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Bank Saderat Selling Subsidiaries
Economy, Business And Markets

Bank Saderat Selling Subsidiaries

Bank Saderat Iran is starting to sell its non-banking subsidiaries in response to a call made by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, as it seeks to increase its working capital.

Banks have been running non-banking businesses to cover losses made on their other activities in recent years. But the government and the central bank have been pushing lenders to sell these businesses to raise their liquid assets and boost lending.

Now, Saderat is selling a 50% stake in Pars Kani Mineral Industries Research and Development Company.

The bid for 2,518,577 shares started on Saturday and will continue till June 28. The base price per share is set at 54,797 rials ($1.6 at market exchange rate). To buy the stake, 20% of the money should be paid upfront and the rest in installments, Bourse Press news website reported.

The same block was offered and sold to a group of the company’s shareholders last February, but the sale was not finalized due to an issue with the buyers’ check. Now, the same buyers are making a bid. Meaning, this is the second time Pars Kani’s chief executive represents 60 of the company’s stakeholders to buy the 50% controlling stake from Saderat.

Some have expressed concerns that the sale could affect the Tehran-based lender’s profits.

“The fears are unfounded,” an official told the website. “It will not affect the profitability of the bank, as Pars Kani’s equity (over $3 million) is a negligible part of the bank’s $1.7 billion capital,” the official who was not identified added.

Bank Saderat’s sale of the shares is in line with the central bank’s directive banning banks from owning business firms. The lender is also preparing to auction a chromium production plant in the near future.

Saderat is one of the largest banks in the Middle East and has 28 international branches providing services in 12 countries. The lender is also the largest listed bank in Tehran Stock Exchange in terms of nominal capital. It handles 367,000 clients online with an average of 10 million transactions a month.

The bank also has 440,500 points of sale, generating over 32 million transactions every month.

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