Bank Sepah Expanding Ties With Iraq
EghtesadOnline: Iranian and Iraqi officials in Tehran discussed further expansion of bilateral banking ties.
During a meeting with Iraqi Ambassador to Iran Rajeh Saber Abboud al-Mousavi on Monday, Bank Sepah’s CEO Mohammad Kazem Choghazardi said, “Since the sanctions imposed on our banking system were lifted about a year ago, Bank Sepah equipped its offshore branches and its foreign exchange transactions exceeded $5 billion.”
The CEO of Bank Sepah added that his bank has not only been endeavoring to provide high quality banking facilities to Iranian people, but it has also been active internationally, including Iraq.
Choghazardi mentioned that Bank Sepah is among the top Iranian banks in financing strategic projects and providing loans to startup businesses, Bank Sepah’s website reported.
According to Financial Tribune, the bank’s financial indexes place it among strong banks in the country.
“Omid Investment Group, whose main shareholder is Bank Sepah, has invested in some of the major projects in the country, such as petrochemicals, cement, steel, power plants, stock brokerage firms and currency exchange facilities. This has created a diverse and valuable portfolio for Omid,” he said.
Bank Sepah, the first Iranian bank, was founded in 1925 in Rasht, Gilan. The lender has now branches in Frankfurt, Paris and Rome as well as a subsidiary, Bank Sepah International plc, in London.
The Iraqi ambassador announced his country’s interest in expanding banking ties with Iran and said the process is already underway.
“Iran and Iraq have common interests in many areas and their relations go beyond fulfilling strategic goals,” he said.
Mousavi noted that Iran is a stabilizing force in the region and the development of the two countries’ relations will benefit the region and the world.
“The number of pilgrims to Iraq is increasing annually and this will also increase our foreign exchange resources with Bank Sepah,” he added.
The Iraqi ambassador said when he gets back to Iraq, his priority will be to follow up expansion of trade and banking ties between the two countries, especially via free trade zones since both countries pay significant attention to these trade conduits.
Mousavi expressed optimism over continuation of bilateral relations since “our financial and business relations are based on brotherly ties”.
At the end of the meeting, Choghazardi invited the Iraqi ambassador to visit Bank Sepah’s Coin Museum that displays more than 21,000 ancient coins and is one of the richest coin collections in the world.