Economy, Business And Markets

Bank Sepah Has Stake in Production Units

Bank Sepah Has Stake in Production UnitsBank Sepah Has Stake in Production Units

The chairman of the oldest Iranian bank stressed that his bank’s business activities are outside the scope of asset speculation, reported MNA.

Kamel Taqavi-Nejad emphasized that what Bank Sepah “is doing is definitely not beyond banking activities,” adding that the bank under his management is the “stockholder of a handful of companies, which are mainly active in manufacturing sector.”

Based on Taqavi-Nejad’s claims, the companies affiliated with Bank Sepah, including currency exchange firms, brokerage firms, investment banks, and investment companies contribute to market and monetary chain and their existence is necessary for banks.

He added that during the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21), Bank Sepah announced 1.45 trillion rials worth of its excess assets to be auctioned and it is willing to sell more assets when the equity market is in a good situation.

President Hassan Rouhani’s government issued a decree in August urging that banks’ investments in the non-banking sector cannot exceed more than 40% of their total capital. The administration also gave the banks three years to sell the buildings, land and stocks belonging to their affiliated companies to meet the new requirement.

Officials say the move is designed to push the banks to lend to the industries, which have been hit by a combination of mismanagement by the former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the tightening of international sanctions during the past few years over Tehran’s nuclear energy program. The Rouhani administration is pressuring banks to stop using people’s deposits to buy land, gold mines, constructing buildings, shopping malls and steel factories.

Recently, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) imposed a deadline of September 15 for the banks to hand over a list of the properties and companies they directly or indirectly own.

 But official figures suggest their investments in their own companies are around 245 trillion rials ($7.5 billion based on street exchange rates), while their capital stands at about 460 trillion rials.