Banque de France to finance Iran-France projects: French fin. min.

March 5, 2017 - 21:26

TEHRAN- The central Bank of France, Banque de France, is working on plans to issue direct loans for companies that want to invest in Iran, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told reporters at Iran’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Tayyebnia, the Iranian ministry’s news agency, Shada, reported on Sunday.

During their meeting the two ministers discussed how the French government and central bank can support French companies who cooperate with Iranian counterparts with financing projects.  
“We are trying to help these companies,” Sapin was quoted by Bloomberg as saying, “They will be able to apply for loans, but it’s not active yet. We are working on this.”
Sapin said he was “confident” that banking relations between France and Iran would be normalized in due time and said he was seeking clarification from the U.S. government on the extent to which its sanctions will impact French banks working with Iran, Bloomberg reported.
Tayyebnia, for his part, said that both sides are eager on expanding mutual economic ties and have conferred on paving the way, specially removing banking barriers, to revive bilateral relations, Shada reported.

France ready to renew Iranian railway

In a separate meeting with Iranian Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi on Sunday, Sapin voiced France’s readiness for cooperating on expansion and revival of Iranian railway network, Mehr news agency reported.
The French minister said that his country is poised to expand its ties in various transportation sectors with Iran, underlining that France seeks long term contracts besides short-term ones.
Akhoundi, for his part, expressed content about the signed contracts with French companies, including the deal with Airbus, noting that Iran-France relation cannot be restricted to purchase of some particular goods and the two sides are getting prepared for economic ties in the long run.
According to Bloomberg, French companies were among the first to return to Iran after sanctions were eased last year under Tehran’s nuclear deal with six world powers, but officials have said financing issues have hobbled some big infrastructure projects. France’s largest banks have been reluctant to do business with the oil-rich country because of remaining U.S. sanctions, and Iran lacks access to major international lenders.
Iran’s largest state-run and partly state-run banks, Bank Melli and Bank Tejarat, have started brokerage services in France and were working with some French banks, Tayyebnia said, declining to name them, the report added.

HJ/MA

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