Bank Muscat gains approval to open Tehran branch

Published March 29th, 2016 - 08:00 GMT
Bank of Muscat Headquarters (Times of Oman)
Bank of Muscat Headquarters (Times of Oman)

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) has approved the request from Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender by market value, to open a representative office in Iran. The move comes after a meeting held by the CBO board members on Sunday.

The approval makes Bank Muscat one of the first foreign financial firms to establish a presence in Iran since the international sanctions, imposed over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme, were removed in January.

Bank Muscat did not say when the process of opening the office would be completed or give any further details.

Oman is keen to strengthen ties in order to obtain natural gas supplies for industry and diversify its economy beyond oil. In late January, an Omani sovereign wealth fund signed an understanding with Iran’s biggest automaker, Iran Khodro Industrial Group, to study a proposal for a $200 million (Dh734 million) auto plant in Oman.

Meanwhile, the country’s central bank also decided to halt establishing new money exchange companies for the next two years as the domestic market is saturated, according to the CBO statement.

By Fahad Al Mukrashi 

© Muscat Media Group

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