EghtesadOnline: Bank Sepah’s capital base has increased by 740% in the past two years, which led to the bank’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) to hit 10.5% from a low of 2% during the sanctions, which have now been lifted, the bank’s CEO announced.
“Two years ago, we owed a significant amount of debts to the Central Bank of Iran due to our excessive overdrafts but fortunately today, CBI owes us and in the past two years, we have always been able to lend in the interbank market,” Mohammad Kazem Choqazardi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Bank Sepah’s CEO noted that the amount of deposits in his bank has increased by 81% during the period, giving the bank enough resources to finance more than 36,000 production enterprises in the country.
Choqazardi referred to western sanctions imposed on Iran’s banking system, noting that before the nuclear sanctions were imposed, Bank Sepah’s annual figure for foreign exchange transactions reached $7.5 billion but the bank was barred from undertaking foreign exchange transactions for almost a decade, Financial Tribune reported.
He added that the bank has since bounced back and resumed its foreign exchange transactions.
Referring to the opening of Bank Sepah’s new Paris branch, the CEO declared that its resources have improved and the bank’s infrastructures were totally renewed so it would befit Iran’s banking system.
Choqazardi further said that in line with the orders of President Hassan Rouhani and Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Masoud Karbasian, Bank Sepah will sell its excess assets based on a timetable.
“Deposits in our bank have increased by 81% while the amount of allocated loans have also registered an increase of 42% year-on-year,” he added.
Bank Sepah’s CEO noted that the state-owned lender has doled out loans to more than 36,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises, which places it among the top four banks to fund the production sector.
Choqazardi also enumerated the bank’s role in the country’s mega projects such as the one on managing border waters, investing in Bidboland oil refinery and decreasing the volume of non-performing loans as other achievements of Bank Sepah.
According to a board member of Bank Sepah, the volume of foreign exchange transactions of the bank after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the formal name of Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers) has exceeded $8.2 billion, which is the best performance of an Iranian bank in the past 21 months.
“Bank Sepah’s foreign transactions after the nuclear accord consists of letters of credit, foreign exchange loans and remittances while their collective number during the aforementioned period stood at 22,442,” Mostafa Parto-Afkanan also told IRNA.
According to the official, Bank Sepah’s share of the country’s foreign exchange transactions stood at 12.58% in the previous Iranian fiscal (ended March 20, 2017) while the figure reached 14.39% in the first nine months of the current fiscal to Dec. 21, 2017.
“Bank Sepah, benefitting from a capable workforce and the newest equipment, has managed to achieve significant goals in the short period after the implementation of the nuclear accord,” he said.
Parto-Afkanan predicted that as per their plans, Bank Sepah’s presence in global and forex markets will improve considerably.