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Misr Iran Development Bank

Misr Iran Development Bank

Industry: 
Banking
Country: 
Egypt
Contact Information: 
Sources: 

"Egypt is expanding its financial ties with Iran through a jointly owned financial institution: the Misr Iran Development Bank. MIDB was founded in 1975, four years before Iran's Islamic revolution, and has somehow endured the tumult since. Today, the MIDB may have become a vehicle for Iran to circumvent economic sanctions with extensive help from Egypt, one of America's closest allies in the region. It is a testament to how difficult it can be for the U.S. to enforce international sanctions, even among countries that appear to be natural allies in the effort to deter Iran.

Egypt controls 59.86 percent of MIDB, split evenly between the state-owned National Investment Bank and Misr Insurance Company, which is partially owned by the state. Iran's 40.14 percent share in MIDB, worth about $80 million, is held by the Iran Foreign Investment Company. The IFIC is the investment arm of Iran's Oil Stabilization Fund, a sovereign wealth vehicle that generates profits for the Iranian government, with investments in the Middle East, Africa, South America, and beyond.

Tehran created the stabilization fund in 1999 to help insulate it from the gyrations of the oil market. When oil was up, the regime threw money into the fund and invested it through the IFIC. When oil was down, Iran withdrew money from the IFIC's investments to make up the shortfall. In the face of severe international sanctions, Iran has been withdrawing heavily of late. This August, when it became clear that the stabilization fund enabled the Iranians to resist international sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department placed it on the Iranian Transactions Regulation (ITR) list, an administrative designation that made it unlawful for Americans to do business with the company because it is "wholly owned by the Government of Iran....

In 2009, as the international community began to discuss ways to punish the Islamic Republic for its illicit nuclear program, the bank transferred $50 million to Iran, according tot he govenrment-controleld Tehran Times." (The Atlantic, "How Egypt is Helping Iran to Circumvent Sanctions," 11/15/10)

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Listed as providing services for Iranian banks. (Avi Jorisch, "Iran's dirty banking," 2010) 

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