EghtesadOnline: The private Ayandeh Bank has continued its string of success and was recognized by Euromoney as Iran’s bank of the year in 2018.
The lender received the award in a ceremony held earlier in May.
In an announcement published on its website, the English-language monthly magazine Euromoney noted that Iranian bankers have not had the year they hoped for in light of the fact that building business relations with banks and corporations abroad proved difficult, Financial Tribune reported.
“International financial institutions remained wary of lingering sanctions against the Islamic Republic and US President Donald Trump’s repeated expression of his intention to leave the Iran nuclear deal,” it said.
The magazine referred to unrest in a number of cities and the fact that some protestors were disgruntled bank customers.
“No bank emerged unscathed from these problems. However, Ayandeh Bank did best in these difficult conditions, overtaking Bank Pasargad, Euromoney’s best bank in Iran for several years in a row,” it said.
Euromoney hailed the bank’s impressive performance this year despite numerous challenges and said this confirmed it “as a dominant force in the country”.
Ayandeh’s net income rose 34% to 81 trillion rials ($1.92 billion). Total loans grew by 60% to 790 trillion rials ($18.76 billion) and the loan-to-deposit ratio went from 70% to 82.5% as the bank tried to support the real economy.
However, Euromoney notes that not everything was positive as profits before tax and return on equity fell slightly, “but overall the bank managed to weather the storm and develop as an institution”.
The magazine lauded Ayandeh’s launch of Finnotech, a platform that allows the bank to provide customized services for financial startups, e-commerce companies and banking software producers which, it said, was interesting “for a banking sector that is still wedded to old technology”.
Ayandeh had received Euromoney’s best bank transformation award for 2017 after successfully accomplishing a merger of troubled financial institutions in 2014.
Furthermore, in early December 2017, Ayandeh was selected by The Banker, the globally-recognized source of financial intelligence, as its top Iranian lender. Ayandeh dethroned Pasargad in that list as well, as the private lender had been named Iran’s best bank for both 2015 and 2016.
Middle East Through Euromoney Lens
In its latest report, Euromoney also identified top banks across Middle East, and named Emirates NBD as the best bank of the Arab nation and the best bank of the Middle East.
The First Abu Dhabi Bank was identified as the best investment bank in the UAE. Ahli United Bank and GIB Capital were introduced as the best bank and best investment bank respectively in Bahrain, while the same honors went to Commercial International Bank and EFG Hermes in Egypt. Jordan’s best bank title went to Arab Bank.
The National Bank of Kuwait and Citi were respectively proclaimed best bank and best investment bank in Kuwait, while the same awards were dedicated to Blom Bank and Broadgate Advisers in Lebanon, to QNB and QInvest in Qatar, and to National Commercial Bank and HSBC Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia.