EghtesadOnline: Bank Mellat has obtained the license to reopen its branch in Seoul, South Korea, the bank’s CEO announced.
“This was made possible following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the formal name of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers) with the assistance of the Central Bank of Iran and Foreign Ministry, and regular negotiations with South Korea,” Hadi Akhlaqi was also quoted as saying by IBENA.
Akhlaqi noted that Bank Mellat is the only active Iranian bank in South Korea allowed to open accounts in won (the South Korean currency) and engage in trade with Iran.
“Iranian banks can benefit from correspondent relations with the Seoul branch of Bank Mellat,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
Earlier, Iran used to obtain its oil export receipts through Woori Bank and other South Korean banks. However, a significant amount of it now will be processed directly through Bank Mellat.
Since the opening of its branch in the South Korean capital in June 2001, Mellat has supported bilateral trade and foreign exchange transactions, as well as the transfer of wages for Iranians working in South Korea, The Korea Times reported.
Its operations, however, were restricted in 2010 following the international economic and financial sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear energy program, with the bank carrying out limited won-based transactions.
Bank Mellat placed rebuilding of infrastructure to resume normal operations with Seoul on its agenda, since trade between Iran and South Korea is considerably high and South Korean investors are highly interested in the Iranian market.
Some of Bank Mellat’s subsidiaries and branches in other countries have restarted operations since the removal of sanctions, namely Persia International Bank Plc in London, which is jointly owned by Bank Mellat and Tejarat Bank.