Future Bank, an equal joint venture between Ahli United Bank, Bank Melli Iran (BMI) and Bank Saderat Iran (BSI), officially begins operations in Bahrain Tuesday with an initial paid up capital of $99 million (Dh364 million).
This is the first banking joint venture between Iranian and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners for the past 20 years, said the bank's CEO, Stephen Austen, according to <i>Gulf News</i>. "We are breaking new ground."
"Future Bank brings together in Bahrain the banking heritage, network and expertise of Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, the two largest and most established banks of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the GCC's leading banking innovator, Ahli United Bank.
"All three banks are endowed with a rich heritage of excellence and a track record of over 34 years."
The bank, which has an aggregate asset base of over $500 million (Dh1.84 billion), is primed to promote capital flows between Iran and various GCC countries. The bank's operations in Oman and Qatar are expected to be finalised by the third quarter of 2005.