NewsSpecial WireIran’s Bank Saderat loses 1/3 of foreign partners: FT

Iran’s Bank Saderat loses 1/3 of foreign partners: FT

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Iran Focus: London, Jan. 05 – Iran’s Bank Saderat has lost a third of its foreign partners because of unilateral sanctions by the United States, the Financial Times quoted the institution’s managing director as saying on Saturday. Iran Focus

London, Jan. 05 – Iran’s Bank Saderat has lost a third of its foreign partners because of unilateral sanctions by the United States, the Financial Times quoted the institution’s managing director as saying on Saturday.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Hamid Borhani said that of 600 foreign banks that used to do business with Bank Saderat before the U.S. imposed sanctions in September 2006, some 200 had halted their transactions.

Borhani said that Middle Eastern banks were continuing contacts and becoming the institution’s top foreign partners, as sanctions shifted trade from west to east. China became Iran’s main trade partner last year, while much trade is being conducted through the re­export hub of the United Arab Emirates.

Bank Saderat is the second largest bank domestically in terms of assets and probably the most active Iranian bank outside the country, according to the FT.

The FT said that recent figures from Bankers’ Almanac, which provides reference information for the industry, the number of Saderat’s correspondent banks has declined from 29 in August 2006 to eight, two of which are Saderat subsidiaries. Correspondent banks are banks that agree to perform services for other banks in inaccessible markets.

“The trend line is in the right direction but it hasn’t yet gone to zero, where it should be”, said a senior U.S. official.

Borhani said the bank’s 25 operations outside the country, including a subsidiary in London, Washington’s closest ally, continued their operations. He estimated profits were up about 25 per cent in 2007, compared with a 30 per cent rate of growth the previous year.

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