Economy, Business And Markets

Iranian Lenders Eying Business in Iraq

Iranian Lenders Eying Business in IraqIranian Lenders Eying Business in Iraq

In a move to boost bilateral ties between Iran and Iraq, a delegation headed by the CEOs of two Iranian banks traveled to Iraq on Tuesday.

CEO of Keshavarzi Bank Morteza Shahidzadeh was joined by    Hassan Motamedi, CEO of Eghtesad Novin Bank, on a high-level mission to the neighboring country.

According to a statement released on Keshavarzi Bank’s website, the bank’s CEO is in Iraq to invest in Islamic Cooperation Bank for Investment.

“Shahidzadeh has traveled to Iraq for executing policies for promoting economic growth in a post-sanctions era by exploring banking cooperation opportunities and eying investment potential in a local cooperative Islamic bank,” the statement read.

According to the bank’s public relations department, the trip by Shahidzadeh marks a “revival” of banking ties between the two neighboring states.

Keshavarzi Bank had sought to open branches in Iraq in 2005 and succeeded in obtaining the Central Bank of Iran’s approval for the initiative. The bank’s delegation will follow up on that decision during their current visit, the bank’s website reported.

Iraqi Islamic Cooperation Bank for Investment has played a significant role in facilitating bilateral trade.  The two nations trade $1.5 billion worth of goods per annum. The Baghdad-based lender has 11 branches throughout Iraq, including branches in the cities of Karbala, Najaf, Sulaymaniyah, Basra and Erbil. The bank’s only branch in Iran–named Milad—operates in the capital Tehran.

Islamic Cooperation Bank currently offers a variety of services for Iranian companies doing business in Iraq, including issuing guarantees on behalf of Iranian banks and providing technical advice about exporting and securing contracts in Iraq.

The cooperation bank aims to diversify its services to include bank wires and foreign exchange at competitive rates for Iranian companies by establishing a secure and competitive brokerage system.