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Iranian Private Banks Secure Qatar Foothold

Iran’s exports to Qatar increased by 117% during the eight motnhs to Oct. 22Iran’s exports to Qatar increased by 117% during the eight motnhs to Oct. 22

A number of major Iranian private lenders have recently established correspondent relations with Qatar National Bank, the largest bank in the country.

These banks opened accounts with QNB and are prepared to offer financial services to Iranian and Qatari businesses," said Kourosh Parvizian, the CEO of Parsian Bank, in a meeting with Sheikh Abdullah Saoud Al-Thani, the governor of the Central Bank of Qatar, on Wednesday in Doha, which was attended by the representatives of Iran's Saman Bank and Bank Pasargad.

Saoud Al-Thani pointed to the bright prospects of cooperation between the banks of the two countries and said Qatari lenders will make efforts to remove the obstacles quickly, Parsian Bank’s website reported on Saturday.

The Iranian delegation also held a meeting with officials from QNB, Al Rayan Bank and Al Khaliji Bank on Wednesday. They discussed using local currencies in bilateral trade and taking speedy measures to ease trade between the two countries.

At present, Bank Saderat Iran is the only Iranian lender with branches in Doha. BSI is reportedly working to expand operations of its branch in Doha to help remove transactional problems facing Iranian exporters in Qatar.

Bank Melli Iran is also holding talks with one of the largest banks in Qatar for establishing correspondent ties.

Iran exported $139 million worth of non-oil goods to Qatar during the seven months to Oct. 22, registering a remarkable 117.5% increase compared with the same period of last year.

The recent growth suggests that Iranian exporters and policymakers have managed to address some of the problems hindering exports to Qatar after a number of Arab states—led by Saudi Arabia—severed diplomatic relations with Doha early June and imposed a blockade on the Persian Gulf country, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups. The Qatari government has denied the accusation, blasting the blockade as unjustified and a violation of international law.

During his visit to Tehran In November, Qatari Minister of Economy Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said his country is seeking to increase trade with Iran to $5 billion annually, during a meeting with Iranian Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari in Tehran.

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