Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB)

Financial Services
RBI:AV
Austria
RZB

In 2017 the U.S. state of California identified RZB as a company under review for potentially seeking to establish physical offices in Iran. 

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"Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), as one of the major banks in Austria, plans to open a branch in Iran, Austrian Ambassador to Iran Friedrich Stift announced on Saturday. He made the remarks in Tehran on the sidelines of a meeting between the director of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization, Mojtaba Khosrotaj, and the second president of the Austrian National Council, Karlheinz Kopf, Tasnim news agency reported." (Tehran Times, "Austrian bank plans to open branch in Iran," 11/1/2016).

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"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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"A senior Iranian trade official says Austria's Oberbank and Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) are now connected to Iranian banks. Tehran Chamber of Commerce Chairman Masoud Khansari said that the two Austrian banks have started opening letters of credit (LCs) for Iranian businesses, facilitating trade transactions between the two countries. He announced the news in Tehran on Wednesday on the sidelines of a meeting between Tehran Chamber of Commerce and a trade delegation from the state of Carinthia in southernmost Austria, headed by Christian Benger, the regional minister for economy, agriculture and tourism... Oberbank is an independent regional bank located in the heart of Europe and headquartered in Linz in the north-center of Austria and Raiffeisen Bank International is the central and the largest institution of the Raiffeisen Banking Group." (Press TV, “Austria’s Oberbank and Raiffeisen Bank connected to Iran market,” 5/26/2016)

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"Christian Benger, the regional minister of Austrian state of Carinthia for economy, agriculture and tourism, says there is high know-how technology in the fields of solar and other green energy resources as well as water management in Austria and the country is keen to help Iran in these areas. In an interview with the Tehran Times, Benger said, 'There is also high know-how in Austria for recycling plastics. You have petrochemical industry and we have technology to recycle your products, so a lot of opportunities we can develop.' The interview came on the sidelines of a meeting between Benger, heading a high-ranking trade delegation, and Masoud Khansari, the chairman of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, in Tehran on Wednesday. The Austrian minister mentioned problems with the banks and money transfer as the main downside for business in Iran, while noting, 'I think this will be solved in the very near future.' Austrian banks help remove this obstacle, Benger said, adding, 'Raiffeisen Bank is one of the main Austrian banks in the international business. It's the Austrian control bank, which controls every international money transfer. This bank and all other banks are active and support resolving this problem. So, solutions will be seen in the near future.'" (Tehran Times, “Austria keen to help Iran in green energy, water management,” 5/25/2016)

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"Iran said on Sunday that it had reached an agreement with Austria to receive payments for sales of oil and condensate to international clients through the country’s third largest bank, Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB). Hossein Yaqoubi-Miab, the director for international affairs of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), said the CBI has reached a deal with RZB to open an account to receive euro payments by international clients for their oil transactions with Iran. Yaqoubi-Miab said the account will be opened within the next two weeks, adding that the Austrian bank has announced readiness to create a similar mechanism for other Iranian banks." (Press TV, “Austria’s RZB to receive Iran oil payments,” 4/3/2016)

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International bank conducting business with U.S. banks that service designated Iranian banks Bank providing services to UN3* Iranian banks. International bank with Iranian Accounts (Avi Jorisch, "Iran's Dirty Banking", 2010)

Response: “…is conversant with the international sanctions regime actually in place…”  (July 4, 2016)