Economy, Business And Markets

Deals With Swiss Banks Hit $8b Post-Sanctions

 Reyl Bank is also among Swiss banks that have reportedly started working with Iran. Reyl Bank is also among Swiss banks that have reportedly started working with Iran.

Transactions between Iranian and Swiss banks have totaled $8 billion since the lifting of the sanctions nearly a year ago, said Mohammad Nahavandian, President Hassan Rouhani's chief of staff.

“We are trying to persuade foreign bankers to finance Iranian projects … They know investing in Iran’s economy is safe and profitable, but we need to hold serious talks to finalize the deals,” he said during an interview with IRIB late Monday.

Elaborating on his meetings with Swiss bankers last week, Nahavandian said, “The president of Switzerland suggested that I hold meetings with [the country's] bankers, to persuade them to start dealing with Iran.”

Nahavandian held a meeting with members of Swiss Bankers Association on Thursday and urged them to play a leading role in financing investment projects in Iran.

“I told them that Iranian banks are keen on opening branches in Switzerland. This would help ease collaborations between the two countries,” he said.

“The idea was welcomed by the bankers and officials of the country.”

Back in May, Bank Pasargad Iran announced plans to launch a branch or a subsidiary in Switzerland. The lender is also seeking a foothold in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey and China.

Many Iranian bank branches and subsidiaries in the European Union have managed to receive operation permits from local authorities in recent months.

Melli Bank London plc, Bank Melli Iran branches in Hamburg and Paris, Bank Sepah Plc in London and Bank Sepah branches in Rome and Frankfurt are among Iranian state-owned financial entities licensed to operate in European countries.

Bank Parsian, Middle East Bank and Sina Bank are also working to open branches in Germany.

Nahavandian said he had proposed forming a joint banking working group with Switzerland to speed up the normalization of banking ties.

Reyl Bank and BCP are also among Swiss banks that have reportedly started working with Iran.

Italy's Unicredit, Belgum's KBC, Sweden's SEB and Austria's Erste Bank are reportedly some of the other European banks that have restored relations with Iran after the easing of sanctions in January.

Nahavandian also said that the Central Bank of Iran is set to open accounts with the Swedish National Bank in the coming days, following his visit to the country.

Iran’s presidential chief of staff proposed that the CBI open an account with the Swedish National Bank in his recent meeting with the Nordic country’s finance minister.

"Swedish businesses are keen on expanding ties with Iran," he said, adding that Swedish National Export Credit Guarantee is also providing export guarantees for traders working with Iran.

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