Economy, Business And Markets

Fitch Visits Tehran as Foreign Banks Indicate Interest

Fitch Visits Tehran as Foreign Banks Indicate InterestFitch Visits Tehran as Foreign Banks Indicate Interest

Ratings agency Fitch has visited Iran as more foreign banks show interest in working in the country six months after sanctions were lifted, according to a senior central bank official.

Fitch made a trip to Tehran earlier this month to make an initial assessment of the economy, Akbar Komijani, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iran, said in an interview with Bloomberg on the sidelines of the International Financial Congress in St. Petersburg. He did not elaborate on the meetings.

Fitch “started to review the developments in the financial sector and the banking sector, and in general the macroeconomic conditions,” he said. “They are starting their regular activity.”

A Fitch spokesman in London referred Bloomberg to a March statement confirming the company was in discussions with Iran but declining to say if, or when, it was likely to issue a rating.

European and Asian banks, including major lenders, are returning to the Islamic Republic, Komijani said in the interview. “Some of the medium-sized and small banks have accelerated their operations.”

With a year left until the end of his first term, President Hassan Rouhani is pushing an economic reform agenda which seeks up to $50 billion in foreign investment a year in key sectors, namely energy, transport and heavy-industries.

 “We have been pursuing accommodative monetary and fiscal policies, while we’re also managing and directing the exchange rate. We’re preparing the grounds to experience some higher GDP growth,” Komijani said.