Iran says credit line with Russia to boost trade

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Iran’s Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs Masoud Karbasian.
Iran’s Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs Masoud Karbasian.

Iran says it expects a recent agreement with Russia over the creation of a credit line to fund Iranian projects to help promote trade between the two countries.

Iran’s Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs Masoud Karbasian said the credit line would be provided by three Russian banks which he said would be led by the country’s Eximbank.

Karbasian added that based on the agreement with Russia, a mechanism would be created to conduct barter deals with Russian traders.

This, he emphasized, would facilitate Iran’s purchases of goods and services from Russian businesses.

In late December, four Iranian banks signed an agreement with the Eximbank of Russia to receive “unlimited” loans.

The banks involved were Bank Sepah, the Export Development Bank of Iran, Parsian Bank and Bank Pasargad.

Based on the agreement, Eximbank would provide funds “without a ceiling” to the four lenders to finance development projects in Iran, according to an announcement on the website of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

Based on the recent agreement signed in Moscow, Iran’s public and private sector’s approved projects will be able to benefit from the loans, while Russian exporters can use them to export technical and engineering services to Iran, the domestic media in Tehran reported.

The agreement has been signed in line with implementing commitments set as part of the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22) and the annual budget law and as a result of years-long efforts by the government, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance and the central bank to attract foreign finance from various nations.

Iran had earlier been able to seal similar deals with several European as well as Asian financial institutions.

In late September, Austria’s Oberbank signed a major finance deal with over a dozen Iranian banks based on which it would provide €1 billion in credits to the country’s companies that invest in the Iranian economy.

Oberbank’s initiative – that was seen in Tehran as the first of its kind in many years – was followed on the same day by a similar agreement between Denmark’s Danske Bank and several Iranian banks.

Accordingly, Danske Bank would allocate a credit line of €500 million for investments by Danish businesses in Iran.

On a related front, France’s state investment bank Bpifrance (BPI) announced also in September that it planned to provide funds to French companies that invest in the Iranian economy from next year.

BPI France CEO Nicolas Dufourcq was quoted by media as telling reporters that his bank would grant up to €500 million ($598 million) in annual credits to companies that venture into the Iranian market

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