Erste Group Bank

Banking
WBAG: EBS
Austria

Austrian and Iranian bankers met in Vienna in September to discuss the resumption of trade financing, people with knowledge of the plans said at the time. Austria’s top three banks, Erste Group Bank AG, UniCredit Bank Austria AG and Raiffeisen Bank International AG would be among the participants, according to the people, who asked not to be identified. (Bloomberg News, "Three Foreign Banks to Open in Iran, Central Bank Official Says," 11/1/2016).

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"Austrian and Iranian bankers are meeting in Vienna on Wednesday to discuss the resumption of trade financing, people familiar with the discussion said... Austria’s top three banks Erste Group Bank AG, UniCredit Bank Austria AG and Raiffeisen Bank International AG are all among the participants, the people said." (Bloomberg ,"Iranian Bankers Said to Meet Austrians to Resume Commercial Ties," 9/28/2016)

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"Despite hopes of a new dawn for Iran's economy after nuclear-related sanctions were lifted, major Western banks are reluctant to do business with the Islamic republic for fear of US retribution. President Hassan Rouhani has said that to reach the target of eight-percent growth needed to modernise the industrial sector and relaunch the hobbled economy, Iran needs up to $50 billion in foreign investment every year. But without the big foreign banks, that looks impossible. "For the moment, the little European banks have agreed to work with us," said Parviz Aghili, head of the private Middle East Bank in Tehran. They include banks from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium, he said without naming them. "But not a single medium-sized or big bank has so far agreed to do it," he added... The limited number of institutions that do deal with the Islamic republic include Raiffeisen Bank and Erste Bank from Austria, Mediobanca and Banco Popolare of Italy, Germany's EIH, KfW and AKA banks, Belgium's KBC, ING of the Netherlands and Turkey's Halk, according to a banking expert in Tehran. "These banks have established working relations with the Iranian banks to open letters of credit for fairly small sums of 10, 20 or 50 million dollars." But they lack the resources to finance big projects like the deal struck between Iran and European aircraft manufacturer Airbus for 118 airplanes, or oil and gas development projects, the expert said." (AFP, "Iran banking hobbled by Western reluctance to engage," 9/13/2016).

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"European banks are tentatively re-engaging with Iran as the Middle East’s second-largest economy slowly emerges from a sanctions regime that has kept it in the financial wilderness for years. Belgium’s KBC, Germany’s DZ Bank both confirmed when contacted by the Financial Times that they have started handling transactions on behalf of European clients doing business in Iran. Austria’s Erste Bank is preparing to do so. However, bigger European banks remain on the sidelines alongside their US rivals, scarred by a string of multibillion-dollar fines for earlier sanctions breaches in Iran. This is causing growing frustration among officials in Iran and Europe about the slow pace with which Tehran is being reconnected to the global financial system." (Financial Times, “Europe’s banks begin tentative return to Iran,” 4/3/2016)