Economy, Business And Markets

Danish, Lebanese Banks Seek Ties With Iran

Danish, Lebanese Banks Seek Ties With Iran Danish, Lebanese Banks Seek Ties With Iran

The scramble of foreign banks to gain a spot in the post-sanctions Iranian market is picking up steam. Just after it was reported that Indian public-sector banks are whetting their appetite to take advantage of the trade increase between the two countries, Bank Maskan officials held a meeting with executives of the largest Danish bank, Danske Bank.

As IRNA reported late on Monday, Abolqasem Rahimi, a board member of Bank Maskan or Housing Bank, said during the meeting the bank is shifting its strategies toward a development-orientated banking.

Torgny Krook and Karsten Stroyberg, representatives of Danske Bank, noted that Iran has a great capacity for foreign investment and expressed their bank’s desire to expand cooperation with Bank Maskan in areas such as financial holding companies and construction holdings as well as development and investment areas.

The Danish bank’s envoys hoped that the two banks would launch joint businesses in different sectors, including mortgage funds and insurance and create the opportunity for Bank Maskan to benefit from Danske Bank’s experience in these areas.

Danske Bank, founded in 1871 and headquartered in Copenhagen, is the largest bank in Denmark and a major retail bank in the northern European region with over five million retail customers. It was number 454 on the Fortune Global 500 list for 2011.

 Lebanese Interest

Elsewhere, Byblos Bank Chairman Francois Bassil said Lebanese banks are willing to operate in Iran once the sanctions are fully lifted, adding that Iran has enormous potential, according to The Daily Star.

Speaking to the Central News Agency, Bassil said there had been close cooperation with a number of Iranian banks before the international sanctions were enforced on the country. However, Bassil stressed that Lebanese banks would make their moves after the United Nations Security Council completely lifted the sanctions against Iran.

The UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the nuclear deal struck on July 14 between Iran, the United States and five other world powers on Monday. Under the terms of the deal, the toughest sanctions put in place against Iran by the world body would be dismantled in exchange for restrictions on some of the country’s nuclear activities.

But some other Lebanese bankers told The Daily Star that they preferred to move cautiously into Iran, although they acknowledged that Iran has enormous potential and an untapped market. Bassil said that thanks to the Lebanese banks’ long experience, which they have accumulated over the past years, these lenders can help develop the Iranian banking sector.