Austria’s Oberbank allocates €1bn credit line to Iran for infrastructure projects

By bne IntelliNews June 12, 2017

Austria’s Oberbank has reportedly agreed to set aside a €1bn credit line for financing infrastructure investment projects in Iran.

The agreement followed a meeting between Austrian Finance Minister Hans-Jorg Schelling and Iranian Finance Minister Ali Tayyebnia in Tehran, the state-run SHADA news service reported on June 11.

Austria, along with several other European states, has remained steadfast in recent months with its plans for expanding cooperation with Iran, despite the ratcheting up of tensions with Tehran by the Trump White House. The country recently increased its weekly flights linking Vienna with Tehran and other Iranian cities.

Schelling also said several Austrian banks are in discussions with Iranian counterparts to create banking correspondence.

In 2016, the Central Bank of Iran signed a deal to create a correspondence bank account with the National Bank of Austria, while several private Iranian banks are looking to set up representative offices in the EU state.

According to comments made by Schelling last year on a previous trip to Iran, the Austrian state is to work with Austria’s export credit agency Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (OeKB) to back deals Austrian-Iranian commercial deals.

Austria, although not formally part of the P5+1 Group of countries which negotiated the deal to free Iran’s economy from nuclear sanctions, was a supporting country in the agreement.

Austria-based Raiffeisen Bank is believed to be creating an office in Tehran this year as part of efforts to boost its presence in Iran.

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