Economy, Business And Markets

CBI Asks India to Reactivate Bank A/Cs

CBI Asks India to Reactivate Bank A/Cs  CBI Asks India to Reactivate Bank A/Cs

Freed of international sanctions, Iran has asked India to reactivate its accounts with Indian banks and allow Iranian banks to open offices in that country.

Keen to quickly normalize banking and commercial relations with the world, Tehran also wants India’s UCO Bank to open a representative office in Iran, official sources said. Tehran has already opened an account with IDBI Bank.

Iran’s Central Bank last month announced that the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) sanction on the country’s 12 banks was lifted and they are being linked to SWIFT.

Since March 2012, Iran’s banking system had been cut off from SWIFT in a bid to intensify the sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.

According to the Economic Times, Central Bank of Iran’s vice governor Gholamali Kamyab has conveyed to Indian authorities that Bank Pasargad and Parsian Bank were keen to open representative offices in India while Saman Bank was interested in opening a subsidiary, they said.

Tehran wants Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and ministry of finance to reactivate Iranian bank accounts with Indian banks. State Bank of India (SBI) has accounts of 11 Iranian banks including Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

 Influx of Companies  

Iran’s proposal to India come close on the heels of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, a Chinese multinational banking company, and Russia’s Tempbank planning to open branches in Tehran.

The US last month lifted sanctions against Iran, bringing an influx of world’s corporations keen to do business with the oil and gas rich nation.

Sources said Kamyab has conveyed that Iran would help UCO Bank to open a representative office for the help it had extended to Iran during the last three years of sanctions.

UCO Bank operated an account of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) that received rupee payment for oil sold to Indian refiners.

Last month, the US lifted sanctions on Iran after the UN atomic watchdog confirmed that Tehran had met its obligations under a landmark deal that lifts the sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

Since February 2013, Indian refiners like Essar Oil and MRPL have been paying 45% of their import bill in rupees to the UCO Bank account of the National Iranian Oil Company. The remaining has been accumulating, pending finalization of a payment mechanism.

To settle the pending dues of over $6 billion, Iran wants to reestablish banking relations with India and said that they be cleared in euros within six months.