"The obstacles have been obviated by adding a note to Article five of the general policies of Article 44" of the Constitution.
TEHRAN, Oct. 10, 2010 - Iranian Deputy Finance Minister Asqar
Abolhassani announced on Sunday that the country has removed all obstacles and
impediments to the presence and investment of foreign banks in Iran.
"The obstacles have been obviated by adding a note to Article five of the general policies of Article 44" of the Constitution, Farsnews quoted Abolhassani as telling reporters here on Sunday.
He explained that eight foreign banks have already registered for license of activity in Iran and are waiting to receive the necessary permissions for establishing their branches across the country, adding that the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) are studying their cases.
"Following the removal of the legal obstacles to the establishment of foreign banks in Iran, a large number of requests have been filed with the CBI," Abolhassani added.
Article 44 of the Iranian Constitution had heretofore placed banking activities exclusively in the hands of government. In tandem with the Law on Usury Free Banking Operations, these two measures effectively blocked foreign banking operations from conducting business in mainland Iran.
A handful of foreign bank branches and representative offices extant in the country were allowed to undertake administrative and coordination activities but were not permitted to open customer accounts within mainland Iran, receive deposits or extend normative facilities.
Foreign banks were, however, under special conditions, allowed to function in Iranian free zones.
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