omid Insurance Company, Asia Insurance Company and Mellat Financial Group.
Bank Mellat's board on Wednesday named Reza Dolatabadi, the former head of Tejarat Bank, the CEO of the bank. Dolatabadi replaces Mohammad Bigdeli who resigned earlier.
Hadi Akhalighi was appointed chief executive of Tejarat Bank  on Wednesday. Akhlaghi, an ex CEO of Bank Mellat, is an expert in electronic banking and has served on the board of Bank Sepah.
Replacing chief executives of government and privatized banks has been a policy of past administrations. There has been much concern over the efficacy of such changes. Bankers and experts have criticized governments for the extensive restructuring of financial institutions, saying that the problems in the banking sector is largely due to cumbersome and inefficient laws and regulations that have long lost their usefulness rather than mismanagement.


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